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There are thousands of definitions of leadership, with each leader defining their own. But to explain to you in brief, leadership is about inspiring, motivating, guiding people to utilize their full potential towards a common goal. Leadership is an art as well as a trait or skill that you can develop.
Several leadership styles have developed over the period by various leaders. If you are an emerging leader and curious to learn how to lead, then let me help you out:
● Delegate Wisely:
Do you remember the infamous quote by Aristotle, “Well begun is half done”?
Well, this is a leader’s first job. Get to know your team. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the team and delegate work accordingly. And before that, Delegate! Don’t try to do all the work by yourself. Sharing responsibilities and delegating work will show your confidence in the team members. This brings me to my next point,
● Don’t Micro-Manage:
You don’t have to get into the details of the work and how to do it. Your responsibility is simply to get the job done. Give them room to make mistakes and figure them out on their own. Let them experiment with their strengths and weaknesses. Micromanaging is the pathway to unsuccessful leadership. Refrain from doing that.
With that being said, communicate clearly what you expect from your team members. Explain to them why they’re doing what they’re doing. Communicate clearly their role in the project allotted to them. Make sure you and the team are on the same understanding. Further, communicate regularly. Check with your team if they are facing any issues. If they are, guide them on how to find a solution.
● Be Approachable and Accessible:
Make sure people are not afraid to talk to you. Be Approachable. Another responsibility of being a leader is being there for them. If they need your help, make sure they can contact you.
● Set Goals:
Set goals for your team gives them a sense of direction and purpose. Make sure the goals you set for employees are working in alignment with organizational objectives. Give them specific, measurable, attainable goals. Track their progress.
● Create Opportunities For Your Team To Grow:
Good leaders make sure their team members grow too. As a leader, you have to create ample opportunities for your team members to learn and grow. This will keep them invested and motivated. When you show you care for your team, the team members will respond with productivity and efficiency. Create a win-win situation for everyone.
● Be Transparent:
Don’t sugarcoat words or show them the organization’s achievements with tinted glasses. If you don’t know an answer, be transparent about it. Tell them you will be back with the solution. Show them your human side, and they’ll appreciate it. Allow your team members to see that leadership is not about getting all the answers right alone. Instead, show them how collaborative spirit can help in problem-solving.
● Show Them You Appreciate Them:
It is really important that the work of your team members is seen. You acknowledge their hard work. You appreciate them working for you. They are valued. Recognize and reward good work always. It does not have to be monetary. Even a little verbal appreciation goes a long way. It shows that you are aware and appreciative of their achievements.
● Lead by Example:
You set the tone and work culture as a leader. What you do and say impacts the team members as you are considered a role model. Portray behaviors that you want your team members to imbibe. Be Disciplined. Make sure you deliver what you commit. Your work ethic sets a precedent for the work ethic of the team.
● Develop Emotional Intelligence:
If you want to be a leader, you must have an Emotional Quotient(EQ). EQ is as important as Intelligence Quotient(IQ). Having Emotional Intelligence lets you understand, use and manage your emotions better in difficult and stressful situations. It enables you to empathize and communicate better with others. If you develop emotional intelligence, it can assist you in resolving conflicts and overcoming challenges.
● Take Risks:
Do not shy away from taking risks. It is your job as a leader to take or tackle risks. The more risk you can manage, the better is the organization’s performance. Be agile. Be resilient. Be alert. Always look for opportunities and grab them. How you handle risk is the ultimate test of you as a leader.