Being a leader is close to being a parent. However, we all know that both represent a double-edged sword. Even if you think you are doing something right, you are actually doing it all wrong. So, what things should a good leader consider if she wants to be as close to excellent as one can possibly get in the eyes of the employees?
One of the things that come to mind is being humble yet confident, tolerant yet authoritarian, and appreciative yet careful not to be misused. Include the employees as much as possible in decision making. Be aware of the fact that you as a leader of the team are not the smartest person in the room and be open-minded to new ideas. And always, always be aware of the common goal: work hard to keep the company alive and earn honest money. You don’t have to be a loved or feared boss, you just need to earn respect and trust and give as much as you take. Treat your employees the way you would want to be treated.
According to the American Society for Human Resource Management 2017 Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Report, 61% of employees said trust in top management plays a significant role in their job satisfaction.
But, let’s elaborate on what every good leader should take into consideration, whether you are born with a proper set of skills to be one or you are not.
Honesty is Always the Best Policy
Be honest with yourself. Leaders always self-analyze and ask the brisk questions. Be relentlessly candid about what makes you strong and what are your weaknesses. You should not ignore the hard questions and choose the easy way out. You should take a positive attitude and focus on your strong points and try to fill in the gaps you may have. Admit the fact that you are not perfect. By being honest with yourself, you will be able to be honest with the employees as well. You need to display high integrity and truthfulness – do what you say you will do, and walk the talk.
Setting an example as a leader is vital, even with the best team. Therefore, rather than inattentively assigning tasks and practicing “Do as I say, not as I do”, encourage people to be candid with you about their workload, interest level, and potential issues. In addition, stimulate team members to give you feedback about your own performance and your attitude or behavior. If you treat everyone you collaborate with courtesy, your employees will follow your example.
Leaders who lead by example:
- Commit to goals and hold fast to follow them through
- Hold themselves liable and take accountability for their actions
- Acknowledge bust and are prepared to react and learn from it
Dedicate a Portion of Your Time
It is understandable that you as a leader are constantly busy. However, you should now use it as an excuse not to spare time for your employees’ questions and doubts related to work. A good leader must find time to listen to the employees’ needs and wishes. If you always meet an employee with the sentence “Now is not the best time” or “I am really busy right now”, don’t be surprised if they stop seeking answers from you and turn to someone who will dedicate more time to their queries. Bear in mind that leaders who willingly give of their time earn trust and respect from the people they lead.
Believe it or not, there is a correlation between the quality of the work space and employees’ productivity. Studies have shown that noise, light, temperature, and furniture layout are significant factors that influence employees’ productivity, engagement, happiness, and health. Therefore, you should go over, make changes, improve, and evolve the office space. You may experiment and test new layouts. In an average office, there are lots of files, documents, and other types of generated stuff that need to be stored and a self storage solution might be handy. By creating an inviting atmosphere, your employees feel more engaged, and you for sure qualify for a good leader.
Nurture Positive Working Climate
There’s no single practice for good leadership. It all depends on the personality, strengths, and weaknesses of a sole leader. However, if you constantly practice, you can become a great leader as well. Make small changes to your habits when you work with your team as actions of a leader always impact others. The team’s productivity and success revolve largely around the examples set by the top management. Establishing trust is not something that happens overnight. However, the leaders who invest the time to nurture a positive and respectful working climate will be compensated with more engaged employees who are loyal to the company.
A major part of building the trust with employees is consistency in your actions and words, be it how you react to project challenges or how you slap individuals on the wrist. Due to inconsistent messages and whimsical behavior, your employees will feel that they can’t rely on you to make an objective, honest, and fair course of action in crucial situations.
Therefore, you need to be consistent in order to:
- Make your team feel unified
- Establish accountability
- Build your personal brand
Hard to earn and easy to lose, respect and trust are two of the most valuable essences of a good leader. Employees look to you for guidance and developmental tell-tales that impact the way they react to a certain situation.
Leadership means communicating the vision, being well-defined with your team’s role, and let them loose to realize their targets. By trusting yourself, you are showing your team you trust them as well. Let them evolve into key players in the company. Every team member should be equal. No matter how big you get, you need to remember that you’re nothing without your team.