During the summer months many people take the time to relax, recharge and prepare themselves for a typically busy fall. Being in a leadership role often means taking some personal inventory of your current leadership styles and how you can improve upon them.
If you are wondering what the most desirable leadership traits are and if you embody them, here are our top five essentials:
Demonstrate Authenticity and Honesty
Most of us have been in a position where we have been “managed” by someone who may seem disingenuous, withholds information or outright lies. Working for this type of person is anything but motivating. As a leader, you can raise the bar by demonstrating honest and ethical behavior at all times, especially when something goes wrong. Do not pass misguided blame. Instead be authentic by sticking to your values and views in a way that will inspire those that work for you and with you.
Be an Effective Communicator
Anyone will tell you that the secret to a strong relationship is being able to openly and effectively communicate. This also holds true for the manager-employee relationship. As a leader, you may know what you want, but you need to be sure that you are clearly and succinctly describing these goals (and how you anticipate attaining them). Being a good communicator also involves being a good listener. Pay close attention to your staff’s needs and keep an open line of communication with regard to how you are addressing their needs.
Know How to Delegate
As a leader, it is natural to ensure your project is done right by trying to take on the majority of the work and/or micromanaging your team. However, this approach can cause more problems along the way. Have trust in your team – you hired them! Have confidence in what they can accomplish and by doing so you will inspire them to accomplish great things! However, be careful not to delegate too much. You still need to manage in a way where you are leading by example. You want your employees to learn from you and feel comfortable coming to you as a resource.
Project a Positive Attitude
A leader’s approach to business goes a long way toward keeping a team motivated and ensuring continued success. Make sure things are up-beat and fun, such as providing small perks like snacks in the office or taking a team out for lunch. Having a positive attitude also involves being approachable and offering thoughtful advice and guidance when an employee is presented with a challenge. You should also try to incorporate some humor along the way, while promoting balance in the office. You want your team to work hard but you do not want them to be stressed and burnt out.
Inspire through Taking a Teamwork Approach
Nobody likes to work for a boss who delegates all the work but takes all of the credit. Be sure you are empowering your team in a way that presents them with opportunities to contribute and grow, while enabling them to feel part of a common goal. If the goal is achieved, make them feel like they all played a role and celebrate the shared success. Do not pass the success off as your own. People see through that and you will regret it in the long run.
Being a true leader is not always easy but when you take time to focus on the things that truly inspire an individual and a team, you will find it to be very rewarding!