5 Ways to Become A Better Leader

blog102113The job of a corporate leader is to guide a team towards success, reaching specific goals. But in order to inspire and motivate that team, a leader must relate to individual team members and what drives them to excel. Leadership means creating an environment where team members also relate to one another. The ability to influence and inspire – to truly drive people toward a common goal – encompasses both natural and learned skills. 5 ways to improve leadership effectiveness are: understanding motivation, connecting & communicating, focusing on the positives, showing instead of telling, and finally, asking for feedback.

1. What’s Your Motivation?

If a person in a leadership position views what he or she is doing as “just a job,” it’s going to show. In order to be an effective leader, you need to have the right motivation. Is it the money or the prestige you care about, or do you sincerely want to inspire people to do their best? You really need to ask yourself why you want to lead and if necessary seek tools and resources to help you become a better leader. The best leaders view leadership not as a burden, but as an honor and seek to make the lives of the people around them better.

2. Connect & Communicate

Leading a group of people requires a mutual sense of trust and understanding between the leader and team members. As a first step toward that goal, leaders should learn to connect. Building a real personal connection with your teammates is vital to developing the shared trust necessary to build a strong culture of accountability and exceptional performance. With that kind of culture in place, the team can achieve success, develop a more engaging environment and create greater team and individual fulfillment.

See our previous blog on emotional intelligence as we believe at A Better Leader that being a “more human” leader requires positivity, purpose, empathy, compassion, humility and love. These key traits will put you on the road to genuine connections with the members of your team. As a leader, you also need to be aware of the way you communicate and to clearly communicate your directions and needs and do it in such a way that makes sense to the people you’re talking to.

3. Focus On The Positives

As much as leaders wish that their team’s day-to-day operations could run smoothly all the time, we’re all human, and every leader is bound to run into obstacles. Whether it’s a minor miscommunication or something major, the way a leader handles a negative situation says a lot about his or her leadership skills. Robert Mann, author of “The Measure of a Leader,” recommends focusing on the good in any set of circumstances.

“Look at three positive things about a problem before you identify what makes it dissatisfying,” Mann said. “The more you look at the positives in a problem, the more positively people react with one another.” This involves moving from a focus on what is going wrong to what is going right. Here is something to think about, Don’t let perfect get in the way of better.”

4. Show, Don’t Tell

Better leaders show others what is required rather than simply telling them. Leaders should coach team members toward a more collaborative, committed work environment — without coaxing them. Leaders that control their teams to do certain things in certain ways will not get the level of engagement the leader is looking for. It also will not get your team accountable and feel ownership. Coaching is about helping the people you lead recognize the choices they have in front of them. People will then take a ownership over the direction of the project.

5. Ask for feedback

An honest self-assessment of your own leadership skills can be difficult. This is why feedback from mentors, accountability partners, or team members is invaluable in evaluating your effectiveness. Also seeking out leadership training resources like “A Better Leader” can help you discover areas that need improvement. Gaining immediately usable skills can be more highly motivational and lead to sustainable changes more quickly than working through this type of feedback on your own.

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How do your leaders motivate employees? Share your thoughts by emailing me at bradp@projectionsinc.com.

Chris Craddock

As the leader of Projections' production team, Chris loves to inspire others to perform at the highest levels! From the most challenging leadership opportunities to brainstorming the latest topics leaders want to learn about, Chris provides clear direction and vision.