Leadership can be difficult to quantify, despite the fact that most people desperately wish to understand what it takes to be a strong leader. To really get a handle on the concept, it pays to spend some time researching and studying. The guidance below is intended to help any burgeoning leader do precisely that.
Use a mentor. Find someone whose leadership skills you trust, and model your behavior after theirs. Watch them for a while, and get an idea of how they lead and what makes them a good leader. You don’t want to mimic them completely, but find what works about their style and incorporate it into a style that works for you.
Say thank you to your employees. Many studies have been done on the power of a thanks given from a manager to his or her employees. It increases productivity, often by a lot. Just a little graciousness really can help extend your power as a leader, so be active about it.
Offer incentives to employees who continually perform well. You can use a standard model with known rewards or surprise good employees with some type of recognition and bonus. Be sure you don’t make promises that you can’t keep. Always encourage your employees to do their best work and make sure each one understands their role in your organization.
It is not effective to be a leader if you are not able to set a good example for others. You cannot sit around giving out orders and expecting people to follow then if they don’t have respect for you. The best way to earn respect is being a positive role model to others.
Trust the people who work for you and do what you can to help them develop their specific talents. Although you must provide direction to your employees, you do not need to look over their shoulders all day. If you find yourself doing this, you may not have hired the right type of people for your company.
Work to build cooperation within your team. Always be available to answer questions and hear concerns. The people working for you should have an easy time doing their work without having to rely on you too often.
Remember that no matter how much you care for a business you work for or own, many of your subordinates are just there for a paycheck. This means that their daily behavior will often just subconsciously mimic and even amplify your own. That means that your good mood and passion can be contagious. On the other hand, so can your malaise and stupidity.
Caring for others is the heart of great leadership. A leader should never look down on others or view followers as a tool to be used to get results. A true leader never has to bully others to get results. Genuine concern about the welfare of others leads to trust, the foundation of loyalty.
Nurture growth in your team members. You can do this by offering help and solutions when they make a mistake instead of punishments. Understand that everyone makes mistakes, and show your workers where they went wrong when they make one. A great team is not hired, it is built through teamwork.
Most people wish to be effective leaders of others, but very few actually succeed in doing so. One of the most effective methods of acquiring true leadership acumen is to learn as much as possible about those who have gone before and the attributes they had in common. The article above can serve as an ongoing resource for anyone wishing to undertake just that sort of study.