You know what it is to be led, and it is now your turn to lead. Whether you have been in your role for years or just days, here are our 3 ways to become a stronger leader.
Understand your responsibilities
Leading a team is a responsibility and a privilege. There is an art to managing a team and the very fact that you are taking the time to read this article indicates that you understand this, that you are seeking to improve all of the time. You need to view yourself as a leader, with the responsibility to steer, inspire, motivate, nurture and develop your team.
In order to lead your team, you need to have a clear direction yourself. If it is your own company, then ensure that your vision for your business is clear to you and help your team to understand this. If you are working for someone else, then you need your boss to clarify the company needs and expectations and how these translate to your department. Understand what they want you to deliver, so that you can work on this with your team.
Strong leaders communicate effectively, and they do so consistently.
When we talk about deliberate communication, we mean that you need to take the time to structure and communicate effectively and powerfully all of the time. When you communicate, it needs to be a deliberate action.
Communication takes many different forms and you will probably find that much of your day is taken up by this, it certainly should be.
Informally, there will be morning greetings, so keep them positive and upbeat. There will be chats throughout the day about people’s home lives, so pay attention and take a genuine interest. Good leaders care about their employees, not just their employees’ performances.
Formally, seek to hold a few minutes briefing every morning to set people up for the day with clear expectations and plans. Hold regular reviews with staff on a one to one basis helping them to achieve their goals and holding them accountable for doing so. Team meetings should communicate any changes, targets and objectives and give everyone a chance to be heard.
You will want to engender a sense of free and open communication within the workplace, with everyone encouraged to have their say and contribute. You will also want to reward, recognise and praise daily.
Brush up on your skills
When you are leading a team it is easy to get caught up in their development and coaching needs. You become focused on any training gaps or support that they need. Whilst it is great that you are dedicated to leading them, you do need to ensure that you look at yourself from time to time.
As your career develops, so should your skills. Many things you will learn on the job and other things you can learn elsewhere. Always seek to add further strings to your bow, so whether it be ENT Training if you are a medical professional or the latest software packages if you are in graphic design, go on those courses and grow your own skill set.
Staying on top of your own skills means that you will not only be better able to do your job, you will also be enhancing your career prospects and reputation along with setting an excellent example for your team.
Do you need work on your leadership skills? Share with us how you are going to make it happen.