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August 18, 2015

Step Up Your Leadership Game – Here’s How

If you are in a leadership position in your organization or are looking to move into more of a leadership role, this blog post is for you. While some people seem to be born leaders, the rest of us can improve our managerial and executive skill set by better understanding what is asked of today’s business leaders and what we can do to hone those qualities in ourselves.

According to the Small Business Association:

“The increasing rate of change in the business environment is a major factor in this new emphasis on leadership; whereas in the past, managers were expected to maintain the status quo in order to move ahead, new forces in the marketplace have made it necessary to expand this narrow focus. The new leaders of tomorrow are visionary. They are both learners and teachers. Not only do they foresee paradigm changes in society, but they also have a strong sense of ethics and work to build integrity in their organizations.”

So how are these paragons of business excellence demonstrating these qualities to their employees and co-workers? Entrepreneur Magazine provides a useful top ten tip list, including these five standout suggestions:

  1. Lead by example
    “Probably one of the easiest things a leader can do is to show, not just tell. If you want your employees to be punctual, be punctual. If professionalism is a priority, dress for success and be courteous. Set the standard for your workplace and your employees will follow it.”
  2. Stay confident, but humble
    “In addition to having self-confidence and resiliency, a good leader should also be comfortable sharing the spotlight and giving credit to others. Taking a humble approach to leadership takes self-assurance and empathy that helps to build trust, and without trust, you will never be able to get the best effort from your employees. And not only with your employees appreciate it, your clients will, too.”
  3. Communicate effectively
    “Leaders must be able to properly communicate; the ability to clearly and concisely describe what you want done is extremely important. If you can’t relate your vision to your team, you won’t all be working towards the same goal. Healthy lines of communication will help your team learn to trust and depend on you, and they will be less hesitant to work harder.”
  4. Emotional Stability
    “It’s important to remember that being a leader is ultimately about relationships between people. To keep your team motivated towards the continued success of the company and keep the energy levels up, it’s a must to not only have a positive attitude and the ability to be sensitive to different points of view and backgrounds, but to tolerate frustration and stress as well.”
  5. Never stop improving
    “Great leaders embody an open mind for new ideas and possibilities and are constantly looking for ways to improve themselves, and when it comes to working at a company, that takes commitment. By proving your commitment to the brand and your role, you will not only earn the respect of your team, but will also instill that same hardworking energy among your staff.”

For another thought-provoking list of Grade A leadership skills, head over to Forbes Magazine, where they include these on their own roll call of favorites:  

Ability to delegate

“The key to delegation is identifying the strengths of your team, and capitalizing on them. Find out what each team member enjoys doing most. Chances are if they find that task more enjoyable, they will likely put more thought and 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 the higher level tasks, that should not be delegated.”

Creativity

“Some decisions will not always be so clear-cut. You may be forced at times to deviate from your set course and make an on the fly decision. This is where your creativity will prove to be vital. It is during these critical situations that your team will look to you for guidance and you may be forced to make a quick decision. As a leader, its important to learn to think outside the box and to choose which of two bad choices is the best option.”

What are some of the characteristics you see in the leaders you admire? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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