Wednesday, 20 April 2022

5 Excellent Leadership Characteristics You Should Embrace

Do you aspire to be a strong leader, respected in your field? Maybe you want to inspire your team and lead them to great success. If you want to step up and become a transformational leader, you should consider adding these characteristics to your management style toolbox. 


1.    Know Your Leadership Style


There is no one right way to be the best leader. The style that will work for you is the one that comes naturally. To improve your leadership skills, you need to know what your preferred personal style is. Take some quiet time and reflect on your skills, your strengths, and your weaknesses. What do you enjoy about leadership? What do you find difficult or shy away from doing? There are plenty of resources on the internet, like quizzes, to help you work out where your talents lie and give you insight into your management style. 


2.    Choose to be a Positive Role Model


Whether you like it or not, your team member will echo your management style. They will live up to your expectations and follow your example regarding work practices, professional relationships, and motivation. 


You can choose to be a leader who only expects the best from their staff, which places the greatest importance on integrity, behaving ethically and professionally, and working hard to get the job done. 


3.    Encourage Creativity


Leaders get better results from their team members if they encourage creative thinking. You will get more innovative approaches if you encourage staff to challenge the status quo and think outside the box. 


Practice active listening and collaborative problem-solving. Share and celebrate successes and foster creative thinking. 


4.    Be Passionate


Enthusiasm is contagious. Share your passions with your team members and show them that you care about the projects you're working on. Get them to look beyond the immediate tasks to see what impacts the project intends to achieve. Make their work meaningful beyond just hitting targets. 


5.    Be Positive


True leaders stay positive, no matter what the circumstances. It’s a given that there will be hiccups, setbacks, even failures that you will have to navigate with your team. Their motivation and confidence rely upon you taking an optimistic, constructive perspective no matter what. Celebrate those successes and use failures to learn, adapt, and move forward. 


With you to inspire them, your team will stay energized and focused on more and more success. 


5 Toughest Issues Leaders Have to Learn to Handle

One of the first things you learn as a leader is that the buck does stop with you. It's your responsibility to steer the ship and to deal with the challenges that will inevitably crop up from time to time. That's just part of the deal!


Some issues are almost inevitable for every leader, and it's up to you to prepare for them. Here are five of the most common challenges you are likely to face. 


1.    Learning the Difference between Being Respected and Being Liked


People may not always like leaders, but they should respect them. It's your job to make decisions that benefit the organization, the team, or the project. Not everyone will be happy with that. But if you try to please everyone, you will inevitably fail in your job. Choose being respected over being liked. 


2.    Office Culture


Sometimes office cultural issues can get out of hand. An office can become a hotbed of gossip and rivalry if not carefully managed, which can undermine everything you are trying to achieve. 


Set a good example, and don’t gossip or encourage gossip. Make it clear that talking or criticizing colleagues behind their backs will not be tolerated. 


Strive to create a positive atmosphere based on pleasant, open communication. 


3.    Dealing with Failure


Failure of some kind is inevitable. There will be a deal that comes unstuck or a product that flops. Maybe your project overruns its timelines, or an external event might jeopardize the whole thing. 


You need to help your team deal with failure, analyze what went wrong, and move on.


4.    Communication Issues


Human communications can be fraught with problems. People can reply to an email in the heat of the moment, not think things through before they snap back with a smart or angry comment. Or maybe someone is too anxious or scared to be honest about whether they can meet that deadline or not. 


Be prepared to have to step in and smooth things over from time to time. Be clear in your communications about what you expect, what’s acceptable, and what’s not. And stay calm if things go off the rails.


5.    Staying Focused


When you’re the top guy, everyone wants a piece of you. Everyone wants their priority to be your priority. Part of becoming be a good leader is learning not to get distracted from your primary purpose. 


It’s your responsibility to stay focused on the project, the team, and the organization. You need to deliver the outcomes that people expect of you. Keep your eye on the prize and your hand on the tiller!


6 Leadership Habits All Entrepreneurs Need to Have

Leadership might be one of the most underrated skills that an entrepreneur needs to succeed. When you think entrepreneur, what do you see in your mind? Chances are it's an energetic go-getter, a lone wolf making its way in the world. Maybe you don't see a strong leader inspiring their team onto greater heights of success. But real entrepreneurial leadership may be the thing that makes or breaks a business venture. 


Here are six leadership habits you should cultivate to be a successful entrepreneur and a great leader.


1.    Self-Knowledge


Strong, effective leadership is born of self-knowledge. A good leader and knows their strengths and weaknesses. They know their purpose and why they are doing what they're doing. They understand their business and their industry inside out. 


2.    Sharing your Vision


Owning your vision and having the ability to share that vision is key to inspiring your team and your stakeholders. 


If you don't have a clear idea of what you want to achieve, how can you expect other people to follow you, to believe in your product?


3.    Commitment to Your Team 


Entrepreneurial leaders are committed to their team. They believe in their team members' skills and experience. They foster skills and want their people to succeed. After all, a business won't grow unless the employees are flourishing. 


4.    Active Listening


A good leader is one who listens. Respected leaders know they need to hear what's going on with employees, clients, board members, and stakeholders. They make it their business to ask questions, sit back and tune into conversations, to discern what's going on. 


5.    Prioritizing Self-Care


Good leaders also know the importance of self-care for themselves and their employees. Set a good example by not working 24/7. Take regular vacations, don't eat lunch at your desk, or have working lunches. 


People who take care of themselves maintain high energy and motivation. They stay curious and are better prepared mentally and physically for busy and stressful times. 


6.    Embracing New Ideas


An essential element of being a successful entrepreneurial leader is to be open to new ideas. You need to be able to scent the wind and change course if necessary. Stay open to new ideas, be aware of what your opposition is up to, and of new developments in your field. Change is the new normal: model effective leadership to your team by being flexible and open to innovation. 

6 Ways to Encourage Loyalty Through Leadership

An effective, successful leader is only as good as the loyalty they inspire. True loyalty is built over time. Employees, clients, and stakeholders learn they can trust you and your judgment. You can't buy it, and you can't rush it. But how can you steadily inspire loyalty and build a team that will follow you no matter what?


Here are six ways you can start to encourage loyalty right now. 


1.    Build Trust


Developing a reputation for being trustworthy is gold for any leader. An employee who knows you trust them to do a good job will work twice as hard to please you and repay your confidence in them. Showing trust builds confidence in your team, as well as in your judgment. 


2.    Clarity


Clarity from the boss means everyone knows what is expected of them and that there will not be any unpleasant surprises. Good leaders are clear about what they want, their vision, and their standards. They also share information and keep their team updated on what's likely to impact the project. 


Make sure people know you will be upfront and clear with them, no matter what. 


3.    Be an Example


Good leaders are also role models for their teams. Be an exemplar of how you want your employees to behave. Be kind, pitch in when things are busy. Few things will make the team feel more valued than a leader who will roll up their sleeves and work with them to meet deadlines. 


4.    Develop Positive Relationships


A good leader will put time and effort into building good relationships. Please get to know your employees, their situations, and what's happening for them in their lives. Of course, you need to maintain healthy boundaries, but take an interest in your team as people, not just as employees.


5.    Encourage Your Employees' Development


Good leaders are committed to growing their teams' skills and experience. They know that a successful team is always learning and developing and that staff development is a sound investment in future success. 


6.    Be Honest and Open


Probably the most important way to build loyalty is to be open and honest in all your dealings. It goes back to being trustworthy. If everyone you deal with knows you can be relied upon to be truthful and open, you will soon be surrounded by supportive people who are fiercely loyal to you. Team members, clients, and board members will want to support you, work with you, and be faithful to you. 


7 Traits of the Dynamic Leaders

Some people think that exceptional leaders are born, not made. But if you want to rise above the pack and become a dynamic leader, there are some characteristics you can learn to develop and boost your leadership skills.


Experts have analyzed the top traits of extraordinary leaders. Here are some of the most common characteristics they share that you can learn to foster in yourself. 


1.    Intelligence and Focus. 


Not surprisingly, great leaders are smart leaders. They often are lateral thinkers and can think fast on their feet. Successful leaders are always thinking one step ahead of the game, making intelligent choices, and course-correcting when necessary. 


2.    Great People Skills


A good leader is a people person. That doesn’t necessarily mean that introverts can’t be good leaders. But they do know how to connect with and get the best out of their teams. They understand the skills mix and potential of their staff and want to help them grow and develop. 


Great leaders can also interact well with clients, stakeholders, and other leaders.


3.    Competence


As well as being smart, an exceptional leader needs to be competent, understand, and be able to do the tasks they expect of their team. A leader who can pitch in on deadlines that are looming will win their team's respect and confidence. 


4.    Willingness to Take Responsibility


Great leaders do not shirk responsibility. Remember President Truman's desk sign that read 'the buck stops with me'? True leaders are big enough to blame when things go wrong and are happy to share the accolades with their staff when they succeed. 


5.    A Drive to Achieve


A leader without passion and drive to succeed will not inspire their team. You need to be able to motivate your people into delivering over and above their commitments. Show your team that you care about achieving the project's goals, the team, and the organization.


6.    An Ability to Inspire Trust


Everyone you work with needs to be able to trust you. Trust is gold when it comes to leadership. According to your values and the organization’s values, if you act with integrity, you will win a reputation for being honest and trustworthy. 


7.    Creativity


Being able to think creatively is the secret sauce for exceptional leadership. A fertile mind always looking for innovative solutions will mark you out as a dynamic, impactful leader. Encourage independent, creative thinking in your team, and you will make a winning combination. 


Top Leadership Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

You want to be the best leader you can. But even if you have had management training and lots of experience, it's easy to make fundamental mistakes that impact your performance and your team's ability to deliver. 


Here are some of the most common mistakes people can make regarding leadership and what you can do to avoid them.


1.    Failing to Delegate


Micromanaging, being controlling, whatever you call it if a leader can't delegate, that spells trouble for the whole team. Many leaders feel they need to keep control over every aspect of the project. But you won't get your best out of your team if you can't let go and trust them. 


Learn the art of delegating, and you will get a lot more achieved and the respect and loyalty of your employees. Good leaders know they don't need to know everything about the project. Good leaders trust their team to be on top of things. Good leaders set up structures to make sure things stay on track and then let the team get on with doing what they do best. 


2.    Taking Credit but not Responsibility


Most people have probably sat in meetings and seen their boss take all the credit. Just showing up to collect the accolades is poor leadership. So is blaming their staff when things don't go so well. 


Good leaders share the glory and the blame equally. Remember President Truman’s desk sign that said ‘the buck stops here.’ Take that as your motto. 


3.    Not Being a Team Player


Responsible leaders are part of the team. They are there, working back with everyone else when the deadlines are looming. Good leaders earn the respect of their employees by working just as hard, if not harder, than their staff does. 


Real leadership is being in the office every day, first one in, last one out. They pitch in and make the coffee and print the slides and help clear up afterward. 


4.    Forgetting that Leadership is a Job, Not a Title


Sometimes people get into leadership positions and confuse their new job with being a dad from a 50’s sitcom – ‘because I say so’ becomes their motto and their modus operandi. They forget they were ever an employee and fall in love with being the boss. 


Good leaders never think that being the boss makes them a better person than the rest of the team. Good leaders care more about doing an excellent job than having their name on the door.