Are leaders born or are they made? This has been a burning question for many years and one that has never really been answered. On reflection though, it would seem sensible to think that all the skills you need to lead effectively can be learned over time. After all, no baby is born with the inherent skills to lead an army platoon, be US president or a top business leader. This is great news if you are looking at sharpening up your leadership skills, as it means it is perfectly possible to do so.
You may be looking at moving up the career ladder and leading a team or department in your company. Alternatively, you may be an entrepreneur who wants to develop leadership as your business grows and employees come on board. Whatever the reason, becoming a leader is something that you can practice over time.
What makes a great leader?
If you’d like to know what makes a great leader, continue below to get a few ideas to work on:
1. Listen to staff – it can be tempting when leading to focus only on what you want your staff to do and instructing them. However, to be an effective leader, you need to listen a lot. This will help you gauge the morale of your staff and notice any issues that need dealing with promptly. It will also show that you care about your staff, and help to build loyalty with them.
2. Treat staff with respect – please don’t fall into the trap of being an aggressive, demanding boss when leading. It is important to be firm when needed and expect staff to do their best when at work, but you should always treat them with respect. This will help motivate them to perform in their roles and also want to put extra effort in for you when you need it.
3. Don’t have favorites – another golden rule is to always treat all staff fairly and to the same standards. If you tell someone off for being 10 minutes late every day, you can’t let another member of staff get away with it. If you have favorites, resentment will build against you and create a bad atmosphere within your business.
4. Work hard – the chances are you will have worked for a lazy boss before and know how frustrating it is. A great leadership skill to have is to lead from the front and by example. If staff see you working hard, they will be motivated to do the same and will respect you more as a leader.
5. A strong personality – having the strength of character to know your own mind and the self-confidence to express that is a key skill for effective leadership. You will come across many strong characters in your working life and must be able to stand your ground in a professional way when in discussions with them. Mark Green is someone who you could take direction from here, particularly for the strong personality he has built up over his working life. From a member of the US Special Forces to high-flying business professional and respected politician, he has used his strength of character to succeed as a leader in all these spheres.
6. Take advice – one great tip to being a successful leader is to take advice from people you trust around you. It is impossible to be correct in every decision you make, and there may be times when you are unsure of what to do. When this happens, don’t be afraid to take advice from other people to help make sure you come to the right leadership decision.
As you can see, there are many great tips and skills you can employ to become a better leader. Most of them can easily be developed over time or are simple to implement. By taking the time to do so, you are making sure you will be able to lead your team or business as effectively as possible.
Becoming a better leader is not hard
Although it may seem like a big task, developing the right skills and strategies to be a better leader is not too difficult. It really is worth making the effort, as it can help you rise to the top in your current organization or see more success as a business owner. No one is born with all the natural leadership skills that are needed in business, so it is a case of doing what you can to learn them over time.