Becoming a great leader doesn’t take a lifetime of work. Rather, there are everyday habits you can start right now that will help you learn to successfully lead others. From communicating effectively to being courageous in the face of adversity, these tips can help you mold yourself into the leader you want to be today.
Learn to set clear expectations.
It’s fair to say that no one can read minds. So, it’s especially important to make sure you are setting clear expectations before starting a project or delegating an assignment. If you’re leading people on a project, ensure you’re being precise, both verbally and in writing, about what is expected and when you expect the work to be completed. If you’re being assigned a task, make sure you ask questions that clearly establish the expectations of your job before you start. By clarifying expectations, you decrease the opportunity for problems to arise and make it easier to deal with them when they do.
Focus on people.
If you’re a supervisor or a leader of others, it’s important to visit with your teammates on a frequent basis. Investing time in your co-workers helps grow your team and build trust, accountability, and understanding. And strengthening your relationships with those you lead helps you give important feedback during annual reviews. If you aren’t in a leadership position yet, the same rules apply. Getting to know your co-workers and being someone people trust is a great way to help you move up the ladder and get noticed.
One of the easiest ways to gain experience, network, and build your resume is through volunteering. When you give your time to help with community service or an organization that’s important to you, you’ll gain valuable relationships, enjoy the feeling of giving back, and gain skills you may not have otherwise. You may also learn how to lead others, which can be a valuable tool back at the office.
When faced with difficult decisions, leaders have to be brave. In fact, employees will often look to how a leader behaves during turbulent times before deciding how to react themselves. When you’re faced with adversity in the workplace or at home, take a deep breath and consider your options before moving forward. Remember to assess the outcomes of your decisions to learn from your mistakes and celebrate your accomplishments.
According to Forbes, 90% of top performing leaders possess an abundance of self-awareness. Having a strong sense of self-awareness means you have a clear image of yourself, which includes your leadership style, strengths, weaknesses, and skills. You know where you can improve, and you know where you shine. Once you develop stronger self-awareness, you can craft a plan for improving areas that need work.
Hold yourself accountable.
When things go wrong, it’s easy to blame someone else. But, great leaders know when they’re at fault. Instead of shifting the blame to someone else, own up to your mistakes and any role you had in the problem. Don’t be afraid of what may happen when you’re honest, and never point the finger at those who are not at fault. Furthermore, be there to back up those who need you when things go wrong.
Love what you do.
When you’re passionate about something, it shows. And often, it’s contagious. Take time to be thankful for your job and gain enthusiasm for what you do so others can pick up on your energy. Strive to share the passion you have for your work with others before boredom and apathy take over your team.
How do you prepare yourself to be a successful leader? Share your tips in the comments section below.
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