Wise Tips On How To Become A Better Leader

by Zara Mohammed, Money Columnist


Published in Money and Finance on 19th November, 2019


Great leaders are always charismatic, confident, and just awesome to work with, don't you think? Everybody secretly wants to be that person who can take control of a situation, bring people together, and achieve amazing things. The good news is that there is a formula to being a strong leader, and anyone can master it, even you!

So keep reading to find out what defines a strong leader and the traits a strong leader possesses, what the benefits of having a strong leader are and the results you can see in the workplace, and discover 10 easy tips on how to become a better leader that you can put into practice straight away.

leader

What Defines A Strong Leader?

A leader is someone who has a clear idea of what they want to achieve, and sets out with one intention, to make a plan and lead people effectively in order to achieve that goal.

Strong leaders take responsibility for results, but they also possess specific qualities that set them apart from the rest. In order to be strong you must also be gentle, wise and kind.

Important Traits That Strong Leaders Always Possess:

  • Focus & Decisiveness - Every great leader knows that in order to get things done you have to be able to shut out the white noise, focus on solving the problem at hand, and then follow through with decisive action.
  • Accountability - It's one thing to lead your team forward with passion and positive energy, but if you can't hold yourself accountable for potential failures and setbacks, you are nothing but a fraud. Strong leaders always hold themselves accountable, and this is what makes us trust them.
  • Confidence & Optimism - These two things have the potential to be highly contagious. The savvy leader knows that positive leadership yields far better results than negative pressure, unrealistic expectations, reprimands and consequences. Love your team and they will love you back. Believe in them and they will believe in you too. Lead the way and set a great example and they will follow.
  • confident
  • Honesty - It's always the best policy. Give your co-workers a reason to trust you and they will give you a reason to trust and depend on them too. Honesty includes an open dialogue, fair and equal treatment, and realistic expectations and goals.
  • Inspiration & Creativity - People thrive when they feel inspired and are surrounded by creative freedom and the opportunity to express them selves. Great leaders know this, and make sure that they provide the team with everything it needs in order for individuals to develop skills and find enjoyment in their work.
  • Empathy & Encouragement - There is no such thing as failure in the eyes of a strong leader. This is because every "failure" is only an opportunity to learn and improve. Strong leaders make sure that others know this too by showing them empathy and encouragement, so that everyone can grow and reach their highest potential.

What Are The Benefits Of Having A Strong Leader?

Strong leaders are like gold dust to companies, because they have the power and experience to take things to the next level. This means that teams can strive towards success, and the sky has no limits. Most importantly everybody is left feeling awesome and hungry for more.

A strong leader has the ability to boost everything about a business, from how smoothly it runs to how well the team works together, not to mention helping to increase profit and the profile of the company.

10 Positive Results of Having a Strong Leader:

1. Developed confidence within the team.

2. Higher productivity and motivation in the workplace.

3. Strong team moral and loyal team members.

4. Support for the team when working under pressure.

5. Higher profit margins and increased revenues.

6. Improved creativity and innovation.

7. Higher levels of reliability and accountability within the team.

8. A feel-good vibe that exudes potential and power.

9. Smooth running and attention to detail.

10. Better listening and communication within the team.

10 Tips To Become A Better Leader Yourself

If all of this sounds daunting to you, and you are still not convinced that becoming a strong leader is achievable for everybody, here are 10 tips to help you become a better leader. Just follow these steps and you will be well on the way to making significant changes as a leader.

become a better leader

1. What Is Your Leadership Style?

Understanding your leadership style is the first step you should take in your quest to become a better leader. Work out your strengths and weakness. We all have them, and a great leader is well aware of what they need to improve on.

When you understand your strengths and weaknesses you are able to work out what may be hindering you. You can then develop a leadership style that compliments your personality.

Sometimes we can have preconceived notions of what being a leader should look or feel like. Being true to yourself makes you much more relatable to others, because they can then see the human beneath the "leader".

2. Nurture Creativity

You can be a more effective leader by offering your team members challenging but realistic goals, along with the support they may need to achieve them.

You can entice members to stretch their limits or step out of comfort zones so that everyone can grow in skill and confidence. Simply encourage creativity and give people every opportunity to express themselves, question things, and develop as an individual as well as a team member.

3. Be A Great Role Model

If you want to nurture transformations, you must show others what their potential is through your own actions, behaviour and accomplishments. It is far easier to follow someone you admire, and who inspires you to improve yourself.

So lead your tribe, give them something to admire about you, and allow them to follow in your footsteps. You don't have to be conceited or have a big ego. In fact these are things that will lead straight to failure. Instead, simply model the qualities that you would like to see in your team members.

4. Express Your Passion!

There is nothing more powerful in getting people excited about your goals than sharing your own passion about them. Passion is a pure, genuine emotion that comes straight from the heart.

It's difficult to fake passion, and it's difficult for others not to be moved by it. When you display your passion, you show others that you truly care about what you do. Others will then begin to care as well.

Remember, great leadership is not just about getting tasks done efficiently or reaching targets, it is also about connecting with the work you are doing and encouraging others to love their work too. A strong leader not only shows passion for the work at hand, but also for the development of each team member.

This shows that you care about the people who are doing the work, and not just the work itself.

5. Communication Is Key

Not many people know how to truly listen to others. We think we know, but most of the time we are focussing on our own agendas and not really listening to or acknowledging the other person's perspective or experience at all. It is a leader's responsibility to listen to and communicate fully and openly with team members.

This involves one-to-one communication with each individual, so that everybody feels valued and supported. By doing this you can ensure that everybody receives recognition for their achievements and the opportunity to make contributions.

You also gain a higher personal connection with your team members and an insight into what may be holding your team back as a whole.

6. Employ A Positive Mental Attitude

A Leader with a can-do nature and a positive outlook is an essential tool, which helps keep team members motivated and excited. With a leader that people can look to for inspiration and reassurance, any challenge can be faced head on and conquered with ease.

Leaders that seem doubtful or discouraged by events, or who appear apathetic to the group will project negative energy onto the team, affecting team moral and lowering productivity and a general sense of work fulfilment.

You don't have to constantly be upbeat or bouncing around an office, but remaining optimistic when faced with challenges is essential, and you should always show that you believe in the capabilities of the team.

7. Learn How To Motivate Your Followers

There is a reason that people hire personal fitness instructors, join a weight-loss program, or sign up for a course on how to write a novel. It is because it is far easier to maintain motivation when you have someone cheering you along and providing structure, guidance, and goals. There are many ways that you can motivate your team. Here are some simple ideas:

motivate your followers
  • Have A Suggestion Box - When team members feel they are able to contribute their ideas it is inspiring. It can encourage them to think more creatively and play a more active role within the team by coming up with ideas and plans. The opportunity to provide feedback also makes team members feel valued and more inclined to offer their best efforts.
  • Create Group Tasks - Some people thrive when they work alone, but when you work on tasks with other people it can be more enjoyable, and you can often get much more done. Separate your team into small groups and assign a leader for each group to delegate tasks. People will enjoy working together under the direction of their fellow co-workers for a change.
  • Give The Team Problems To Solve - This promotes teamwork and increases the sense of achievement and job fulfilment.
  • Offer Incentives, Rewards & Recognition - Team members need to be able to feel the positive results of their work in order to feel like it is worthwhile putting in their best effort. Sometimes the company's targets or a leader board are not enough. You can offer small enjoyable rewards that will help to motivate your team. For example, a drinks tab at the end of the week. How about an hour off at the beginning or end of the day, or extra long lunch breaks? Of course, paid bonuses or double commission always goes down a treat. Just don't forget to make them work for it. A little bit of competition in the workplace can be a healthy thing.
  • Keep Things Fresh - Try thinking outside of the box in order to come up with new ways to motivate your team. Don't let work life get stale. Keep team members guessing and on their toes. Spontaneity can always be employed to shake things up a bit when your team needs a reawakening.

8. Introduce Mentors & Role Models

We already touched on being a role model your self. Another great way to be a better leader is to provide your team with access to the insight and experience of other potential mentors and role models in your field.

Can you organise a talk? Conduct an interview? Arrange a field trip? These are some fun and useful ways to provide your team with the insight of valuable experience from others, and help them to think more deeply about what they want to achieve at work.

9. Self Development

What better way to improve your own leadership skills than to learn from the best? Enrol onto a course, attend a lecture, or complete a workshop. You will come away feeling inspired and motivated, ready to share your newfound insight, enthusiasm, ideas and skills with your team.

self development

10. Have Fun

All work and no play... you know the saying. It is important to find time to wind down and relax with your colleagues as well as with your own friends and family outside of work.

Strong leaders know when to step down off their pedestal, stop leading, and be on the same level as everyone else of the team. This enables you to connect on a deeper level with the people you work with. It also stops you from feeling isolated or overwhelmed with responsibility.

Organise a day out or an evening event that is completely unrelated to work. Enjoying drinks at a local bar can a simple way to socialise with work colleagues on the same level. Playing pool, darts, or card games on lunch breaks can be a good way to take the pressure off and express your personality.

You can even incorporate games into the workplace, if they are not too distracting, in order to make things more fun and light-hearted.

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