There aren’t many natural-born leaders, and those of us who are currently leaders have gone through a journey to be in that position. If you’ve had the chance to have been trained by someone else that may have been above you or possibly a mentor, then that is great! Even if you haven’t had that opportunity, you may be happy to know that many successful leaders have been self-taught. Most leaders take responsibility for training themselves to be effective, so with that being said take a moment to think what you have been doing as a leader. What are your strategies in leading those around you? It can be at home or in your workplace. Remember, that in your home there is always someone that makes the decisions for their loved ones, similar to what you would do when making decisions for co-workers/employees.
Whether you learn from the wisdom of others or get insights from personal experience, becoming a more effective leader is about what you do, not what you know. Here are five things that you can do to train yourself to be a great leader:
Keep your promises a.k.a be a person of your word.
It is very important to be a person that does what they will say they will do, especially when you are in a position leadership. This is for many reasons. As a leader, you have a desire and a need to have influence over those who are looking at you for direction, so you have to always follow through with what you say. Granted, there will be times where things won’t happen exactly how you plan or promise, but your duty as a leader is to remain firm in decision making and having a sense of direction when things don’t go as planned. You have to think fast. This also boosts your dependability and credibility with your team members. Always keep in mind that nothing kills your credibility quicker than unfulfilled expectations. This commitment will develop discipline and integrity.
Dress to Influence.
This goes for everyone, not just those with specific leadership roles. Don’t dress to impress, dress to influence. This means that you need to make sure that your appearance is consistent with your personal brand and professional brand. You must dress in a way that represents the best of who you are and who you want to be. If you aren’t quite sure about how you should dress, begin by asking yourself how a leader with your aspirations should appear to others. You don’t have to limit appearance to just yourself, you can apply it to your company!
Treat and train your team as you expect them to treat clients.
When it comes to this specific topic, it is important to not be hypocritical. You can’t treat your team badly and be inconsiderate and expect them to treat you or clients differently. Being a leader doesn’t give you a free pass to do whatever you want and treat others without having any consequences. Instead, you should take this as an opportunity to influence (keyword in leadership) your team members and give them the correct tools to be successful individuals. Always ask what you can do to help.
Show your commitment to personal growth.
There are two ways to grow your business: grow yourself and grow your team. As you and your team improve and develop, the quality of the services you provide will also improve. Your goal should be to implement and maintain harmony, starting with yourself and then lifting others up. When everybody is strong, the set targets can be reached with less difficulty and in no time.
Ask for feedback instead of waiting for it.
When in a position of leadership you have to ready for anything. You have to be open to receive any type of criticism from your team members, good or bad. It is important to not react when your team members tell you something that you may not want to hear because you may miss an opportunity to learn. You should also not wait for employees to give you feedback about how they feel in the workplace, what changes could benefit them, and how they may feel about you as a leader. You can be ahead of the game by asking what you can do to be an effective leader and be aware of their needs. Are you challenging them enough? Are you building others up? Are you doing things with a purpose?
Overall, listen and watch for actionable behavior. Be open to growth and assist in the growth of those around you. A true leader raises others up, not push them down.
Which of these actions will you take first to train yourself as a better leader?