When I first began to write this post, I wanted to title it: 5 ways to become a better leader.
But then I got to thinking – what does “better” mean. Better could mean one thing to you than it does to me, and, in the end, does better mean you’re getting the job done? If you were the world’s “worst” leader (not that I’m saying you are), then becoming a better leader would mean very little, wouldn’t it?
So I decided that the best way to approach this post is with the idea of effectiveness. As a manager or leader in Australia, New Zealand or the US, you hope to be effective at your job to impart inspiration and motivation to your workers. More often than not, you’re just hoping to get out of their way so they can do the job you hired them for. You’re just there to keep the ball rolling.
So, how do you keep the ball rolling as a manager or leader?
1. Be a grand communicator: The days of a closed office and scheduled meetings are over. As a manger or leader, you need to be able to listen, and communicate with great skills and talent. Scratch that – you don’t just need to display these skills. You need to want to be a good listener. This doesn’t just mean nodding your head when your workers talk. It means verbally and nonverbally expressing care and compassion for each member of your group.
2. Don’t worry – be happy: As a manager or leader in Australia, New Zealand or the US, it’s your job to put out fires, meaning your day can really wear you down. But aside from being apprised of every issue and problem your group/office faces, you also have the task of shielding and protecting your staff. They don’t need to know all the obstacles that you know about. The more you dump on them, the more likely they’ll encounter workplace stress and lack of productivity. You have to come into work with an upbeat, positive attitude, so that your workers will follow suit. That way you and your staff are mentally prepared to handle any roadblocks you face along the way.
3. Be a motivator: Somewhere along the lines we forgot that motivation makes us want to do well. Kids get good grades, allowances, and an ice cream for doing a good job. But what about adults? In a world that’s becoming far too fast-paced, we forget to find a way to motivate and congratulate our staff. Offering effective recognition and rewards helps your staff feel appreciated and happy at work. In turn that makes them want to do more for you.
4. Don’t do it alone: You are not an island of one. There’s a reason you are a manager – because your goal is to manage people. Thus, you need to encourage your workers to contribute. Don’t always expect that they’ll know when to chime in. Often times they’re waiting for direction – direction that you need to provide. By encouraging contributions, not only will you find support for the many obstacles you need to address at work, but you’ll also nurture a team mentality.
5. Be a role model: Don’t think for one moment that your role as a manager or leader is that much more different than that of a teacher or coach. As someone in a position of authority, you serve as a role model – so fill that role with pride. Don’t just roll up your sleeves and get to work, but exemplify the types of attitudes and behaviors you want your staff to exude, and you’ll be amazed how they’ll fall in line with your examples.