Key factors to being an effective leader

Successful businesses rely on effective leadership. The principles of leadership are integral to designing the most effective team and inspiring your employees toward their best work. 

It’s important to understand the key factors that can help you rise to the top and lead your team like a pro. Whether you’re a CEO or Team Leader these tips can help you make the most of your human resources. 

  1. Communicate – Frequent and clear communication helps ensure that employees understand their responsibilities within the team so that they can complement one another. It also helps to give employees a sense of investment if you communicate big picture ideas with your team. Talk about overall goals for the project as well as individual responsibilities. Follow up on any discussions to make sure everyone understands the message. 

  2. Set expectations – It’ll be hard for employees to meet your expectations if they’re not clearly expressed. It is easy to fall into the habit of ‘figure it out as we go,’ but if you take the time to figure it out now you are much more likely to have your expectations met. Take the time now to set clear expectations for your employees with general rules of conduct as well as position-specific guidelines. When onboarding new employees or handing out new responsibilities, make sure to outline your expectations in writing. Setting the expectations early sets your employees up for success. 

  3. Don’t be afraid of failure – Failure can be a challenging word in business. Nobody wants to ‘fail’ and so we shy away from failure at all costs. That can be a limiting mindset. Don’t let fear of failure stop your team from reaching new heights. Try to encourage innovation in your team and reward the potential, not just the outcome. Failure gives us opportunities to learn and grow, and that can be valuable in your organization. Besides, some of the most important discoveries were technically failures. 

  4. Be deliberate in your actions – When you’re a leader, your team looks to you for guidance. That means all eyes are on you and you need to be deliberate in your actions. Pay attention to how you present yourself in front of your co-workers and be sure to maintain a professional attitude at all times. Give your employees confidence in your vision and skills by making sure your actions are consistently working toward an end goal. 

  5. Take care of problems quickly and effectively – Conflict in the workplace can spell problems in a team. Make sure you take care of any potential conflicts quickly and decisively. Ignoring problems will not make them go away, only grow into bigger issues. Conflict resolution classes are available to provide tools to help mediate resolutions. 

  6. Get to know your team and what motivates them – Get to know your team’s strengths and weaknesses so that you can help motivate them. Understanding why your employees act the way they do can help you manage them more effectively. People respond differently to pressures and motivations, and so it can be helpful to understand your team and what really drives them. 

  7. Delegate when necessary – You can’t do everything yourself. It’s important to delegate tasks to make sure you have enough bandwidth and to help grow your team. When deciding whether to delegate, think about whether this is truly a task only you can perform. If not, then think about who could do this task well, or who could benefit from the experience. Being a leader is about shaping the team, and sometimes that means taking a long view and giving employees opportunities to stretch and hone their skills. 

  8. Recognize and reward your team’s accomplishments – Don’t forget to recognize your team for a job well done. Organizational and personal success are the primary motivators, but its human nature to want to be validated among our peers. When your employees really stand out, take that opportunity to share your appreciation through a congratulatory email, gift card, or employee reward. It only takes a little gesture to garner the goodwill with your team. 

Being an effective leader means building and supporting your team. By understanding their strengths and weaknesses, and supporting them with empathy and humility, you can help encourage your team toward their best performance. 

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