If you’ve ever had the pleasure of working with a true leader, then you know just how imperative this role is when striving toward a common goal. Leaders have the ability to spring a job into full gear by providing critical feedback to their team in a timely matter and remaining organized throughout the process. But leaders also have the ability to derail a project should they approach their team with anything less than expertise and respect.
How to Be Sure Your Leadership Skills Are Doing the Trick
As you know, leadership can come in many forms. Leaders can be quiet from a distance, leaders can scream in your face, and leaders can work closely alongside you. But what type of leadership works the best? Perhaps that isn’t for me to say, but I’m sure we can all agree that leaders need to possess an array of skills that allow them to be both empathetic to their team and effective in their field. Not only must they emphasize these skills, they must also work earnestly to improve them in order to maintain a consistent air of authority.
Seems fairly obvious, but every leader must possess the knowledge and skills associated with success in their given field, no matter what the field is. In order to be sure you possess an effective amount of knowledge, take on the mindset of a beginner. Imagine you know little about your field and actively work toward expanding your proficiency through research, conferences, trial runs and field studies. Again, this is just a mindset. Don’t approach a team member and tell them you don’t know anything, but remain humble to the opportunity for further training and growth wherever you can get it.
Build on Confidence
And this doesn’t mean just for yourself. This means for your entire team. Whether you have four people working for you or 40, every member of that team is crucial in the achievement of a goal and the success of the group. Rather than holding weekly performance reviews to remind your employees where they can improve, try focusing on the areas where they have shown immense value. Work on building the pre-existing positive traits throughout your company, instead of attempting to build a foundation for culture out of all the things you lack. It is important to think of your team members as wheels in a cog. If one wheel stops functioning due to failed tactics, the entire machine stops. Failure, or areas where you can vastly improve should be treated like oil. When applied carefully, the machine will run smoothly and with little error.
Know WHEN to Change Tactics
In other words, evaluate your approach to leading a group. Be open to constant change. If one method doesn’t seem to bring you closer to a goal, don’t be afraid to utilize a secondary strategy. How can you tell when a change is needed? Evaluate your team progress. Have you moved further in the last week than the previous week? Have you met your goals or exceeded your goals? Should you find yourself unsatisfied with the answer, employ a new tactic. Your team will appreciate the fresh air.
Being a leader is about so much more than bossing people around. Leading a group comes with its own set of challenges — some easy and some more difficult. The most important thing to remember about being a leader is the inevitability of change. Geography changes, topography changes, and one day leadership, too, will change. An effective leader will remain an effective leader so long as they bend with the times and continuously upgrade their current thinking to match the growth and expansion of the world around them.
She spends her days pondering what makes a good leader, and dreaming up ways to teach these virtues to her sons creativity enough that she’ll get more than groans and eye rolls in response.
To read more of her work, follow her on Twitter @faulknercreek