How to be a Successful Leader

business leader

Do you think you’ve got what it takes to be a successful leader? What you do every day, and how you communicate with and empower your staff are key ways to help you succeed. Some things you already do every day, without even thinking about them. Other things require consistency and encouragement.

Not everyone is born to be a leader though, and being a successful leader can take time and patience to practice and develop. Let’s take a look at some of the qualities a leader should possess.

What does it take to be a great leader?

To be a great leader, it takes patience, empathy and the ability to communicate with all levels of staff. How do you feel you measure up when it comes to communicating with your staff?

Do you take the time to listen to their concerns, value their suggestions and ask for potential solutions to problems they may see?

Something as simple as good communication can be the key to engaging and empowering staff. They will be observing your tone, pitch, body language, honesty, and transparency. How do you think your staff would rate you if we asked them?

Take Ownership 

One of the major influences on employee role satisfaction is how they feel about their boss. Have you previously lost quality staff, had higher than expected turnover in the business, or do you feel that your team aren’t as committed as you would like? Maybe it is time for you to consider the impact that you and your leadership are having on the business, and your employees.

As the saying goes, “The fish rots from the head”. If things aren’t as great in the office or the business, it might be time to consider your leadership style. A great mantra to remember in these times is, “for things to change, first I must change”.

It can be beneficial to reach out for support if you have identified the need to develop your skills. Having a third party’s guidance can significantly impact your business and the results you achieve.

business leader

Developing a successful team

One of the most important things you can do as a leader is to develop a successful and empowered team. As a leader, how do you get out of the way?  You don’t have to be the only person in your business who takes on responsibility and accountability.

Encouraging and empowering your team with the opportunity to take ownership of various tasks within your business can lead to a high level of staff satisfaction.

Sure, sometimes your staff may do things differently.  But different doesn’t mean wrong, it just means different.  Building up your resilience and learning to be ok with things being done in a different way is an essential skill when learning to be a successful leader. 

Allowing people to step up and grow in your business not only frees up your time for more important things (and maybe a little more of that elusive work-life balance) but helps to build their knowledge and skills too. 

You may worry that your staff aren’t ‘up to the job’, but If you don’t have the right people in your business, this will quickly become evident. And then you can take the necessary steps to get the right team around you.

Developing your leadership skills

Like many business owners, you probably started your business because you were good at your profession.  When starting out solo, you may have taken on all the roles in your business to save on costs. You were doing everything.  From the business accounts to marketing, HR, developing systems and processes and getting the work done. So when it reaches a point where you need to employ additional staff or outsource, it can be really hard to let go.

It all starts with finding the right people to surround yourself with.  Allow them to feel empowered, to step up. You need to give them the opportunity to have a go.  Sure, they may make mistakes, it’s how we learn.  However with time, you will increase your trust and you might find different ways of doing things that you had never even considered. 

empowering employees

Lead by example

Have you ever felt like you’ve tried so hard to tell your staff what to do, but they just don’t seem to understand? Have you ever thought about what your actions tell them?
It can be easy to ‘talk the talk’, but much harder to ‘walk the walk’.  Leading by example can have a much greater impact on your staff and how they feel at work every day.   Admit when you make a mistake, show appreciation when an employee does a great job and get in and help with the workload when timelines are tight.  Showing that you are not only a team player, but a great role model will be appreciated by your staff.
And remember, if your staff feel valued, worthy and empowered, they will work hard for your business. 

Handy Resources

Want to improve your leadership? Here are some great options to put on your reading list and assist in your professional development.  

  • Leadership and Self Deception by the Arbinger Institute
  • The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni
  • The Mindful Leader by Michael Bunting
  • Multipliers - How the best leaders make everyone smarter by Liz Wiseman
  • Mindset by Carol Dweck

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