Leadership is a valuable company asset; Perhaps the single most important one. Good leadership can motivate teams to act with urgency. If you are a manager aspiring to be a leader, you have probably realized that that motivation is a challenge. It takes courage, diplomacy, emotional intelligence and engagement. Deciding to become a great leader is a life-long commitment – there is no quick-fix. Nevertheless, there are some “rules of thumb” that may help you move forward:
Cast Your Vision
If your employees are to act as a team, and know what to “reach for”, they need to have a clear vision. Effective leaders have a vision, know where to go, have a strong sense of purpose and – a plan. To be able to cast a vision, you must first have one.
Try to visualize the overall objective so that everyone understands their specific role. The next step is to communicate it. To be able to communicate it effectively, you have to be persuasive, clear, and committed.
Lead – Do Not Manage
There is a difference between managing and leading. Leading demands un-orthodox thinking – and some risk-taking. You must allow your teams to be both naïve and bold. Guide your team by empowering them, and your employees will go in the right direction – without killing curiosity or engagement.
Become a Decision-Maker
Dare to make decisions. Sometimes you will have to be flexible and correct a wrong one. However, someone has to take the lead. That someone is you.
Learn to Lead Yourself
It may be difficult to lead others, but leading yourself is even more difficult. It requires discipline and commitment. Be hard on yourself.
Judge people the same way you judge yourself. We tend to judge other people from their actions. Yet, when we judge ourselves, we often judge ourselves both on our actions and our intentions. Therefore, when evaluating others, consider both. Or, it is easy to continue making the same mistakes over and over again.
Try to look at yourself realistically. If you don’t, you will never understand your developmental areas and how to improve upon them.
Dare to Be Yourself
Everyone has weaknesses. Dare to be human by showing your nature. Allow yourself to fail at times. You do not have to hide all of them; Be transparent, and be human.
If you do, people will dare being themselves, too. It is a benefit to your company if your people remain themselves when coming to the office in the morning. Their ideas and personal uniqueness is a resource.
Lead by Example
If you want to be a successful leader, lead by example. You have to remember that you are a leader every day of the week, and the organization is observing you.
You are a role-model setting the tone for your employees and your managers. Be clear on your values and let your organization know what you represent.
Be wise in your conduct and live your words. This will enable you to create a positive mentality in your company. Do the same that you expect from your employees. You know what is expected, so “walk the talk”.
To lead other people is to understand, motivate, and empower others. A good leader, therefore, has high EQ and interpersonal skills.
Influencing others requires that you know what drives them, as well as what fears, wants, and needs they have. To motivate them, you must make them want to do things. This often means seeing things from another perspective than your own.
Build diverse teams
A good leader attracts talents. Build diverse teams and teams that complement you. Have a diversity perspective; attract people of different cultures, passions, ages, and genders. Make sure that you do not surround yourself only with “yes” people. Think beyond your own network when you hire.
A diverse team can mean strong perspectives and opinions. This is fine, as long as you guide by empowering.
Remember that being a leader is a privilege.