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12 Tips to Become A Better Leader

BEING THE LEADER OF YOUR TEAM



"Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it." -Dwight D. Eisenhower


Leaders help themselves and others to do the right things. They set direction, build inspiration and set the tone for everyone’s success.


Leaders use management skills to efficiently and effectively guide their staff in the right direction, bring change when needed and steadily improve performance.


Characteristics & Qualities of an Effective Leader


Honesty


Your business and your staff are a reflection of yourself, and if you make honesty and ethical behaviors a high priority, your staff will do the same.


The values and core beliefs that you represent should be at the forefront in your business practices. Remind yourself and your staff each day what your values and core beliefs are by posting them in your office or in the common areas of your business.


It is important to consistently promote and encourage your staff to live up to these standards. When you emphasize how important these standards are to you and your business, you will be able to influence your businesses environment to always be positive and an honest place to work.


Positive Attitude


Having a positive attitude is an integral part of being a great leader. Positive morale is connected to productivity rates and as the leader it’s your responsibility to instill positive energy. If you want your staff to be happy and motivated, you need to set the tone by having a positive attitude. When you remain positive (even during stressful times or situations) your staff will notice and follow suit.


If you want to keep your staff motivated towards the continued success of your business it is important to keep that positive energy flowing throughout every interaction you have with your staff and customers. Keep in mind that you are still running a business so ensure that the businesses mood maintains a fine balance between productivity and playfulness. If your team is feeling happy and upbeat, chances are they will go the extra mile for you at work.


Managing Failures & Setbacks


In business, not everything you strive to accomplish will go exactly according to plan. You may also encounter stressful situations or setbacks. An integral part of being a leader is knowing how to deal with those situations and guiding your team through the process without panicking. Remaining calm and working through these types of situations with a positive attitude and outlook will help to keep your staff calm and positive too.


Taking Responsibility


If you want a staff that can be held accountable for their actions, you must be able to take responsibility for your mistakes and actions too. Never make excuses or play the blame game. Take responsibility and then fix the situation or problem.


Developing the Skills of Others


Leaders not only lead by example but they help to develop the skills of their staff. Helping to improve and develop the skills of your staff leads to more confident and positive employees. Always be sure to share your knowledge and give your staff plenty of opportunities to achieve their goals.


Delegating


Delegating Tasks is an important part of being an effective leader and creating an organized and efficient business. You shouldn’t focus on doing everything yourself, rather focus on learning how to trust your team to help you progress and achieve your business goals.


Trusting your team with tasks is a sign of strength, not weakness. There will be times when you will be extremely busy and/or under pressure (whether it’s with your work in the business or other outside personal matters). Your tasks will begin to pile up and you stretch yourself thin, you may miss details and your quality of work will decrease. Delegating tasks to specific members of your staff will help to alleviate your workload and free up your time to focus on more important or pressing tasks. When you delegate tasks to your employees it shows them that you are confident and trust their abilities.


The main goal in delegation is identifying the individual strengths of your team and capitalizing on those strengths. Identify what types of tasks each employee is most capable of doing and the tasks they enjoy doing most. If a specific employee feels more confident in completing a certain type of task or find that task more enjoyable, they will most likely put their best effort behind it. This will not only prove to your team that you trust and believe in them, but will also free up your time to focus on owner level tasks, that should not be delegated. If delegation is done correctly, it will have a huge and positive impact on the productivity in your business.


Communication


Having great communication skills is an essential part of being a leader. You need to focus on clearly communicating your ideas, tasks and goals to your staff. A typical communication problem occurs when your idea, task, etc. is clear in your mind but when you try explaining that concept to another person it gets lost in translation. Focus on clearly and concisely describing what it is that you want. If you want everyone to be on the same page and working together towards the same goals, you must ensure that you’re properly relating your thoughts to your staff.


Clear communication also focuses on understanding what your staff is trying to communicate with you. Be sure to ask questions when you are unsure and communicate in a way that is easy for your staff to comprehend. You should always take your time and have patience when communicating so that you and your staff are on the same page.


Training new employees, delegating tasks and creating a positive and productive work environment all depend on good communication. Having an open-door policy, talking to your staff daily and making yourself available to discuss issues are crucial parts of the communication process.



Confidence


Successful leaders exude confidence even when things aren’t exactly going according to plan. As a leader, the important thing is not to panic and assure your team that setbacks or mistakes happen. The important thing is to remain focused on achieving goals. Your staff will take cues from how you act, react and exude yourself. When you remain calm and confident, you will keep your staff feeling the same. By showing confidence, you can inspire your staff to be more confident in their work as well.


Intuition


Great leaders have the ability to trust and listen to their intuition and use past experiences to help guide them. Use your intuition and past experiences to help guide your employees so they are focused and moving in the right direction with their work. Learning to trust yourself and your intuitions are important for your team to trust you.


Commitment


As the leader of your staff you need to be the most dedicated and committed person in the operation and success of your business. This is just not only a great business quality, but raises the standard of work for your staff.


Make sure that you lead by example. You cannot expect your staff to be committed hard workers if you are not. Trustworthy leaders also stick to their promises and commitments. When you show this type of commitment, you will inspire your staff to do the same, earn more respect and instill a good work ethic.


Inspire


Your employees are looking for inspiration and they want to have someone or something to believe in. It is extremely important (especially in the beginning stages of starting your business) that you inspire your staff to feel invested in the success of your business. Make sure that you are enthusiastic about all the hard work your staff puts in each day. Don’t ever forget to acknowledge the work your staff does and commend them for their efforts. As the leader, it is your job to keep your staff’s energy high, which starts by having a genuine appreciation for their hard work.


Approach


Not all of your employees are the same understanding those differences is an integral part of knowing how to approach certain employees. Your employees will have different cultural perspectives, language barriers, different educational backgrounds, personality traits and value systems. These differences can affect how they perceive and interpret you when you approach them.


For instance, some employees work well under pressure while some others may not. Some employees may respond best to tough love, yet others would take it personally. As a leader, you need to have the ability to customize your approach on a person-by-person and case-by-case basis.


ARE YOU AFRAID TO BE A BOSS?


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Author: Cheryl Hutchinson, Director of Franchise Administrations
JB Franchise Group, LLC