Contributed article in our business series. Enjoy! – Kimberly
Do you consider yourself a leader? Honestly, everyone is not meant to be a leader. The good news is that it is perfectly okay if you are not.
What is surprising is that there are people who are leaders, but they do not realize it. There are many different aspects of being a leader. The question you will need to answer is what is your leadership style and why?
There are a few business leadership skills that are key to helping you be a successful leader.
Show by Example
When you are a leader, you cannot appear to be aloof. You do not want to seem as though you are not interested in getting your hands dirty, or you are never around when your staff needs you.
One of the easiest ways to show your staff you mean business is to lead by example. You want them to be assured that you are willing to step in wherever there is a need, and what you do is recognized and understood by your staff.
When you are disorganized and you are not leading, you are basically chasing your tail. When you are disorganized, sooner or later your entire workplace will become disorganized as well. Are you messy and frazzled? Your team members will be too. On the other hand, when your team sees that you are prepared and organized, they will be too. Remember, people often imitate what they see, not what they hear.
Can you be a leader if you are not passionate? Many people would say no. If you are not a leader, you are simply pushing papers. Do you want your clients to see a leader or a paper pusher on your company’s YouTube commercials?
Your passion can inspire others to get the same level of drive and passion that you have. This does not mean that you must always have a cheerful disposition with a smile plastered on your face. However, you do need to exhibit that you believe in what the company is doing, and what your work is within the company.
As much as you would like to, you cannot physically complete every task that needs to be done. Being a successful leader also means that you must understand when you need to delegate tasks to other members of your team.
The key to delegating successfully is to allow each team member to feel a sense of ownership over the task you have assigned to them. It is important that they do not just feel as though they own the task, they must really own it.
If you are a coward or afraid of confrontation, you will run away from any challenging situation that may come up while you are leading your team.
For example, you and your team have been working on a project for the last 8 months and upper management decided to shelve it. What do you do? What if you need to speak with a team member about their declining work performance? Are you scared, nervous, or do you tackle the issue head on?
Leaders cannot be scared, they must be brave. They also have to be honest. Never try to sugar coat an uncomfortable subject because you are worried about the other person’s response.
With that said, do not be insensitive about the situation or your team members’ feelings. Always use a balanced and honest approach when delivering information to your team.
Are You a Good Listener?
There is an old saying that a person has two ears and only one mouth because they are supposed to listen twice as much as they talk. A key part to being a good leader is being a great communicator. If you are doing all of the talking, you are not leading, you are simply forcing your thoughts and opinions on to others.
People stay motivated when they know someone is listening to them. You can ask questions about anything that concerns them and needs to be clarified. By listening to your team members more, you will be able to respond to them more effectively. Improving your listening skills will also help you get to the core of an issue a lot sooner.
Great leaders are not made in one day. This is a process that takes many years of practice. If you are open to the idea of learning from others as you go along, and work as an active participant of the team and not a dictator, you will find that your team will be happy to follow where you lead them.by