Since starting my journey at age 17 I’ve been lucky to gain a variety of valuable skills and knowledge. My time earning an engineering degree as well as my time leading StarInfranet has allowed me to grow as an entrepreneur as well as a person. My goal with these articles on LifeHack is to give people a solid base of knowledge on which to grow from. I’m very thankful for my accomplishments and share this information because I believe everyone can achieve the same.
Successful leaders are always looking for ways to improve. It’s important to open yourself up to new perspectives and experiences in the fast paced world we live in. As a leader your attitudes, your focus and values will be under close watch. The people you are leading will take action based on the qualities you show most often.
This article will cover some leadership qualities that will help you become a more effective leader. These qualities will improve how you communicate with your team as well as help you develop a clear focus that sets the tone for your team. Whether you are a business professional, entrepreneur or even a parent, you’ll find these leadership qualities useful to your growth as a leader.
1. Be receptive to feedback
Feedback is a powerful communication tool. A lot of unsuccessful leaders despise feedback and despite cries for improvement, they just don’t want to hear about it. They just want to do things their way and have everyone follow them. Of course this approach doesn’t work if you want long-term success and a healthy work environment.
As a leader you should encourage feedback but only if you are truly going to use it. There’s no point in encouraging feedback just to appear to be a good leader and then doing nothing about it. Feedback needs to be absorbed, analyzed and transferred into tangible changes. When your employees can see that you make use of feedback then they’ll see that you truly listen to them and will be more willing to follow you.
2. Results focused
One of the less celebrated qualities of good leadership is being focused on results. Leaders that are laser focused on getting tangible things accomplished are more wiling to stretch themselves to achieve the desire results. Some poor managers do the opposite and sandbag a goal by adding tasks, switching deadlines and other delaying tactics so that they don’t run the risk of failure.
When you’re focused on results as a leader, your focus spreads to the rest of your team. Having a collective of individuals on the same path should be one of your goals a leader. You can achieve this by showing your team your intense focus when it comes to getting concrete things done.
Structuring your team and allocating your resources properly is especially important in growing companies. Simple tasks such as meetings can get out of hand quickly without proper structure and organization. It’s important that everyone knows their role and how to prepare so that everything can run well.
As a leader it’s important to know your team and put them in positions where they can make use of their natural strengths. You don’t want a highly analytical, introverted employee working in customer service for example. If your company is growing then you need to remember that nothing will stay the same for long, you will always need to be evolving in order to stay current. Get your team to embrace change by setting the tone that things will always be changing if there’s a chance for improvement.
4. Reward your team
Everyone likes to be acknowledged for their work. A reward doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, sometimes a simple thank you will boost an employee’s confidence. When you reward your team they’re willing to work harder for you. Rewarding them shows your employees that you take their work seriously and that you appreciate quality results.
Part of rewarding your team is listening to them and showing that you value their opinions. When people feel that their voices are being heard they are more receptive to feedback and more willing to work harder because they feel appreciated.
Flexibility is a great leadership trait to have. It’s important not to be perceived as the type of leader where everything is set in stone. When you look at the reality of most situations, everything is not final and most things depend on context. Having a reputation as a flexible manager makes your employees more willing to share their thoughts with you, make suggestions and find new ways to do old tasks.
6. Be decisive
This may seem contradictory to being flexible but being decisive is an important quality for a leader. If you take in feedback and suggestions from your employees and then make a definitive decision, they’ll have strong confidence in your decision.
Being decisive helps to set the tone and give direction to your team. There’s nothing wrong with changing your mind but when you do it all the time, your employees have a decreased sense of urgency when they hear about new decisions that you’ve made. Being decisive keeps everyone on point and they know your decision isn’t something that you came to easily.
Communication is key while improving yourself as a leader. Sometimes the best step you can take is to just listen to your team and look for areas to improve on. A successful leader is confident, decisive, focused and still able to make people feel comfortable sharing their ideas. Remember, as a leader you want to bring the best out of people, so they can put forth their best in the job. Try and include the qualities discussed in this article in your leadership decision-making processes.
Featured photo credit: Creative Teamwork via flickr.com