How to Be a Good Leader
A good leader is someone who aspires to be more than a boss. They crave change, innovation, and thrive on new ideas. In my experience, the most impactful leaders have been those that are passionate about a cause, they want to improve something, and they want to explore that idea by surrounding themselves with great people.
Here are five characteristics of a good leader:
Be Clear About Your Values
A good leader knows what their mission and values are. And hopefully, these values align with the business you are trying to build. If you are clear about what these pieces are, it will give people the opportunity to determine if they’re own values align with yours, and will help you find the right people to be part of your team. Communicate what you’re all about to build a connection with the people you surround yourself with.
Working alongside your team can be one of the most powerful tools when it comes to being a strong leader. Most importantly, you have to be willing to teach in these moments. This is valuable time to share your expertise, skills, principles and the life lessons you’ve learned. Good leaders don’t just tell their staff what to do, they lead by example, empower, encourage and motivate.
Get to Know Your Team
Don’t just set up meetings to catch up with or get to know members of your team. Eat in the lunchroom with the people that are the face of your business when you can. Have a quick chat about what’s new at the coffee machine. Drop into unsanctioned staff run events outside of the office and spend time with people in a relaxed environment. Genuinely getting to know your people doesn’t always come from a formal sit down.
Help Your Team Grow
Ensure that each member of your team is working towards something. A good leader will help their staff set attainable goals, and give them the opportunity to be successful in reaching them. Listen to what your team has to say. What’s working? What isn’t? Empower them, and support them in making innovative changes to your business. If they’re a success, you and your business will be too.
People want to trust that, as a leader, you are being fair, and this means finding the sweet spot between saying “yes” and saying “no”. A good leader will take responsibility, and hold others accountable. Be open and honest with your team. If something goes wrong, be in a position to communicate with your staff, own up to the error, and commit to fixing the situation by seeking input from your staff.
For some people, leadership comes naturally. For others, you have to work at it. Think about how you are implementing these five things within your business, or better yet, sit down and talk to members of your team about it. What are the things that you can work on? No leader is going to do everything perfectly, but seeking to understand how you can be better, will put you on the path to success.