Effective leadership skills can help you attract success in and out of your business.
Regardless of the size of any organization or business, leadership is vital. Hence, it can make or break your efforts in starting or growing your business. But what does it take to become a good leader?
This post explores vital strategies to help you become a successful and effective leader in your business and life.
7 Tips on How to Become a Good Leader in Your Business
Here are some practical strategies that can help you become a good and effective leader:
1. Understand Your Leadership Style
What Is a Leadership Style?
A Leadership Style is one’s approach to managing, directing, and motivating people. Your leadership style determines the well-being and success of your team.
Types of Leadership Styles
To become a good leader, you have to understand your leadership style. This will help you determine the things you should work on. There are several leadership styles — each has its strengths and weaknesses.
You could have a combination of two or more types. Hence, it’s essential to understand which type you use. Here are some of the types of leadership styles according to German-American psychologist Kurt Lewin:
- Autocratic leaders: These individuals tend to make all the decisions themselves without input from their team members. This style can be effective when quick decisions need to be made, but it can also lead to resentment and a lack of motivation among the mentees.
- Democratic leaders: are individuals who seek input from their team members before making decisions. This style can lead to more buy-in and commitment from team members, but it can also lead to slower decision-making.
- Laissez-faire leaders: are individuals who take the “hands-off” approach, allowing team members to make decisions independently. This style can be effective with highly skilled and motivated team members but can lead to confusion and a lack of direction.
Once you’ve identified your leadership style, you can work to improve your strengths and address any weaknesses. For example, an autocratic leader might work on soliciting more input from their team members before making decisions.
There are many other types of leadership styles to look out for. Here are a few tricks to help you determine which style you use more often:
- Take a leadership quiz.
- Get feedback from your mentees (A good leader is confident in receiving constructive criticism).
- You can also take out a pen and piece of paper or open a new page in your journal and answer the following questions:
- What are my core values?
- What motivates me?
- How do I inspire myself and others?
- Do I adopt a directive, authoritative, or collaborative approach when working with people?
- Do I focus more on completing the task at a deadline or care about the team’s time and feelings?
- Do I like teamwork or individual accomplishment?
2. Develop Good Communication Skills
Good communication can’t be overlooked in the life of an individual or in a business. As a leader, you must clearly and effectively communicate your expectations, goals, mission, and vision to your team members. You also need to be able to listen to your team members’ feedback and their concerns.
There are several strategies you can use to improve your communication skills. One of the most important is active listening.
Active listening involves focusing on what your team members are saying rather than thinking about your response. It also means asking clarifying questions to ensure you understand their perspective.
Another strategy is to be clear and concise in your message. Avoid jargon or overly complex language — use simple, direct language.
To communicate effectively, one must embrace empathy is a crucial component of effective communication. Put yourself in your team member’s shoes and try to understand their perspectives. This can help you communicate effectively and build stronger relationships with your team members.
Here’s how you can learn good communication skills:
- Attend leadership seminars and workshops
- Be open to feedback and criticism
- Read books and apply them
- Practice active listening
- Use body language
- Practice self-awareness and take note of your tone
- Avoid talking when you are in a bad mood.
3. Build Trust and Credibility
Trust and credibility are essential components of effective leadership. Your team members should trust that you have their best interests and are committed to the organization’s success.
One strategy for building trust is honesty and transparency. This means being upfront with your team members about the organization’s challenges and being open about your decision-making process. This concept also works for your brand-audience relationship.
Consistency can’t be left out. Your team members and audience need to know that they can count on you to follow through on your commitments and that you’ll treat everyone fairly and consistently.
Do you know that your customer cares about how you treat your team?
Therefore, be willing to admit when you’ve made a mistake. No one is perfect, and your team members will respect you more if you take responsibility for your errors and work to correct them.
Another way to build trust is to create a career plan for your employees and go through with it.
4. Set Clear Expectations and Goals
As a leader, it’s your job to set clear expectations and goals for your team members. It makes everyone work toward the same objectives — they stay motivated and engaged. An effective strategy for setting expectations and goals is to use SMART goals.
Goals for Behaviors and Work Ethics
It’s good to set clear expectations for behavior and performance. You can start by being clear about what behaviors are expected from team members and what performance standards they’re expected to meet.
For example, you may expect team members to attend meetings on time, communicate clearly and respectfully with colleagues, and meet project deadlines.
You can also adopt a positive feedback system and regular check-ins where team members can discuss key metrics and provide solutions. Regular check-ins ensure everyone stays on track and achieves goals promptly.
5. Encourage Collaboration and Teamwork
In today’s fast-paced business environment, collaboration and teamwork are essential for success. A leader who encourages cooperation can help to create a more productive and engaged workforce.
One way to encourage collaboration is to create a culture of open communication. Leaders should encourage team members to share ideas and opinions and provide opportunities for brainstorming and collaboration.
You can do this through regular team meetings, group projects, and other collaborative activities.
Creating a comfortable environment for sharing thoughts and opinions means creating a culture of psychological safety.
Consider creating a sense of shared ownership and responsibility. When team members feel part of something bigger than themselves, and are more likely to work together and support each other.
You can promote growth by involving team members in decision-making, giving them a sense of ownership over projects, and recognizing and rewarding milestones.
PS – While fostering collaboration, be mindful of the importance of diversity and inclusion. Encourage teams to learn from each other and work together more effectively. The result is increased creativity and innovation and fast problem-solving and decision-making.
6. Lead by Example
One of the qualities of a good leader is the ability to lead by example. A leader should model the behavior they expect from their team members and set the tone for the organization.
What are the core values you’ve created for the business? Or What culture and ethics does your company foster?
Do you know about the ripple-effect factor in leadership? You can influence the type of leaders of your company or business. Because your mentees aspire to be like you, it’s best to be the best version of yourself. That way, you are directly and indirectly leading others.
Here are some tips to help you lead by example:
- Demonstrate a strong work ethic
- Get tasks done promptly
- Put in the work
- Celebrate the small and big wins
- Take responsibility for your actions
- Deal with emergencies and errors responsibly
- Avoid the blame game
- Communicate clearly
7. Learn, Improve, Grow, and Repeat
Successful leaders are always learning. There’s the willingness to learn and improve continuously. In today’s rapidly changing business landscape, leaders need to stay up-to-date with the latest trends, technologies, and best practices in their field.
Continuously learning and improving benefits not only you but also the entire organization. When you constantly seek to enhance your knowledge and skills, you are better equipped to make informed decisions and solve problems more effectively. It helps you lead efficiently.
One way to continuously learn and improve is to seek out new learning opportunities. You can learn by attending conferences, workshops, and other industry events, taking online courses, and reading relevant books and articles.
You can learn from your employees by listening to their feedback, ideas, and concerns. It helps you make more informed decisions and develop more effective strategies.
Related: 16 Best Books for Small Businesses
Final Thoughts on Starting Your Leadership Journey
Becoming a good leader is something that takes time to happen. It requires dedication, hard work, and a willingness to learn and improve continuously. However, the rewards of becoming a good leader are many, both for the leader and the organization they lead.
If you’re looking to become a good leader in your business, the tips outlined in this post can be a great starting point. However, it’s important to remember that leadership is a journey, not a destination.
Therefore, be ready to accept and deal with challenges and setbacks. Be persistent and committed to learning and growth. With these, you can overcome obstacles and achieve your goals.
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Helen is a down to earth bibliophile who loves to write when she isn’t reading. She is geared toward making the world a better place by encouraging individuals to be self-aware, happy, and goal-oriented. She is a personal development advocate and mental health enthusiast.