Leadership is a funny thing. We all want to be leaders, and yet so few of us ever achieve that role to any effectiveness. However, the truth is that, while some people are born natural leaders, anyone can develop leadership qualities.
In the business realm, where efficiency and cooperation can mean the difference between success and failure, leadership is especially important. Whether you are an employee or in an official leadership role as a manager, these 7 tips can help you become a more effective leader and role model in your business.
1. Share Your Vision
Perhaps one of the main things that sets apart good leaders from great leaders is their vision. A great leader doesn’t just tell people what to do, he or she has a vision for the future and helps others catch that vision. Your vision can be anything from creating a more positive work environment, to doubling profits. Large or small scale, no matter what your vision is, having a vision and then sharing it with your coworkers is key to leading others in business.
2. Have a Plan
Planning is the unsung hero of leadership. When we envision leaders, we probably picture someone with an outgoing or charismatic personality. However, while these traits can be useful, they are not necessary to be a leader. Other qualities, such as planning, are the more important traits to foster.
A good leader is a capable planner, who not only talks the talk but walks the walk. He or she has a vision and has a plan for making it a reality. This is especially important for crisis situations in business, but is also a vital component of everyday business activities. A capable leader will be able to analyze situations and take specific measures to ensure positive outcomes for the company.
3. Delegate to Others
If you do everything yourself, you will not be leading anyone but yourself. Delegation is key to developing a true leadership role. If you do not trust your coworkers with your plans or visions, you will not gain their trust or respect in return. Learn to delegate tasks and include your team on your projects and ideas. Identify the various strengths of team members to ensure that the right people are assigned to each task. This will result in greater efficiency and synergy among your team.
4. Be Honest
Honesty in business may seem like a forgotten art amongst all the scandals in recent history. However, that doesn’t mean it should fall to the wayside of your own business and leadership philosophy. Whatever moral or ethical standard you hold yourself (and your business) to, your team will follow. Honesty inspires trust; cultivate this value in your own leadership practices and you will be a more trusted and respected leader (and person).
5. Laugh Easily
Sometimes, in spite of our best efforts, everything that can go wrong does. It is during these times especially that having a sense of humor sets the inferior leaders apart from the truly superior ones. Being able to laugh at oneself and one’s situation not only makes you a more approachable and likeable leader, but also helps improve morale and increase positivity. No one likes a stickler. While it is important to be tough sometimes, always remember to laugh and never take yourself too seriously.
6. Lead by Example
A great leader isn’t always the person officially appointed in a managerial role. Sometimes the best leaders come in the form of followers. No matter what your official capacity is in a business, lead others through your example. Inspire confidence by being confident. Encourage productivity and positivity by working hard yourself and supporting your colleagues. You don’t have to be directing people to influence them in business.
7. Seek Innovation
Finally, leadership involves innovation. To be a leader implies that you are leading people somewhere. The best leaders take their teams in new directions and uncharted territories, always seeking progress, continual improvement, and innovation. Whether innovation in thinking or practical application, it is important to foster a community of creativity.
For example, successful entrepreneur Richard Schaden is perhaps best known for his innovative variation on the traditional fast food burger. His gourmet burger restaurant, Smashburger, has received national attention as a creative niche mixing the appeal of fast food and the quality of gourmet restaurant dining. It is innovation and creativity like this that sets leaders apart in the business world.
Question: Do you have any other keys to being a leader in the business world? Please share your ideas in the comment section below.