3 Ways to Become Another Leader
Lead.er.ship noun: One who guides or inspires others in action or opinion; one who takes the lead in any enterprise or movement; one who is "followed".
Whether a leader is born, created, or rises to the occasion, we look to our leaders for empowerment, decision making, conflict management, and enablement to achieve a shared vision. Here are three ways I believe an individual can become a better leader to inspire trust and confidence in those around them.
1) Give feedback. According to a recent Interact survey, over a third of managers are uncomfortable giving direct feedback to their employees in fear of a negative reaction. In addition, many managers struggle with “crediting others with having good ideas, speaking face to face, and having difficult feedback conversations in general.” The truth is, people thrive on feedback. Positive or negative, top executive or new hire- feedback gives insight to how prepared one is to meet a goal and in the end will lead to increased productivity.
2) Be humble. Most equate leadership with power and a top-down style approach, leaders who seek feedback and focus on the needs of others will find better employee engagement and job performance. No one has all the facts, and a good leader is comfortable admitting that and asking for input when necessary. As a leader it’s easy to forget you’re also a human being who makes mistakes just like the rest. As Leo Burnett himself once said, “To swear off making mistakes is very easy. All you have to do is swear off having ideas.” To be a better leader, admit and own your shortcomings. Not only will you better learn from your mistakes, you will earn trust from others.
3) Know your team. We spend the majority of our days with the people we work with, and how much do we know about them? In modern business, an important factor in fostering your team’s growth is getting to know them on a personal level. Demonstrating you care about your employees and what they do outside the office will ensure they feel valued and help you better manage.
No matter where we are in our careers, most of us will need to be leaders in some aspect of our lives. Personally, I am often inspired by the fresh out of college leaders, with the world before them, who can inspire a team with their passion and vision.
What do you think? What kind of leaders inspire you?