Leadership isn’t for the faint of heart. There is a lot of responsibility involved. Plus, the success or failure of the work falls on the leader’s shoulders. If a project or event was successful, the leader is praised. If the project was a failure, the leader is often viewed as a failure. If you’re the leader of a company or would like to become a leader, it’s best to know yourself well and identify who you are outside of the work you do. Otherwise, you run the risk of attaching your self-esteem to an organism that’s forever-changing and inconsistent. In order to be the best leader you can be, implement these nine tips.
1. Avoid the temptation to multi-task.
While it is tempting to want to work on an email, a report and a conference call at the same time, you’re really not able to give each project your best effort. As a leader, it’s really important to make sure you produce excellent work. Guard that commitment to excellence by focusing on one task at a time.
It’s often said that leaders are readers. If you want to continue to expand your knowledge base, it’s important to read. Make it a habit to read every day. If your day seems to be jam-packed, wake up in the morning and read for 15 minutes. Before you go to sleep, read for 15 minutes. Before you know it, you’ll easily multiple books within a month.
3. Prioritize email & correspondence.
Many people make the mistake of checking their email multiple times a day. On the other hand, there are others who get so overwhelmed by their inboxes and ignore them altogether. In order to stay on top of it all, set aside one hour every day to check all of the emails.
4. Know your team well.
Get to know the people on your team. If your people don’t know that you’re interested in them, it’ll be harder for them to connect with you. Connecting with your team is important for camaraderie, chemistry and company morale.
5. Make decisions quickly.
When it comes to success in the workplace, it’s always best to stay ahead of the curve and think on your feet. Work on your ability to think quickly by being as informed as possible in order to make sound decisions.
6. Simplify your goals.
If your goals aren’t clear and streamlined, it’s easy to become scatterbrained and lose focus. Break down larger goals into small increments and break down the tasks within the ranks of your team. As you simplify the goals, your employees will be able to adopt the vision and help it come to fruition.
7. Stick to a schedule.
Excellent leaders respect and understand the value of time. At the very basic level, timeliness is important because it shows others that you are considerate of their time. Plus, time is money and you don’t want to waste money. Keep a timed schedule and give yourself wiggle room for any unexpected events throughout the course of any day.
8. Highlight and celebrate the strengths.
If two of your employees worked on a marketing campaign that required visual collaboration with members of another team, celebrate their ability to work together. Highlight the work of your employees and celebrate the work that they do. This will encourage them to continue the production of great work.
9. Lead by example.
When your employees are able to see you working hard, it’s a lot easier for them to follow your lead. A leader must always be intentional about setting the tone for how the team does work. If you’d like to see the team members take initiative on certain projects, lead by example and show them how.
As you work on making sure you implement these tips, know that you’re not going to accomplish or master this list within a week. For some leaders, it’s a journey that lasts the lifetime of their careers. As long as you commit to the task of being a great leader for the long haul, everything will be okay.