Becoming a leader is going to be a priority if you are trying to find success as a business owner.
You have a whole team of people relying on you to ensure that your business is a successful one, you need to step up and raise your standards. You want to be described as someone who is a natural leader and develop an ability to inspire others and make tough business decisions.
Influential people and leaders know how to get the best from their teams, work toward common goals, and foster seamless communication. You need people to trust you and for that, you need self-accountability and engagement in continuous skill development.
From taking on the Ph.D. & EDD Organizational Leadership course to asking your team what you need to be doing differently, you have to explore various strategies and evaluate your progress to ensure that you and your team are on the right path.
Here are the top tips to grow your leadership skills:
1. Capitalize on your strengths, and work around your weaknesses
You may be the leader of a team on paper, but that doesn’t mean that your team will always have your back. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses can help you come up with a leadership style that suits your personality.
There are plenty of courses and questionnaires you can take to figure out where you have the most potential, and what are the areas where you need extra help. For example, you might be detail oriented, but miss out on important social cues from your teammates.
One of the best ways to learn more about yourself is through taking the Strengths Finder test. For just a couple of dollars, you can go through an elaborate questionnaire, and quickly realize what are your natural strengths and how to use them effectively in your organization.
2. Determine your leadership style
There are many leadership styles, so you must figure out which one is best for you. Some leaders are extroverted and like the hands-on approach and constant communication, while others prefer a more low-key approach, asynchronous communication, and careful planning.
Similarly, you may like to give your team plenty of freedom or you might lead with an authoritative style. No matter what you do, you need to determine which style is right for you and your team and build your organization accordingly.
3. Improve specific leadership skills
If you want to improve who you are as a leader, you need to choose to develop specific skills. You can target them and set a goal to develop skills one by one. Developing a plan that will help you to monitor and meet your progress is a great idea. For example, if you determine to work on one skill each month, within a year you’ll vastly improve your leadership skills repertoire. Some of the top skills you should develop as a leader include:
- Empathy: Understanding and sharing the feelings of others.
- Active Listening: Truly hearing and interpreting the underlying meaning in others’ messages.
- Communication: Being able to convey ideas clearly and effectively.
Decision-making and Problem-solving
- Critical Thinking: Evaluating information and situations carefully to make thoughtful decisions.
- Problem-solving: Identifying issues and using logical reasoning to arrive at solutions.
- Risk Assessment: Understanding and evaluating the potential downsides before making a decision.
- Self-awareness: Understanding one’s strengths, weaknesses, emotions, and drives.
- Self-regulation: Controlling or redirecting disruptive impulses and moods.
- Motivation: Being driven to achieve for the sake of achievement.
- Delegation: Knowing how to assign tasks to the right people.
- Conflict Resolution: Addressing and resolving disputes effectively.
- Team Building: Creating a team atmosphere based on trust and collaboration.
- Visionary Thinking: Being able to see the bigger picture and how small moves can impact future events.
- Innovation: Willingness to try new things and encourage others to do so.
- Goal Setting: Establishing clear, achievable objectives.
Influence and Inspiration
- Persuasion: Convincing others to understand and support your viewpoint.
- Charisma: Having the charm and confidence to inspire others.
- Leading by Example: Demonstrating the behavior you want to see in others.
Adaptability and Learning
- Flexibility: Being able to adapt to new situations.
- Continuous Learning: Never assuming you know it all; always being open to new experiences and knowledge.
Ethical Conduct and Integrity
- Honesty: Being truthful and sincere.
- Accountability: Owning up to your mistakes and taking responsibility for your actions.
- Ethical Decision-making: Making choices that are both effective and ethical.
- Diversity and Inclusion: Being aware of, and respecting, different cultural contexts and perspectives.
- Global Awareness: Understanding the global context in which a business or team operates.
4. Develop your professional network
Expanding your network, getting to know professionals in your arena, and ensuring that you have contacts is vital if you want your leadership abilities to improve. You can solve more problems and make better decisions with a wider network because it gives you more resources to draw upon when needed.
Networking is going to be best achieved during industry events and interacting with peers in your field during webinars and informal online meetups. From here, you can build a huge network of people there to support and guide you.
5. Become an insatiable reader and learner
Effective leaders continuously expand their knowledge and you can do that by curating your reading list and resolving to read for at least 30 minutes per day. If you keep up this pace, you’ll read around one book per week, so within one year, you’ll have a vast pool of knowledge to draw on to make better decisions as a leader.
Taking online classes, investing in yourself, and ensuring that you are keeping up with a range of leadership topics are vital for long-term success.
As a leader, you need to keep an open mind to new possibilities and avoid getting stuck in an inflexible mode of thinking. What worked yesterday, will not necessarily work today, especially in today’s environment where new technologies disrupt age-old industry on a daily basis.
Find out what your strengths are, develop an inclusive leadership style, and constantly think about how to improve your business operations. Keep evolving, work on your creativity, and you’ll crush it regardless of market conditions.