Leadership is a crucial role in any organisation. Whether it’s a small group made up of a handful of people, or a multi-site business with workforce divisions across the globe, someone has to lead the team. Without an effective leader to set strategy and a vision for the future, mobilise the people and make the tough decisions, businesses simply flounder and fail. If you’re a Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Managing Director (MD), business owner or any sort of people leader, you’ll be acutely aware of how challenging the role can be.
So, what can you do to prepare yourself in order to be ready to take on the challenge of being the best leader you can be? This article explores a range of techniques leaders can use to improve performance in their day-to-day work.
At some point in their careers, everyone has had a boss who has asked them to do something they don’t usually do, such as come in early for a meeting, and then the boss was late for it. Having the “do as I say” attitude doesn’t make you likable and doesn’t earn you the respect of your team. A good leader is one who leads by example and does what they expect everyone else to do. If you expect your team to be hard workers, then you should be a hard worker too. By practicing what you preach, you earn the respect and loyalty of your team, and before long, you’ll see that they’re following your example.
Without a doubt, being an effective communicator is a top attribute of a strategic leader. You may have a clear vision of what you’re trying to accomplish, but if you can’t convey it to your team or colleagues, it will be almost impossible to carry out. By developing the ability to clearly describe what you want done and relate it to your team, you will unite everyone’s efforts. More specifically, your team needs to be aligned and on-board with your strategic objectives and goals to be successful.
Communication also extends to “softer skill” practices, like having an open-door policy or holding regular one-on-one meetings with team members. Express your vision clearly and then make yourself accessible to discuss anything going on in the office.
Your teams look up to you and if you want them to give them their all, you will have to be passionate about it too. When your teammates see you getting your hands dirty, they will also give their best shot. It will also help you to gain the respect of your subordinates and infuse new energy in your team members, which helps them to perform better. If they feel that you are not fully committed or lacks passion, then it would be an uphill task for the leader to motivate your followers to achieve the goal.
A good leader isn’t simply empowered to make decisions due to their position. They are willing to take on the risk of decision making. They make these decisions and take risks knowing that if things don’t work out, they’ll need to hold themselves accountable first and foremost.
Further, bosses who aren’t decisive are often ineffective. Too much effort working on consensus building can have a negative effect. Rather than simply making a decision, many leaders allow debate to continue, and then create a piecemeal decision that satisfies no one.