How To Be A Great Leader

how to be a great leader

Learn These Skills to Be an Effective Leader

When you start your own business, you wear a number of hats. Perhaps one of the most important roles that a business owner plays is that of leadership. However, being in charge doesn’t necessarily make you an effective leader.

Leadership is partly intuitive, but it’s also a learned skill. Great leaders take the time to learn leadership skills to understand how to motivate their team members and how to collectively move the business forward to success.

When you are your own boss, you need to know how to be a leader who makes a difference.

Your Team Members Are Like Your Customers

Even though you’re in a position of power over your team members, you must always treat them with respect, compassion, and understanding. You must invest in developing a long-term working relationship that’s designed to yield mutual benefits.

A good rule of thumb is to treat your team members like you treat your customers. Without your customers, you don’t have a business, right? If you don’t have team members that will support your vision, you can’t grow your business either. You solicit feedback from customers, reward them for loyalty, and thank them for their support. That is what effective leaders do with team members as well.

Reject the idea of “servant leadership,” where team members simply follow orders without question or out of fear of consequences. Collaborate wherever possible and don’t be intimidated by ideas that weren’t your own to begin with. Realize that there’s as much value in listening to your employees as there is in talking to them. Empower your team members.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

It’s a good idea to state your expectations of employees in terms of workplace behaviour, development, targets, goals and so on. You also need to be prepared to put your money where your mouth is—that is, to lead by example.

It’s no good to establish yourself as the top dog and then simply direct traffic. If you expect employees to grow professionally, then you need to commit to personal development yourself. If you want your employees to dress a certain way, make sure that you follow a similar dress code. If you value punctuality above all else, make sure that you are always on time (or early). Tell your employees what you expect, then live up to those expectations, and they will follow.

Make Your Leadership Relevant

One of the most important leadership qualities is being relevant. You need to have a message, purpose, and direction that is relevant to those who are following you. That means getting to know your team members and understanding what matters to them most. Provide them with the space and opportunity to know each other as well as what your vision is for the future.

Get in the habit of soliciting creative solutions to challenges on an ongoing basis. That provides tactical information but also helps to foster a connection with your team.

Keep Your Promises

Among the leadership skills of good leaders is the ability to keep your promises. That’s how you build your trust with team members. From that trust comes the ability to take calculated risks and move your company forward. Team members will also be more willing to invest personally in their jobs if they feel that they can trust you. Honesty and integrity are essential leadership qualities.

You need to deliver if you promise something. Avoid the temptation of over-promising simply to get people excited. You are far better to under-promise and then over-deliver than fall short and disappoint your team members. If for some reason you can’t come through on promises, you can mitigate the damage by being transparent. Communicate in open discussions with your team members.

Leadership Qualities

Great leaders possess specific leadership qualities. So, make these habits your own. Desirable leadership qualities include:

  • Passion. You must also have the ability to communicate that vision effectively and to inspire others.
  • Confidence. Be assured of yourself and your ideas. That enables others to follow you along your path.
  • Empathy. Understand your team members and show them that you care about their professional and personal well-being.
  • Decision-making. Evaluate options carefully and quickly and be accountable for the outcome.

Good leaders aren’t developed overnight. You may make mistakes, but one of the traits of an effective leader is to learn from your mistakes and be open to translating those lessons into future success.

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