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How to Become an Effective Leader
Some people are born leaders. For others, it’s a matter of honing inherent skills to become someone who can motivate and inspire others, but everyone is born with the ability to lead. In fact, researchers have found that leadership skills are only 30% genetic. It’s all about understanding the fundamental skills involved and fostering the right mindset for effective leadership.
Start by being a great manager
As a leader, you are first and foremost a manager. To do that well, you must be able to communicate and connect with your team. Only then can you understand their capabilities and weaknesses and how they work together to drive organisational goals. When you know that, you will know the best ways to get the most from them individually - and as a team. Unfortunately, that’s only the starting point. Becoming a leader is a little more difficult, which leads us onto our next point…
Be an inspiration for your team
Contrary to what some bosses might think, a leader isn’t simply there to tell people what to do. Leading a team requires trust and mutual respect. If you act with purpose, positivity, transparency and empathy, you’ll elicit confidence and trust in your team. And that’s when you get buy-in – an intangible, but invaluable asset when it comes to achieving organisational goals.
A good pointer here is to act as a role model for your team - instead of telling them what do, lead from the front and show them the way. Allow your team to make mistakes without reprimanding. Instead, empower them. That shows you believe in them and will motivate them to further success. And when they do succeed, praise and reward will drive them on to do even better in future.
Learning is for life
Your team members can help you get better at what you do, so ask for their feedback! And always keep learning. A successful leader understands that learning is a lifelong process. Read books on leadership styles and look out for training days and seminars that can help you hone your skills further. Some managers believe that leadership coaching in a real life setting can be invaluable when it comes to acquiring a leadership mindset. If there are leaders that you admire, observe how they work and learn from them.
Becoming a leader takes time, guidance and perseverance and so leadership development is an essential element of ensuring the success of a business. It doesn’t come overnight. You can practise essential leadership skills throughout your career. Doing so will improve your confidence, your skills and your career prospects.
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