No matter how long you have been in business, it’s never too early or late to continue to develop your leadership skills. Consider the following tips.
1. Manage energy, not time
Good leadership starts with managing yourself and then leading your team with a healthy diet, daily exercise and stress management. Create a workplace culture that supports and encourages time out to reset and recharge.
2. Identify and harness clear purpose
Self-awareness and clarity of purpose invoke passion and drive in any task; good leaders spend time both on their own self-awareness and to identify and remind team members of their purpose and of the organisation.
3. A little humility goes a long way
When there is a company win, be sure to celebrate and credit the work of your team. While you as the leader have the option to take all the credit, selfish leadership won’t benefit you or your staff engagement in the long run. Your staff and customers will both notice and appreciate you sharing the accolades with all.
4. Clear communication and engagement
Communication and engagement have a greater impact on performance than corporate policies or bonuses. A top-down management model creates silos amongst teams who feel isolated from different parts of the business. Ensure the structure is set up in your business to enable clear channels for communication between all levels of the business as this increases the potential for better strategy based on all stakeholders being included in feedback and decision-making.
5. Have a positive attitude
Transformational leaders have an upbeat, optimistic attitude so even when things look grim and your team start to become negative, aim to stay positive. If you as the leader become negative or apathetic, the rest of the team is likely to follow. When a challenge hits the business, you need to be realistic but aim to maintain a sense of hope and optimism.
6. Lead by example
Leaders need to inspire action rather than just direct instructions. If you want your staff to demonstrate respect to their peers then you need to ensure you treat everyone you interact with equally with respectful language and full engagement. You need to walk the walk and talk the talk.
7. Be emotionally aware
Business is ultimately about relationships with people so you need to be emotionally intelligent to be able to see different points of view. Particularly during times of conflict, people often need to have their emotions and point of view understood before they can move forward.
8. Encourage creativity
Staff need to be encouraged to express their creativity to enable intellectual stimulation and professional and personal growth. This can be done by offering staff new challenges and then giving plenty of support to help them achieve these goals.
9. Introduce fun and laughter
We all know positive culture results in higher performance, so as leaders it’s about leading this culture both with small breaks and more, “fun” activities with your team. It may be a jog or walk in the sunshine, a game of football, a cooking workshop or if you can’t fit that into your schedule, maybe it’s just lifting the mood at the start or end of meetings.
10. Have several mentors
Great leaders are constantly learning and always trying to improve themselves. Be sure to have several mentors around you who you can be your trusted advisors when you have a learning opportunity to either give you the answer or point you in the right direction to find the answer or support you need.
Edwina Griffin, Health & High Performance Expert, energyevolution.com.au