Everyone who is part of a team, be that in a business environment or when participating in a leisure activity such as sports, aims to elevate themselves so that they’re in a position of leadership. The majority of people have their own ideas and desires for how a business or team should operate, thus want this position of power so that they can implement these ideas in order to improve the team and business.
The thing is, leadership is tough, as now, instead of just focusing on yourself and your own work, you also have the added pressure of overseeing the work and output of an entire team. This added responsibility may be overwhelming for some at first, due to how each action and decision made will have its own positive or negative consequences.
There are many skills and techniques people need to grasp so that they can effectively manage a team, make key decisions, lead by example, and motivate their staff and team members. As well as the typical skills required, such as good communication, strategic thinking, people management and planning, there are other factors that can determine your levels of success.
If you find yourself in a leadership position, and aren’t quite sure how to go about fulfilling the role, here’s a look at some of the common steps you can take to things you can adopt and bring into your leadership that all the masters in leadership have adopted and used in their own life. These tips should be able to make you far more effective while leading and make you more confident in the position to enable you to lead well for a long time.
Set Bold Goals
Masters in leadership are goal focused, so because of this are able to set bold goals early on in. Goals are what drives good performance, so setting them can be a good tactic to make your team more productive and effective.
It’s important that your goals are tangible and that they’re specific, as this makes them easier to track and follow over time. A good rule to ensure proper goal setting is to follow the SMART goals format, which aims to make your targets specific, measurable, attainable, relatable and time sensitive.
You want to set general goals for the business to hit. But masters in leadership will also set individual goals for each member of staff, so that they have a defined outcome that they should work to. This can make the staff member feel that you’re invested in them, which will boost their morale and give them a sense of progression, which in turn should motivate them to work harder and better for themselves and the team as a whole.
Act like a Leader From Day One
First impressions count, so to make sure that everyone is on board with you and your process, you need to figure out and then set your leadership style from day one. You need to display confidence and be self-assured, as this will help your team trust you and instill more faith into them that you’re the right person to lead and take the business or project forward. Remember the adage: fake it, until you make it!
It’s important to be respectful to others when you first start out, and treat them with empathy. You don’t want to be chewing out people in your first week after making a mistake, as this does nothing but make you look like a bit of a loser. Be sure to listen to suggestions and ideas, so that you can build up an understanding of your team’s strengths and weaknesses, and work hard to build up a good perception. Masters in leadership are able to set out their values, culture and desired tone of the group early on, as this is the driving force of progress and being a leader that others look up to.
Trust Employees With the Truth
It can be tempting as a leader to take on as much work as you can. This can be due to how you may feel pressured to set a good example, but this notion can easily force you to overwork yourself, stretch yourself too thin, and even tackle tasks that you don’t have the best credentials to work on. Masters in leadership can’t take on everything themselves, instead they delegate the tasks effectively to their team, which is the whole reason why you have one in the first place.
By surrounding yourself with talented individuals, you’ll be able to trust your team more and be more confident in passing tasks to others. If you communicate your vision well and have instilled a good culture and clear goals, then their output should match your expectations, but it’s also good to foster creativity and let them add their own flair to the project, as tolerance and adaptability are good traits for a leader.
However, you shouldn’t accept everything that’s produced. If things aren’t right and don’t match up to what you want, you need to be firm and you need to tell people. It’s critical at this point that you don’t take the project off them and do it yourself, as this will strip all their confidence that you’ve worked hard to nourish. Instead, involve them in the drafting process as this way they’ll learn what’s expected of them more organically.
Honor the Business’ Roots
Using the history of your business or team is a great way to create a sense of identity that members can clutch on to help them not only be motivated in their work but also feel some pride and self-worth. Leaders always want to ensure that they stay connected to the past, as moving too far from this foundation can make your business feel flat, wooden, and uninspiring.
Honor your early pioneers and maybe even adopt some of their practices that made them so successful in the early days. Having an established business with a history of quality service and products will help foster more trust, so be sure to celebrate that, as it can really aid in your marketing strategy.
Don’t Rescue People From Events
When staff are struggling and floundering in a new situation that they may appear to be uncomfortable in, the initial instinct of a leader is to step in and save them from that event, either by taking up the slack yourself or delegating the task to someone more suited to it. The problem with this approach is that constantly offering a safety net to team members means that people won’t grow and improve.
This is because they wouldn’t have had an opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them and will also make them more adverse to new challenges and experiences, which means that your team can stagnate. Masters in leadership will hold back and give their staff the opportunity to solve their own problems with their own agency. This goes back to being able to trust them and their processes. As they work things out and get more comfortable with what they’re doing, they’ll grow in confidence and hopefully start diving into new opportunities, which can help them develop further as both an individual and a team member, and make them more effective. Creating an atmosphere where staff feel like they don’t have the capacity to do anything outside their comfort zone will undoubtedly hold down your organization, business or team, so try to foster a healthy work environment.
Allow Time for Innovation
Leaders are allowed to be demanding and strive for change and innovation, however, it’s important to give your staff members the appropriate amount of time to draft new ideas and solutions to common problems within the workplace.
Setting swift deadlines creates pressure, and in a pressured environment, people are more likely to stick with what they know, meaning that their output remains the same and doesn’t develop further into anything better. Giving your team time to breath and the freedom to try new things can create a healthy breeding ground for brilliant ideas and innovation.
Despite this, masters in leadership will still be mindful to set a firm deadline for tasks, as this helps keep things moving on at a good pace, which is better for the energy of the business. Just make sure these deadlines are fair and allow time for drafting and planning.
Be Radical, Act Swiftly
Masters in leadership need to be able to act fast when at the top, and this is because business trends and business in general move really fast. Leaders need to help their business be able to capitalize on these shifts so that they can ride the wave of popularity to help the business be more successful. Acting quickly can help you stay ahead of the competition. You can’t hang back and wait to see what your competitors are doing, as this will give them the opportunity they need to rise above you and garner more popularity. Act fast and embrace new ideas and innovations, even if it forces your business to pivot from its original aims. Blockbuster didn’t innovate their business and adopt the streaming-at-home craze, and because of that they’re now no longer a global chain.
Be Passionate, Enthusiastic and Proud of the Business and Team
Masters in leadership will display a great deal of passion and enthusiasm for the task at hand, because without doing this and creating a sense of importance, then the rest of the team will definitely not engage with it as they should. Even if you’re not into the task and don’t have that passion, you need to be able to portray it as this will help lift spirits and make people more focused to work on it, boosting productivity.
A good way to demonstrate passion towards a business goal is to present progress reports about it regularly and to offer praise when substantial improvement has been achieved. As people spend the majority of their adult life at work, creating a sense of passion about what they do and instilling excitement about the future will be hugely motivating and inspiring.
Stamp Out Cultural Divide Between Staff and Management
In most workplaces, and even in recreational sports teams, there can be a massive divide between regular staff and team members and distant senior management. Masters in leadership need to be aware of this phenomenon and work hard to stamp it out and create a collaborative environment where everyone feels important and on an equal footing. Creating this more united atmosphere will help ensure that everyone works together better and supports each other, making the team operate more efficiently. This will make senior management feel more approachable, which can only be a benefit due to how this can entice staff to give more suggestions and think up more creative solutions.
For masters in leadership, the ability to make decisions is crucial. Even a leader that constantly makes bad decisions is better than one that hides away from critical choices such, because at least it shows confidence and guts.
Being indecisive can put your whole team on edge and can rip away any of the trust they put into you. Leaders need to be able to take charge and make the decisions for the good of the team and businesses. It’s useful to learn how to interpret data and conduct research as these skills will make decision-making a lot easier, as you’ll have context and deep knowledge about your options, which should help you make the right choice.
Related to decision-making skills is that business leaders should also be comfortable taking risks. This is because no business ever grew or became a global success by playing it safe. Risks are necessary, so masters in leadership need to be comfortable in taking them as well as learning how to identify the risks that are worth being taken.
Any indecisiveness or any inconsistencies in your decision-making process will undermine you and lead to a rapid loss of support and credibility.