What leader doesn’t want to improve their leadership skills? To increase their influence and affect more lives?
I think the answer to that leadership question is simple. There’s not a leader out there who doesn’t want to improve.
Every leader wants to become a better leader. The question is how do we do this?
I want to answer this question today, at least in part. It’s a process. You’re always going to have to be on the lookout for ways to improve.
Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as getting a power-up in Super Mario Brothers. You can’t eat a special food or drink a drink and become a better leader. It takes hard work.
So here’s 5 steps you can take to improve your leadership skills.
1. Shut your mouth: As leaders, we can overemphasis our desires and where we want the organization to go. It’s our job, after all, to tell people where we’re going, right?
True, we’re leading the organization in a specific direction but this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t listen to those around us. Especially when we’ve surrounded ourselves with wise counsel.
Determine that you will keep your mouth closed while others are giving their input. Let them speak and give their valid ideas life.
After they’re done speaking, examine the ideas and see which ones will help advance the organization to where it needs to go. Then begin implementing them.
Don’t be a lone ranger. Enjoy the help when you receive it.
2. Recognize the traits you want repeated: Honesty alert: I suck at this. I get stuck recognizing the bad habits I don’t want to see repeated. Even when I know recognizing the positive habits gets better results.
Don’t be like me. Search out the positive things your team members are doing. Give them praise. Let them know you notice the way they do a job with excellence. How much the customer enjoyed the small details someone on the design team worked hard to capture. Or maybe it’s the secretary who picked up a piece of trash on the office floor.
Praise the good.
3. Figure out your WHY: There’s power in knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing. When you put a reason behind the daily grind, the grind doesn’t feel nearly as bad.
You’ll also be more energized and excited about the direction you’re taking the company. You know there’s going to be a payoff. Something that’s going to change the world.
Get your WHY down on paper. Stick your WHY next to your computer monitor or make it the screensaver for your phone. Let your WHY be at the forefront of your mind.
4. Become a follower: No, no, no. This can’t be true. Right? Leaders are leaders. They’re not followers.
That’s where many so-called leaders are wrong. The greatest leaders are followers. The great leaders know to improve their leadership, they must find someone ahead of them.
They become a follower of leaders who are 1, 2, or even 3 or more steps beyond their leadership ability. Then they begin to learn from those leaders.
So become a follower today. Find a leader you look up to and begin taking cues from them.
5. Punch fear in the face: That’s something Jon Acuff would say. We need to be willing to look at fear and move past the feelings fear tries to give us.
Stop letting fear rule the roost in your leadership.
Evaluate why you’re fearful. What are the consequences if this project fails. Who would be affected if something went wrong.
When you stop and look at the fear, we normally see the fear isn’t grounded in reality. Instead our minds have created scenarios that are unlikely to happen.
This is when we need to punch fear in the face and get on with leading.
Side note: There are times when fear is valid and we’ve got to give pause to the fear. Though I feel these times are few and far between, it’s worth mentioning.
Taking the steps to become a better leader is not something that ends after completing 5 steps.
Improving our leadership is a never ending process. (Click to tweet)
So don’t rest on your laurels once you’ve attempted these 5 steps. Instead, come up with the next steps you need to take to continue improving your leadership skills.
Question: What other steps would you say a leader needs to take to become a better leader? Please share one or two steps you’ve taken to improve your skills as a leader in the comments section below.