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Published on March 17, 2020

How to Be a Good Manager and Effective Leader

How to Be a Good Manager and Effective Leader

Author and speaker Brian Tracy once said,

“Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily, even if you had no title or position.”

That sounds good, but how exactly do you become the sort of leader that others want to follow? Regardless of where you are in your career, everyone can learn how to be a good manager and effective leader. Being a leader is really all about knowing who you are and where you want to go.

Once you have this down you’ll be able to better share your ideas with others and bring out their best qualities.  As a manager, knowing what makes a good leader and how to put those traits into practice will be the difference between accomplishing an objective or failing to meet the demands.

Being a good manager and effective leader isn’t always going to be easy. Some of the most successful leaders in business, however, have credited setbacks and frustrations with invaluable learning experiences that made them better leaders in the long run. Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos once wrote in a letter to his shareholders that:[1]

“Failure comes part and parcel with invention.”

You may not feel like a born leader, but by working to embrace these traits, you can learn to not just be a good manager, but one who inspires others.

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1. Understand the Value of Those Around You

Regardless of whether they’re running a Fortune 500 company or a local diner, a good manager doesn’t take their team for granted. Your employees made a choice to join your team and will be more willing to accept responsibilities and tasks if they know you see them as a valued member.

Effective leaders guide those around them through challenges, because they know a team is at its strongest when everyone is focused and prepared for their particular duty. By showing genuine interest in those around you, you’ll communicate that you care about your employees and their role in the organization.

2. Embrace Collaboration

Few Earth-shaking innovations are the result of a single mind. An effective leader may have the spark for an idea, but they welcome collaboration from others to shape and mold it into a reality.

Successful leaders embrace a collaborative spirit with their employees by sharing their expectations and promoting engagement. This could be anything from group brainstorming sessions to team-building seminars and classes. It’s simply about inviting participation from those around you.

3. Set Your Employees Up for Success.

It’s a sobering truth that around 60 percent of new managers fail within their first 24 months.[2] Often times, not setting your employees up for success plays a major role.

As a manager, it’s your responsibility to know the roles of those on your team and what they need to accomplish their duties.

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  • Do they have the materials needed to perform their job?
  • Have they been given clear instructions on their objective?
  • Do they know who to turn to if they have a question?

These are all things that help to establish employee confidence and demonstrate strong management traits to those on your team.

4. Don’t Just Dictate – Listen

If there were one single trait that was crucial for an effective leader to have, it would be good communication skills. If all you’re doing is barking orders, then it’s not going to be long before you don’t have anybody to bark orders at, because everyone will walk out the door.

Virgin Airlines founder Richard Branson says that a good leader should be listening twice as much as they’re speaking.[3] He realizes that a good idea for solving a problem can come from anybody in his company whether they’re working on the top floor or at the very bottom.

Don’t try to solve every problem yourself, ask others for their opinion, and if somebody comes to you with an idea, give them the respect of listening to what they have to say.

5. Acknowledge Successes

Humans need encouragement and acknowledgment, plain and simple. If somebody does a good job, tell them so. An effective leader doesn’t rejoice in just their own wins, but celebrates the successes of those around them. Founder of Ready Steady Sell, David Sessford, says that the efficiency of his team improved by 35% by offering regular rewards and bonuses for hitting targets.

According to Forbes, 65 percent of employees want more feedback from their managers.[4] There are, of course, a multitude of ways to acknowledge an employee’s success.

  • A simple “great job” is always nice.
  • Celebratory drinks or meals.
  • Promotions and bonuses.

A little bit of recognition for a job well done can go a long way and oftentimes, it only takes a few minutes to show it.

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6. Learn to Resolve Conflicts

Conflicts between employees are bound to crop up here and there. How you choose to handle them can be the difference between a productive team and one that unravels.

As a leader, you should listen to both points of view and work to resolve conflicts quickly and effectively in the best way so that the problem doesn’t come up again. The secret to effective conflict resolution is learning to separate the people from the emotions related to the problem. By doing this, you’ll be able to better solve problems in a way that satisfies both parties.

7. Show Confidence, Not Arrogance

Good leaders thrive on adversity and are willing to take chances, as long as their failures provide a valuable learning experience. They’re calm during turbulent times and commit to a course of action. This might sound like blind arrogance, but it actually shows confidence, plus a willingness to challenge the norm and strive for something better.

When you know your values and have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish you’ll feel secure about the work you’re doing.

8. Inspire a Shared Vision

Remember that quote from the top about how a good leader would inspire others to follow even without a title? That’s because they know how to unite those around them toward a common goal or vision. This is done through good communication, confidence, and acknowledging successes.

Effective leaders are passionate about their ideas and actively look for ways to get those around them excited about an idea or goal. By connecting with your employees and helping them understand why their role matters, you’ll encourage them to share your vision.

9. Stay Up to Date With Your Industry

Your team members are going to look to you as the person with the plan. They want to know that you have ideas for capitalizing on the good times as well as weathering the bad times. This means keeping current on what’s going on in your field and continuing to expand your knowledge.

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Talk to other leaders in your field and network. Join local professional organizations. By keeping up with the trends and changes in your field, you’ll be that much more confident of a leader for your team.

10. Trust Your Employees to Succeed

Good managers know how to delegate work and aren’t afraid to put trust in their employees to accomplish a task. If you’re always second-guessing  your team members you’re creating a fear-based workplace, and likely a lot of resentment.

You’ve probably heard the phrase, employees don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses. Well, micromanaging is a surefire way to drive your employees nuts and have them turning in a letter of resignation.

11. Recognize Potential and Foster Innovation

Take the time to get to know those around you, no matter what their position in the organization may be. Each member on your team is going to have their own unique skills and goals — nurture them.

A good manager is growth-oriented, for themselves and others. Strive to recognize opportunities for others to take on new challenges, and support strengths when you see them. Effective leaders groom others to lead.

12. Lead by Example

If you want those around you to be organized, motivated, and working towards a goal, then you should be, as well. Model the behaviors that you want your employees to embrace. It’s easy to simply tell somebody what to do, but it’s going to be far more effective if you set the example with your own behavior.

The Bottom Line

Learning how to be a good manager and effective leader doesn’t happen overnight. It takes practice and willingness to work on self-improvement. Great leadership is about doing the right thing and inspiring the same in others. Are you ready?

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Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Chris Porteous

The CEO of Grey Smoke Media / My SEO Sucks, helping entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.

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Last Updated on August 10, 2020

15 Simple Things You Can Do To Turn Your Life Around

15 Simple Things You Can Do To Turn Your Life Around

Life can be difficult. It can seem like nothing goes your way and the world is against you. The world can be a very cruel and lonely place. But there are things that you can do to begin turning your life around.

Whether you’re in a job you hate, struggling with a loss, or just not on the path you expected, only you hold the key to turning your life around. Here are 15 simple things you can do to turn your life around.

1. Read Daily

Reading lets you escape to a different place within your mind. It can be relaxing and calming. And it helps stimulate brain activity and keeps you sharp.

Reading daily can help you spend time away from the problems of the day and allow you to escape into a world of endless possibilities. Changing your perspective can help you turn around your life, and reading is a great place to start.

Here’re some recommendations: 20 All-Time Best Motivational Books to Inspire You

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2. Put Your Goals in Writing

When thoughts are banging around in our heads, they can easily slip away. Walk from one room to another and you forget what you were doing!

Make sure your goals are concrete and written down. This will help you stay accountable to yourself and is the first step in completing your goal. By writing it on a piece of paper, you must put in the thought of how you should word it, what exactly you want to accomplish, and will make you consider if it’s truly worth it.

3. Prune Your Relationships

Too often, relationships can be destructive. This is often looked at through the scope of romantic relationships, but also consider life-long friends, family, and acquaintances. Are the people you spend time with bringing you down? Are they helping you achieve your goals or hindering? It can be difficult, but pruning your relationships can be the quickest catalyst in turning your life around.

4. Make New Friends

Don’t underestimate how a new person or group of friends in your life can change your outlook. Be open to meeting new people, both at work and in your personal life.

5. Get Healthy

When you feel great, good things seem to come your way. Working out helps you feel better about yourself and can help change your outlook on life. Eating right can help you have the energy to do more. Getting healthy can improve your entire outlook on life and help turn your life around.

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6. Start Saving

For many, financial struggle can weigh heavy and be the cause of many problems. Without a change of job or career, changing your financial situation will take time and effort. Start saving with each paycheck to help build toward your future. Even if it’s a small amount each check, consistency in saving can help you change your path in the future.

7. Start a Business

Working for others can be tough. You may be underemployed, under-utilized, and under-appreciated. Starting a business can help you take control of your financial future.

Understand that you don’t have to quit your current job to start a business. Find something you love and have skills at and do it in your free time. If you’re in creative services, freelance. If you’re great at carpentry, build tables to sell. If you are a talented painter or crafty, start an Etsy store.

You may find that your side passion business can turn into more. Or, if you have the opportunity and skills, take the plunge and go all in. Working for yourself is challenging, but a great opportunity to change your life.

Here’re some tips for you: How to Start a Small Business with Little to No Money

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8. Find Opportunities to Help Others

Helping others can change your outlook and help turn your life around. Changing the way you think about the world can play a part. But helping others can also open up doors you never had available. Being a good person can help you get out of a funk and can be the catalyst for change.

9. Learn a New Skill

When you have more skills, additional opportunities will be presented. If you’re tired of your blue collar job, take classes to learn computer skills. If you’re struggling to move up in your company, find a skill that makes you more valuable. And if you want financial freedom, learn a skill that can help you change your life. Knowledge is power.

10. Stop Watching TV

Watching TV can keep you distracted and take up a lot of time. Cutting out the time you spend watching TV and replacing it with more productive activities can help you accomplish more and stay focused.

11. Listen to Inspirational Content

You can learn much about yourself from others. Find inspirational and educational content that matches your needs and give it a listen. You may find that the advice from others in similar situations can give you the boost you need to change your life.

12. Stop Complaining

Negative thoughts and talk can turn people against you and make your outlook grim. Stop complaining so much and make the best out of your situation.

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13. Find or Rekindle Your Passion

Doing what you love can change your entire outlook on life. When you’re doing things you hate, you can be more stressed and make life much harder than it needs to be. Find things you’re passionate about and rekindle the love for what you enjoyed in the past. Doing what you love can turn your life around and make each day more rewarding.

14. Take a Vacation (or Staycation)

Sometimes, hitting the reset button is all it takes to improve your situation. Taking a vacation, or staycation, is a great way to get away from the stress of the daily grind and recharge your battery. A vacation can give you the perspective you need to change your life.

15. Re-evaluate Your Attitude

How you view the world will often reflect in how you treat yourself. Re-evaluate your attitude and ensure that you’re doing all you can to make the most out of every situation. A change in how you view your situation can often be the push that helps you change your life for the better.

More Tips to Help You Change Your Life

Featured photo credit: Conner Ching via unsplash.com

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