Here are some thoughts on how to improve your leadership game.
Lead by example.
This is an obvious one, but so often we see examples of the opposite. You set the benchmark for behaviour in your organisation, regardless of your role or job title. Your colleagues are constantly looking at leaders and will adapt their performance to your behaviour. If you demand high standards, they will follow. If you start meetings on time, late starts will grow less. It shows in the way you address people, how you manage performance and how you conduct yourself as a human being. If you put in extra effort, they will too. Set the tone and your employees will follow it. Here are 7 ways to lead by example.
There’s a difference between a leader and a boss. A kind leader gives credit to the team and shares success. A humble leader is aware of his or her shortcomings. Don’t fall into the trap of pretending to be humble but actually giving yourself a compliment. True humbleness is characterised by humility and a reserved quietness. Showing off, exaggerating your accomplishments, and refusing to listen to other people’s advice and opinions are all the opposite of humbleness. A humble leader uses less of “I” and “me” and more of “us” and “we”. Here are six tips on how to be humble at work.
Effective communication is a critical but sometimes neglected skill. Part of great communication is the practice of attentive listening. Sometimes we share information or give instructions without giving the full context. Different media and different contexts require different approaches. When emailing or texting it’s better to think through what you have written and consider the effect on the recipient before you hit the send button. We have all had the experience of an unforeseen adverse reaction to what we thought was an innocuous email. Keep the essence simple and short, and check for understanding. Here are 10 tips for effective workplace communication.
Keep meetings productive.
Meetings – virtual or physical – are an essential part of the community within an organisation. But often meetings drag on and on and accomplish less and less. If you are running the meeting, let the attendees know beforehand what sort of meeting it is. Is the purpose of the meeting to take decisions on an operational matter? It is a meeting to discuss future strategy? Or is it a meeting to allocate and plan resources? Each of these meetings will require a different style. Set time limits. Cut wafflers short. Crush red herrings. Push to get decisions made. If you are not running the meeting, you can assist the chair by reining in digressions, sticking to the point, and helping to bring the meeting back on track. Here are 10 tips to make your meetings more productive.
Know your limits.
Every one of us can do some things well, and other things – not so well. Part of humility is knowing when you don’t know. There is no shame in asking someone else to explain, to assist or to run with an initiative you are not comfortable with. And, of course, there are different type of limits. There is a limit to the amount of work you can do on a given day. You may not have an understanding of the technical or operational implications of a particular situation. And you may not have the delegated authority to take a particular course of action. Regularly overstepping beyond your limits puts you under stress, and you may take a wrong decision, or institute an unsuitable course of action. You will not lose credibility if you ask for advice or for explanations. Here are some thoughts on how to work within your limits.
Find a mentor.
Leadership, at whatever level, can be lonely. It is not enough just to be smart. You are going to be pushed to the edges of your experience. You will face tough times and tough decisions. A mentor can help you to talk through and issues, evaluate the consequences and help you test the various options. Sometimes you won’t need advice on how to deal with a situation; you might just need to talk it through with someone with an understanding ear. Often you know what the best course of action is, and running it past an impartial person, can be exactly what you need to gain a better perspective on the situation. Find someone you trust for advice when things get tough, to give you a different perspective. Here are 10 steps to help you find a mentor.
Be emotionally aware.
Organisations are all about relationships between people. This is where emotional intelligence comes in – to be sensitive to different points of view and different backgrounds. Your head will make the business decisions, your heart will make the people decisions. Notice the emotions you experience in different situations: pride, fear, excitement, disappointment, joy. However, when emotions have the wrong intensity, duration, frequency, or type for a particular situation, they can be harmful to us. Emotional awareness gives you insight into how you are experiencing the emotion beforehand. This will help you gain control over the expression of your emotions in the future. Here are 7 things you can do to improve your emotional awareness. (Aside: This is so important for successful leadership that Regenesys has built the power of using emotional intelligence into all its programmes.)
Continue to grow.
The process of becoming a good leader never stops. Put together your personal plan for leadership improvement. Use the resources of the internet and your human resources department. Understand your flaws. Don’t dwell on failure. Don’t settle for mediocrity. Take on challenging assignments that expand your scope of experience and capability. Develop a repertoire of skills and become really good at a few of them. Help others to become good leaders too. Stick to it and review it from time to time. Here are 10 steps to grow as a leader.
Leadership involves establishing a clear vision, sharing the vision so others will follow willingly and then providing the knowledge, information and methods to realise the vision. At its simplest, leadership is the ability of an individual to lead or guide others. Leadership is the willingness to take ownership of the organisation combined with the urge to do what is best for the organisation. If every one of us becomes better at leadership – by doing the small things – it will have an incredibly beneficial impact on our lives, our families, our organisations and our communities. Here are some final points for you to consider.
Regenesys is driven by the quest to help create better leaders to make the world a better place.
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