Leadership is a position where people can thrive, fall back in the shadows, or abuse their power. It takes time, discipline, and a focus on continued learning to be a great leader. You will not only have to be a leader of people but also a leader if yourself. If you expect the best from people under your leadership, you need to hold yourself accountable to the same standards. A great leader leads by example and not merely by their words. How to become a better leader can not be taught, however, learned with right practice.
Many people have stepped up to the position of leadership and failed miserably. The reason this occurs is because they do not understand what being a leader is all about. They only see the power they possess and not the responsibility that comes with this power. If you want to be a person who succeeds as a leader you will need to commit yourself to truly understanding the leadership position.
We have gathered the qualities that are needed to be a great leader. By implementing these qualities into your own leadership, you will equip yourself to become a leader whose team has great success. After all, a leader is judged by their team's results and not their own individual achievements.
1. Listen to your team
A real leader understands that their team needs to be listened to and not just heard. When you listen to your team, you understand their issues, which helps you create a better working environment for all your team members. When this is achieved the performance of your team improves, instead of leading a team that has a lot of internal issues.
2. Communicate as efficiently as possible
It is one thing to talk to your team and it is another thing to communicate with them. Communication means that you speak with the intent of ensuring that your directions and goals are understood. Let your team clearly know your expectations and how everyone needs to work together to ensure they are accomplished.
3. Be an example
A leader holds themselves accountable for their own actions. This helps their team know what is expected of themselves. When you operate with high standards, your team knows they have to follow your example or risk being seeing as incompetent, which would lead to their dismissal from your team. If you operate without standards, you will find that you have a team who has no discipline or values.
4. Be passionate
Passion is what pushes your team to achieve greatness when they are faced with challenges. You will need to constantly put on a great performance, and be enthusiastic about your mission, which will be motivation for your team to be great.
5. Be consistent
The Consistency of excellence is what leads to great results. Greatness is achieved when your consistent actions and behaviors are built upon one another. This is how leaders build great teams, by encouraging their team to perform with excellence every day.
6. Make firm decisions
A great leader does not question themselves about the decisions they made. They understand that if they show unsurety, it shows their team they are not a confident leader. You never want your team to question your ability to lead them.
7. Identify mentors and role models
You need to learn from people who have experience in being a leader. They can help provide you with insight on what works and does not work when leading a diverse team of people. Never think you know it all, or do not need help. Education is a never-ending process.
8. Know your limits
Just because you are in a leadership position, it does not mean you are superman. Even a leader needs to know when s challenged is too much for them to tackle by themselves. Know when to seek help so that you do not compromise your team by making a bad decision.
9. Know your strengths
Your strengths are undoubtedly what put you in a leadership position. Play to these strengths so that you help your team move forward by focusing on what you do best.
10. Know your weaknesses
Nobody, no matter how great they are, is free of weaknesses. The best leaders identify their weaknesses so they now how to improve themselves. When these weaknesses are known, leaders surround themselves with people whose strengths are their weaknesses.
11. Don’t make excuses
Excuses are just reasons to stay stuck in mediocrity. Leaders own up to their mistakes in order to eliminate the behavior of making excuses. This also is a great behavior for their team to mimic. A team with no excuses is one that works to consistently improve their performance.
12. Accept the unforeseen
No matter how great your planning, there will be times when your plans are blindsided by issues that were not accounted for. There is no need to dwell on what you cannot control. You must learn how to adapt and proceed forward achieving your goals and initiatives.
13. Do good
Doing good days and having good energy returns good back to you. Get involved in your community, help the less fortunate, and help others become successful. You are given more when you give more of yourself.
14. Meet new people all the time
Networking is how you get people aware of your business. This is why networking is so important. You never knows who knows who, and who can put you in contact with the person who can provide you with the opportunity you need take your business to another level. Continually add to your network contact base, and work to build solid relationships with these people you meet..
15. Stay in touch with your emotions
You need to be aware of your emotions, but do not let them affect your judgment or performance. When your emotions go unchecked, they can disrupt yours and your team's ability to succeed. It would reflect bad on you to lose a big client just because you could not control your emotions while conducting business.
16. Temper your reactions
Do not explode and cause a scene that is hard for you to recover from. When you feel as if your emotions are about to get the best of you, take time to step back and breathe for a minute. Clear your head and gather yourself so that you do not speak with your emotions rather than your mind.
17. Have fun
Even though it takes hard work to be successful, that does not mean you have to promote a working atmosphere of strict behavior. Sometimes it is best to let loose and have fun so that stress does not become a negative factor for your team. Have specific days where your team can relax and have fun while working. It is best to promote a fun atmosphere everyday though, so that your team performs better due to their minds not being burdened with a lot of pressure.
18. Think everything through
Even though you do not want to procrastinate when making decisions, you also do not want to rush and make hasty decisions. This can lead to you putting your team in a position that is detrimental to their success. Therefore, you want to be sure that you analyze both the pros and the cons of the choices you are about to make before the final decision is made.
19. Choose your team carefully
The team of people you surround yourself with will be the ones who determine your success. This is why you need to thoroughly research the backgrounds of the people who you are thinking about bringing on to your team. If a person’s values do not align with the values you have set for your team, they can completely destroy the harmony of your team.
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20. Prioritize your team
Give your team the resources and environment they need to produce success. You want to always think of how you can put your team in the position to succeed. Study the who performs best in what area on your team, and place them within assignments where their talent can thrive.
21. Be humble
Nothing is worst than a leader who thinks they should be worshiped due to their position. When this occurs their team starts to resent them, and will try to undermine their leadership. This leads to a dysfunctional environment where no productivity can occur. In this situation, a leader will soon find themselves being led by someone else who exemplifies what real leadership is about.
22. Forgive yourself
Mistakes will be made when you are in the leadership positions. Due to the high pressure that comes with your responsibilities, you will sometimes not make the best decisions which can set your team back. When this occurs, you must have the resolve to keep pushing forward and correct your mistakes. There is no reason to beat yourself up and question your abilities as a leader. Just learn from your mistakes and use them as lessons learned to be used to make wiser decisions.
23. Be rational
Never make decisions based on emotions. You must think of what will work best to put your team in a position to win. Remember that business cannot be taken personally all the time. Unless the issue is particularly serious, you need to let go of your emotions and think about the best position being achieved for your business. Think with a long-term view, rather than making a decision with a short-term mindset.
24. Be reasonable
Leadership means that you will be in the position of guiding a diverse team of people with different viewpoints and values. Disagreements will occur, and you will have to think of how to bring resolutions to these disagreements with a fair decision. Therefore, a leader must be able to employ great conflict resolution skills when having to correct any issues occurring within their team.
25. Make time for what’s important
A leader has so many responsibilities and a lot of pressure to handle. Sometimes these pressures can become too much to handle, and this is when it is time to step back and get away from everything. Spend time with your family and friends so that you can refresh your mind. Get work off your mind for a couple of days so that you can completely rejuvenate and come back to your business with the energy needed to lead your team towards success.
26. Constantly learn
Great leaders constantly read in order to improve the thoughts and ideas that are produced in their mind. Reading helps to expand your mind and think quickly when forced to make tough decisions. You also will want to take any classes that can help you improve your individual performance and leadership capabilities. Once you stop learning, you not only fail yourself but you also fail your team.
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27. Never give up
As a leader, things will get tough. You will have to deal with so many different factors in order to keep your business operating and to provide for your team. It can be a challenge to keep going when no one truly knows what you are dealing with as one person who has to provide for many others. You must remember your vision when you are faced with these tough times, and keep pushing forward despite what you are dealing with.
28. Transform your methods when necessary
Do not be stubborn when your strategy is not working. Know when to pivot and try something different. If you try to push your methods through that are not working, you are hurting both you and your team. Great leaders understand that sometimes you have to try something different from the initial plan in order to produce the successful results.
29. Cut your losses when necessary
There is no reason to keep trying to revitalize a losing effort. If a person on your team is doing more harm than good,let them go. If a product or service is costing you money, let it go. Do not try to make something work which is clearly not working in your favor. Eliminate your losses and increase your gains.
30. Learn from your mistakes
Mistakes are opportunities to learn how to lead and operate better. If you are making the same mistakes over and over again, that means you are not learning from them. After a mistake is made, find out why it occurred so that you can know how to avoid making it again when the same situations come back around.
31. Make your decisions with data
When you are making a strong case for why your decision is right, back your argument up with solid facts. Present the facts that clearly show why your decision is the best decision in regards to helping your team achieve their set goals.
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32. Give feedback
Always provide your team with feedback that informs them of their strengths and weaknesses. You want your team to constantly work on improving themselves so that your entire time works as a strong unit. Communicate how each person’s position works to enhance the work being done by other’s position on the team.
33. Trust, but verify
Do not be a micromanager who has to constantly be involved in their team’s work. When you do this, you not only disrupt your team’s workflow, but you also prohibit your ability to operate effectively as a leader. Allow your team to accomplish their task, and only check with them occasionally to see how their work is coming along, and if they could use any help.
34. Be approachable
Keep an open door so that your team can come to you to discuss their opinions about the business. You want for your team to completely trust you as their leader. This helps to keep an open communication policy in your organization, which is needed when faced with challenging moments that require complete honesty from everyone on your team.
35. Treat everyone equally
Playing favorites is an elementary tactic used by leaders who do not understand human emotions. This creates competitive environment that does more harm than good. As resentment is spread throughout your team, distrust and dysfunction is produced and, your team can never succeed from that point forward.
36. Don’t pursue close personal relationships with the team
Even though you want to be friendly with your team, you do not want to cross the lines of professionalism. People tend to try to use the personal relationship you have with them to their benefit. So if you cross that line, it can be used against you, jeopardizing your positions as a leader.
37. Return favors
You should always seek to pay people back for any help they have provided to you. This shows that you are a person who looks out for those who look out for you. You are able to form stronger relationships when you are known to have this quality.
38. Don’t burn bridges
You never know who you what you will need along your leadership journey. If you are nasty to someone based off of your position being higher than theirs at the moment, you may soon find out they have been put in a key position that can put your business in a favorable position. But you will not receive their help due to how you treated them in the past.
39. Stay in touch
Just because one of your team members leaves, it does not mean you have to cut off communication with them. They could move on to opportunities that are good for your business. If you were a good leader, and you still communicated with them after their departure, they will think of you first when an opportunity arises that could beneficial to your business.
40. Don’t sacrifice your personal life
There are many leaders who have a successful professional life but a terrible personal life. This is because they sacrificed their personal life in order to achieve their professional success. Although being a leader will take up the great deal of your time, you still need to make time for your personal relationships if you want them to be successful also.
41. Enjoy leadership
Leadership can be fun, while also being a tough challenge. Learn to appreciate all aspects of leadership. If you do not enjoy what you do, then you will find it hard to be successful as a leader. Think about the greatness you are focused on achieving, and remember that you are leading a team dedicated to helping you accomplish these goals
As you can see, leadership is made up of so many qualities that are needed in order to be successful. If you are committed to success, though, you will become a leader who thrives in their position. Also remember that leadership is about making those under your leadership successful. If your team does not succeed, then you will not succeed.
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