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ways to be a Better Leader

8 Ways to be a Better Leader

Being a leader can either be daunting or exciting, and in some cases, both. What it shouldn’t be is indecisive. It is easy to get carried away when you’re the one on top since there might not be anyone to compare notes with. But if you get it right, you will gain a team that will stick with you to realize your vision.

According to a Forbes Jan 2019 article, only 22% of employees strongly agree their leaders have a clear direction for their organization.

It is fundamental in any team to develop leadership, and yet many companies experience a gap in this area. So here’s how you can be the best leader you can be.

8 Ways to be a Better Leader

1) Self-awareness

First and foremost, being a leader requires a high level of self-awareness. This means having clear thought in every realm possible. The most important one being yourself. It is imperative that you understand yourself in a professional setting before you lead a team. Understanding your positive qualities, definitely your negative qualities, and areas where you need to improve as well as areas where you know you have potential that needs a little encouragement is an important step, not only to your professional journey, but in your personal one as well.

2) Keep on learning and adapting

Being a leader will possibly mean you have a few years of experience and expertise in your industry. This means that you potentially should know more about your subject than your team. But in today’s market, it is more valuable for you to keep learning new and updated processes, theories and more. Especially in the digital realm. Since technology and the digital landscape is being adopted in every other industry, to be an effective leader you must be willing to accept that you have to learn some things within the context of your expertise, but something that your team might already be familiar with.

3) Think long-term, practically

Part of being a leader is also planning ahead for the whole team as well as the project at hand. Planning ahead requires a clear vision of a step-by-step understanding of the progress of the project at hand. It means that goals and targets need to be set and regularly met. They can’t be blue sky plans, rather practical and achievable targets.

4) Brief like a pro

Being a leader means you must be able to break down a concept into tasks and assign the tasks to the people in your team effectively. For your team to be able to understand and carry out their tasks to reasonable perfection, you as a leader, must be adept in your ability to communicate the task well. You must be able to inspire your team. Briefing your team is a highly valuable skill that can change your relationship with your team as well as the results of the project being worked on.

5) Listen to everyone

While being the leader of your team means you essentially instruct, guide, nudge, encourage them in a certain direction, it can be very valuable to hear what your team has to say before making big decisions. This not only makes you approachable in their eyes but you also get insight from them that you might not have thought of.

6) Consider data

While insight and experience might have served you well over the years, increasingly data is a big demand. This doesn’t mean your years of experience and inculcated demand is obsolete, but adding data to the mix is something that is required in today’s market. Having insight, experience and being backed by data is a combination that will work wonders for your team, company, and industry.

7) Pace the project

In a highly competitive market, it is beneficial to be able to deliver as soon as possible. It is also beneficial to deliver quality. Which is why understanding the capabilities of your team and pacing the project fast enough that you don’t lag behind, but slow enough that you can be as thorough as possible is one of the primary tasks for any leader.

8) Transparency and approachability

Being a leader means you must have the trust and respect of your team, and vice versa. While you must hold some amount of control over your team, it is also important to be an approachable leader who is transparent about work. This will create a positive environment at work and improve the quality of work tremendously. Rather than a leader your team might fear, being one that is approachable makes for a better working environment as well as better quality work.

Being a great leader is a process. It takes time to inculcate the principles and values of a great leader. Working on these aspects of yourself as a leader in a professional setting will make you the best that you can be and you will possibly have a team that will stick by you for many years.

FAQs

Q. What is the importance of being updated and able to adapt?
A. In today’s market it is necessary to keep learning new and updated processes, theories, etc. In a digital world even more so. Technology is being used in every industry so to succeed it’s important to be up-to-date.

Q. Why is it important to brief the team well?
A. The first step towards the success or failure of a project is dependent on the brief the team gets. Your team should be able to understand and carry out their tasks effectively. Briefing the team well means less chance for miscommunication and error.

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