Being an effective leader is no easy feat, so we’ve put together our top 20 leadership tips to help steer you in the right direction.
Humility is an incredibly important trait and is what separates a boss from a leader. A true leader will make a genuine effort to give credit to employees where it is due.
Leaders, both in and outside of work are top communicators. If you want to be an effective leader, you must understand the importance of making yourself heard, without losing the ability to listen to your colleagues concerns.
Lead by example
Do you want your employees to work harder and have pride in their work? Then you must do too. An unconfident, lazy boss produces unproductive and uninspired employees.
Be emotionally sensitive
It’s a long held believe that emotions and business should stay separate but ultimately, being a leader is all about developing relationships. Of course, as a leader you will have to make some hard business decisions but try to use your heart as well as your head.
Set your boundaries
Creating good relationships is important but solid boundaries must also be set. There’s a difference between a good leader and a pushover, setting strict but flexible boundaries ensures you’re the former, rather than the latter.
Know when to say no
Much like setting up solid boundaries, an effective leader knows when to say no. As a boss, you sometimes have to say no to your employees, even if it isn’t what they want to hear. Compromise is a two way street.
Be aware of common mistakes
There are many common mistakes both new and seasoned leaders make, so ensure you know what they are and how you can avoid them.
Learn from past encounters
Even if you know every trick in the book, you’re likely to make the odd mistake here and there. What’s important is that you understand why they happened and how you can do it differently next time.
Always be open to change
A good leader knows that there is always something new and exciting to learn. People who think they know it all don’t make good leaders. You’re allowed to be certain of your abilities but don’t get trapped in a box of self-importance.
Find a good mentor
Following on from the last tip, if you haven’t already found yourself a mentor then now is the time to start. Even the most experienced leaders have mentors they can turn to for nuggets of help and advice. Other people’s experiences, both good and bad, will help you to grow as a leader.
Keep meetings productive
Leadership is all about moving the business forward and productive meetings are a part of this. Too many business owners hold long, drawn out meetings that simply aren’t necessary. Before you decided to hold a meeting, ask yourself if it can be accomplished just as effectively over email.
Give up control
The best leaders know how to dish out the responsibilities effectively. Trying to do everything yourself is likely to slow productivity, so don’t be afraid to share the burden.
Nurture employee strengths
It’s often all too easy to focus on your employee’s weaknesses, especially when times are tough for your business. Good leaders focus on finding out their employee’s strengths, then nurturing them to inspire and promote confidence – both of which will benefit the business.
Share your future
Want to inspire and motivate? Write down your future hopes and wishes for the business and share it with your employees. If they can see exactly what’s in your head, then they’ll find it easier to make it happen.
Be honest with your employees
Even if you think you’re the best liar in the world, your employees will know if you’re hiding something from them. Cloaking the truth, even if you think it’s for the best, will make your employees suspicious and distrusting. If you want the people you work with to respect you, honesty really is the best policy.
Invest in your business
Investment isn’t always about money. To be an effective leader you have to invest time in both your company and your employees. Part of being a good leader is to understand what happens on all levels of your business, not just what you see in front of you.
Focus on your customers
Every good leader knows that the ultimate goal is to keep their customers happy. If you take time to make this your main business aim, you’ll probably find that many other aspects of your business will fall into place naturally.
Be a good reflection of your business
They say you can tell a lot about a company from its leader, so ensure that you are a reflection of your business. If your business promotes honesty, be an honest leader. If it promotes innovation, stay up to date with the latest trends in your industry.
Surround yourself with smart people
If you want to be the absolute best leader you can be, then you have to move with people that are smarter than you. Take time to mingle with and seek out advice from some of the best in your industry. You don’t have to suck up to people to be a good leader, simply listen to what they have to say.
Never forget your responsibilities
As a leader, you are ultimately there to lead. People are going to look up to you for advice but also for inspiration. The fate of both the business and your employees is in your hands, so being the best version of yourself benefits everyone and everything.