We’re going to take a look at how to be a better leader by utilizing five highly effective and actionable steps.
Most leaders and entrepreneurs are very protective of the visions they create for their teams and organizations because they know what it takes to bring huge goals to life.
Eventually, leaders realize the need for help.
Suppose you are growing your team and want to be a better leader, more impactful teacher, or empowering supervisor in your workplace. This article is for you.
I set out to answer common questions I hear from those wanting to improve as a leader:
● What qualities make the best leaders?
● What makes someone a better leader?
● How can I improve myself as a leader?
We will look at five tactics you can immediately implement into how you approach your work to ensure you have a massive impact, and your team starts crushing their goals.
I challenge you to not think about whether or not you’ve heard the ideas below but to think about how effectively you are executing each.
There are times when being a leader will mean taking a step away. You need to make room for your growth, which means taking on new challenges and obstacles. While doing this, you will also need to find opportunities to allow your team to grow in the workplace.
Follow these strategies to empower your team and lead them to tremendous success:
1. Take Care of Yourself
A simple step, but it is often overlooked by many who have aspirations to become high achievers. Helping your team be at your best means ensuring you are taking time to be at your best.
Think about your best days. What do they have in common? Once you’ve identified trends, you can be intentional about recreating this energy.
Start your day with positive action and let that singular action ripple through the rest of the day. Having a routine will anchor your day in a way that feels whole. An act as small as making your bed can set the tone for your behavior in each interaction you have and each decision that you make
Drink a full glass of water first thing in the morning: Your body will appreciate it. A simple task to get the day started on the right note.
Meditate: Even five minutes a day can be a game-changer in allowing mental clarity throughout your day, leading to improved self-awareness and more consistent decision making.
Exercise: If you aren’t healthy, it’s impossible to be functioning at your best. You don’t need to join a gym or do crossfit, but do what you can. Ride a bike, walk, dance, do push ups, shoot hoops, or whatever you love most. You are blessed with a body meant to move. Use it!
Focus on Gratitude: Make a list of 3 things you are grateful for each day. Looking at the world with gratitude is a game-changer.
Great leaders know how to manage their time. This means understanding what work to do and what work to delegate.
Do the things that align with your strengths, and delegate everything else. Let someone on your team have an opportunity to grow by providing them with challenging assignments outside of their role.
Delegating also demonstrates to the team how to get work done by collaborating and using teamwork. As a leader, you will have the most significant impact by encouraging the accomplishments of others. When you empower people to find success, you become inspirational, and your team will start overachieving.
This practice is also a way to show your team that you trust them and value their contributions to the team. This respect will help your team take practical steps forward. There is nothing more critical in creating culture than first establishing trust. When team members appreciate and support one another, more work will get done because there is less fear associated with work pressures.
Avoid Micromanaging: Looking over your team’s shoulder at all times is not delegating. Be proactive and set up checkpoints in advance. This will help you set your team up for success as they will know what to expect.
Who is going to do what by when? If you have delegated effectively, everyone on your team will be able to answer this question.
Delegate assignments with a close deadline: As you start delegating, get practice by assigning items with a quick turn around. This will help you get in the habit of consistently following up.
3. Empower Your Team
There is an old saying, “If you want something done, you have to do it yourself.”
Forget that saying. It is a saying for a producer, not for a leader.
I know that it can be challenging to let someone else do something you have years of experience with. It might even seem counterintuitive at first.
Remember, practice is the key. Nobody is great when they’re doing a task for the first time. By providing opportunities for others to take on new tasks, they will feel an increased sense of ownership, which will lead to being more engaged in their work.
When your team member is focused on learning something new, remember to recognize their work and effort. Recognize the fact that learning something new is not easy. They may be initially critical of themselves as they try to impress you. Recognize mistakes as part of the process and ask them what they are learning along the way.
Force your team to solve problems: When your team comes to you with questions, resist the urge to give them your ideas and answers. Instead, put the problem solving back on them by asking, “What do you want to do?” This will help you understand their thought process while also giving them practice coming up with solutions.
“I believe in you”: Say these words often. Telling people they need to work on their confidence has the opposite impact intended. Instead, remind them that you believe in them and provide examples of times you’ve seen them be successful.
4. Allow Room For Innovation
Leaders who inspire are valued because they make their team feel present, valued, and empowered. When a team feels this way, they will be more likely to present new ideas to grow your business or help your organization win.Tweet
In life and business, it can feel more natural to stick with what has been working. Leaders need to remember that growth happens outside of the comfort zone.
What if there’s something better? What if there’s something right under your nose that could change the world?
When your team brings you a new idea, resist the urge to become immediately critical. People are more likely to present new ideas and insights when the environment feels safe and non-judgemental. It may take ten bad ideas to get to a good one, and the very best ideas frequently evolve from an original not-so-awesome idea.
Set the example and ensure your team understands the importance of being curious before critical and that new ideas are encouraged and listened to.
Relaunch: Find a system or process that isn’t getting to the desired outcome. Task a group to rework this process and propose a launch plan.
Carve out time for problem-solving: Learning to delegate tasks should help you carve out some space for yourself. Use this space for proactive problem-solving. This habit will help you avoid stress traps AND help you think through problems that may be bubbling up but haven’t been given attention yet.
Follow Don Draper’s Advice: When problem-solving, “Just think about it, deeply, and then forget it. An idea will jump up in your face.”
5. Guide Your Team’s Development
Performance impacts and today’s sales will always be a priority. But don’t forget about the tasks that will protect your team’s legacy. Most critically, developing new leaders.
Leaders create leaders, not followers.
Thinking long term for your team means ensuring the future leaders in your organization have a development plan focused on preparing them to step into leadership roles as they become available.
Making time to develop your people is difficult, as you are consistently being pulled in many different directions.
Make sure to block time off on your calendar to talk to each individual who reports directly to you. Use this time to ensure you understand their goals and partner with them to create a plan to help them get there. It is up to them to own their development. In order to be a better leader you will need to be there as a guide and to set up milestones to track their progress.
Schedule Monthly Development Conversations: Keep these conversations on the calendar! This will demonstrate to your team that their development is a priority.
Match Development Focuses on Challenging Assignments: As you begin to get aligned with your team’s development focus, look for opportunities to provide them with challenging assignments that will help them grow in their selected area.