Being a great leader means continuous learning. Hopefully, you took the time to reflect on last year successes and opportunities. You should never “arrive” at being a leader. There is always room for improvement right? If you are really intentional about your growth, you will make a positive difference.
Growth is not automatic. When you invest in leadership growth and potential, then you are investing essentially in your team. This may sound strange, but people want a better leader. People want to follow someone they can rely on and develop them to their fullest potential. But in order to be a reservoir with your leadership, you can’t stand still. You cannot give what you don’t have.
Let’s take a look at how we can all become better leaders. I think if you are very intentional about each area, you will begin to notice the difference every day.
Discover your WHY!
When I meet new leaders, I ask them the question why do they want to be leaders? Needless to say that it’s a great ice breaker, but most importantly it talks about their purpose-their WHY! Do they care about something so passionately that they needed to take action? Do they want to help someone? Do they want to make a positive difference? Each leader leads for different reasons, but when you are clear on WHY you lead, it creates momentum and hunger.
Create a compelling vision!
What does success look like for you as a leader? How will you know that you are making a positive contribution in the lives of others? Where are you trying to lead your organization and help your team in the first place? If you’re not sure what your vision and goals are, it will be difficult to inspire anyone else to follow along with you. The vision should energize you for new possibilities.
Lay out specifically what you want to achieve for your business, career, and even your personal life. Each component can help guide your leadership style, from work ethic to work culture and the impact you want to make for a better place.
Be a positive role model
As a leader your actions speak louder than words. People watch you and hear every word you say even when you think no one does. You set the tone and the energy for your organization. When your words can be backed up and supported by examples, people will be more convinced on why they should trust you. Exhibit behaviors that you want your team to emulate. The best way to encourage expectations to specific actions is to correctly and precisely demonstrate these behaviors yourself as a leader. People don’t follow what you say, but what you do consistently.
Get to know your team
Successful leaders are great connectors. They want to get to know they people they lead. They take the time to learn about who they are and what motivates them as people. Everybody matters and should be valued for their contribution. The saying goes that “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” By connecting with your team, it will demonstrate that you care about them as human beings and do not consider them just another line item on your payroll.
Invest in your team’s development
It’s crucial to invest in your own training and become a better business leader, but at the same token, you should help and train others to sharpen the talent in your organization. Your job is not to create more followers, but develop more leaders. Great leaders make sure their staff has the right tools and resources to succeed. Leaders can’t inspire and mentor employees that don’t know how to do their jobs. They need on-going training in order to build the confidence and skills they need to help your organization thrive.