Being a leader is not a state one finds himself in, but the number of actions he performs every day. And before each action, there is usually a difficult decision which must be made according to personal and organizational values. That’s why it can be very hard to become a good leader, not to mention excellent one. And as a leader, you need to achieve excellence if you want your company to blossom with accomplishment. In a turmoil of today’s dynamic organization, the role of a leader is critical – you’re the one who must have a clear vision of the values, the knowledge how to implement and establish them, and the power to sustain them. You need to stand behind everything your organisation presents and to be passionate about it in order to motivate other employees to follow your example. Sometimes this enormous task seems impossible for one person to carry, but there are some basic powerful skills which can make the task much easier. Of course, that doesn’t mean that there is a strict set of rules you need to follow to become a good leader – one of the most important leadership components is the ability to perform authentic actions. Nevertheless, polishing these skills will definitely improve you as a leader.
Walk the talk
As a leader, you have a role of a general in a modern war that rages among strong competition. But that doesn’t mean all you need to do is shout orders and observe from the distance. If you’re sending your ‛army’ to march ahead, that means you’re sending them to unknown, to the territory you’ve never been to. That’s why you should always say ‛follow me’ and lead your employees by example. They will follow your every move as long as they are certain that what you do is equal to what you say. By setting up an example for them you earn their trust and confidence. They’re not the only ones who must prove their worth, it’s also the other way around. And once you’ve set an example, remember to make your actions according to it. Without consistency, all your words will be gone with the wind.
But still, talk
That doesn’t mean that words are not important. You can’t act on the principle ‛I’ve shown you how it’s done, now shut up and repeat’. You’re not a god or a statue of an idol – in order to lead people you need to be a man of flesh and blood. You need to be a part of the group and you need to know how to communicate with them in a transparent and respectful way. Fear and intimidation have never been good motivators, so you need to lock up your ego and throw away the key. If you’re able to understand your employees you will also be able to encourage them and boost their problem-solving and creativity.
And occasionally, listen
Communication is a two-way street. You’re not the smartest person in the world and if you’re in need of advice that doesn’t make you weak. As the matter of fact, fearing to ask for advice is a sign of the lack of confidence and that is certainly not good for leadership. You need to set an example and show your employees that there is always more things to learn in order to encourage them to develop their skills further. You can always turn to a trusted colleague, but today’s highly competitive nature of business usually requires a mentor, for it’s not only about gaining knowledge but also about deciding which way to go. An experienced executive coaching professionals can help you determine your clear goals using a variety of behavioral methods and techniques. That way you’ll require advice, but also feedback and guidance, which will establish a fresh view on issues at hand.
But, most of all, feel
There cannot be a good organisation if all the people inside it are not well connected. And the best way to connect with your employees and develop a strong and unbreakable bond is through emotions. You need to be aware of your employee’s emotional states and to learn how to interpret them correctly because that form of communication can give you far more insight than spoken words. But first, you need to connect with your own emotions, to understand them and control the way you feel and the reactions that feelings produce. Only then will you be ready to pick up the emotional signals of others in order to prevent conflict and improve the workforce.
And then express it
Of course, it is not enough just to become aware of your emotions, you need to express them. If you’re not showing your emotions in front of your employees they will also suppress theirs, and then bye-bye to all that valuable insight and bonding. On the other hand, you need to be careful not to express everything – anger and weakness are not good things for people to see in a leader. You need to show them that you truly believe in the organizational goals you’ve established and to be truly passionate about it. Passion spreads like fire, and when in flames you’re willing to take the greatest risks and take all responsibility.
As we said at the beginning, these are not rules, simply very useful skills. You should always encourage individuality and creativity. Your goals should be to motivate, inspire and engage the people around you. These skills are your best tools for the job, and now the improvisation may begin.