All throughout life, there will always be leaders and followers. From grade school, to the workplace, to groups of friends, leaders and followers are fairly easy to pinpoint. Neither position holds a more negative role than the other, but I seem to find in my years of both leadership and follower roles that many leaders don’t really know how to lead effectively. Just because someone is designated the role of “leader” does not mean that they know how to lead.
In my years of experience, I’ve been able to compile a list of leadership tips. I encourage you to go through them, compare them to your current leadership style and share your own helpful tips in the comments.
- A good leader is also a good listener. Just because you’re the head honcho does not mean that no one else has any kind of say in the group. Effective leaders are open to suggestions, comments and concerns from all group members. It’s more than barking orders and bossing others around; your job is actually to listen, evaluate and implement.
- Don’t get cocky & take all of the credit. Sure, it’s a great honor to be a leader, especially in the workplace. However, in my own experiences, I’ve seen many leaders make fatal errors: They take the credit for themselves and fail to acknowledge the group they have behind them. Understand that without your group, many of the things accomplished would not have been completed. By not giving thanks and recognition to your group, the group may not be the warmest and friendliest to you. In the most recent case I’ve seen, a majority of the group moved to other departments and areas just to avoid working with the leader any longer. They abandoned ship and are now thriving in a new group with a leader who is a lot more thankful for his team. Let’s be honest: No one wants to work for a tyrannical jerk.
- Keep the lines of communication open. Don’t be one of those leaders that is constantly saying “no.” Don’t leave anyone out of emails relating to the group. Make it a policy to avoid closed-door conversations as much as possible. By doing this, you’re showing your group that you’re a transparent leader and you want them involved in every aspect of the group – including the decision-making. You’ll be respected greatly for it.
- Let everyone know what’s expected of them and ask them what they expect of you. This is an important tool in leadership. By asking the group you’re working with what is expected of you, you’re not only opening the doors for communication, but you’re making it your duty to make sure that everyone is on the same page of expectations. Doing this can increase your productivity, as everyone – including you – now knows what is expected of them. Keeping that dutiful promise is another way that you’ll be respected in the workplace.
I hope these tips have helped you open your eyes to more effective leadership, and that you implement them in your personal, scholastic or professional life. Again, please feel free to leave your own tips in the comments. I’d be eager to hear what other great tips are out there!