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10 Ways to Become a Better Leader

by Sjaak Grijsen
  • Learning how to be a good leader can greatly impact the success of your team, your organization and yourself.
  • To be an effective leader, you must understand your own motivations, strengths and weaknesses.
  • Great leaders connect with their team by facilitating open communication, encouraging employee growth and development, and giving and receiving feedback.

Anyone can sit in a corner office and delegate tasks, but there is more to effective leadership than that. Effective leaders have major impacts on not only the team members they manage, but also their company as a whole. Employees who work under great leaders tend to be happier, more productive and more connected to their organization – and this has a ripple effect that reaches your business’s bottom line.

“I think a great leader is one who makes those around them better,” Dana Brownlee, founder of Professionalism Matters, told Business News Daily. “There are many litmus tests for a great leader, but I really look to those around them: Are they growing, becoming better leaders themselves, motivated, etc.?”

If you look around and see that your team members have become disengaged or stagnant in their work, it may be time to reassess and reform your strategies. According to Brownlee, the following behaviors are signs that you may have a poor leadership strategy:

  • No one on your team has criticized one of your ideas in the past month.
  • You spend more time planning your own career progression than that of your team members.
  • You haven’t had at least three completely non-work-related conversations with a team member weekly.
  • Different team members would provide different answers if asked your top three priorities for the year.
  • Team members are afraid to fail.

A recent study by the Center for Creative Leadership showed that roughly 38% to more than half of new leaders fail within their first 18 months. Leaders can avoid becoming part of this staggering statistic by incorporating good leadership strategies that motivate their team members to accomplish their goals.

One of the most important elements of effective leadership is creating an open line of communication with your team members. Sanjay Patoliya, the founder and director of Teclogiq , said that your own honesty and transparency should serve as an example for your team members.

“When you are responsible for a team of people, it is important to be straightforward,” he said. “Your company and its employees are a reflection of yourself, and if you make honest and ethical behavior as a key value, your team will follow.”

Brownlee added that great leaders are able to customize their interactions and communication styles to suit each situation and team member, based on individual preferences. “This means they take the time to figure out which communication mode is preferred by each team member – e.g., are they a text person, email, phone, or face-to-face? They’re also great listeners and are authentically interested in other people.”

Displaying active communication skills and transparency can build trust among your team and improve overall morale. Ruslan Fazlyev, CEO and founder of e-commerce solutions provider Ecwid, said that in all your communications, it’s important to be genuine above all else.

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