October 23, 2019

Leadership 101

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As a leader, you have the opportunity to directly and positively influence not just your organization, but also the people who work for you.

One of the hallmarks of a great leader is that they genuinely care about their team’s personal growth and development. It’s vital that you establish trust with those who are working for you and help them find meaning and purpose in their work.I

t’s clear that many people in leadership roles are just not measuring up. They’re failing to foster a sense of trust and loyalty in their employees. It’s not easy being in the driver's seat, and it doesn’t always come naturally for some. Fortunately, it is a skill that can be taught and developed.

Leading others in a professional setting is one of the most difficult things to master. Instead of focusing on what may be going wrong, try focusing on what you can do to change the tides.

Here are three strategies to help you supercharge your leadership skills:

1. Empowerment

A good leader has faith in their ability to train and develop the employees working under them. Because of this, they are able to empower those they lead to acting autonomously. You have to trust that your team members are up for any challenge they might face.When people feel empowered, they are more likely to make decisions that are in the best interest of the company. You have to feel comfortable with allowing them to make important decisions on their own, even if it means they end up going off-script from time to time.

Remember, it's always important to put yourself in the shoes of someone up-and-coming within your organization. We've written about how to develop young leaders before, and it's the 101-leadership type of thinking that ensures you're sticking to the basics of what makes yourself a good leader, and how that translates into developing others.

2. Active listening

Good listening is probably the most crucial skill for an effective leader to practice. Communication is a two-way street; you have to listen intently whenever your employees share their concerns, struggles, and goals. This will put you in the position to help them work through challenges and provide solutions that will get them past roadblocks.When your staff feels heard, they will feel validated. It doesn’t just end there though, as it’s also your responsibility to turn their ideas and problems into action. Get them working through the hurdles they face and help make their suggestions a reality.

3. Balance your tendencies

Part of knowing your strengths also involves learning how to acknowledge and deal with your weaknesses. Take a moment to think carefully about the actions you take as a leader and determine how you can bring balance to the equation.Some managers have a tendency to over delegate and fail to give their team enough guidance when they really need it. Allow people room to work out a problem, but don’t be so far removed that they’re left feeling stranded without a lifeboat. On the other side of the spectrum, you have leaders that take on far too much because they’re afraid to give up control.

Doing this will prevent you from seeing the big-picture opportunities because you’re too focused on the smaller day-to-day details. It’s important to find a healthy balance between the two, and trust that the people working for you know what they’re doing.