There are two types of Leaders in the world. Natural-Born leaders and the ones who developed their leadership skills over a period through hard work and consistent learning and development. Nevertheless, there is always room for improvement. One way is to set realistic goals that are attainable when you push your so-called limits. The goals you set for yourself should improve your weaknesses and enhance your strengths. This article is for small business owners, supervisors, and team leaders who want to improve their leadership skills.
Become an Active Listener
The most important trait among any of the successful leaders in the world is they are active listeners, i.e. they make a conscious effort to listen and understand their employees or colleagues. This is the only way you can become an effective leader, from entry to C-Level. Walk into every meeting and enter every conversation you have with your team and colleagues with the intention to gain insights into their daily activities at work.
Offer Constructive Feedback to Facilitate Growth
A culture that fosters clear communication always brings success, which is sustained through a mechanism of constant feedback. As a business leader, you can drive your team and company to excellence through constructive feedback that focuses on improvement and not finding faults, and play a blame game. Feedback systems, when applied correctly can stimulate growth and development. Make your intent clear to your team through effective communication so that they feel confident in their work.
Be Adaptable to Growth and Change
Nobody likes a know-it-all. Instead of assuming things in different situations, set a goal to being adaptable and open to learning new things. Open-mindedness will automatically set you on a track to success. This trait will make it easy for you to seamlessly lead your company through various conflicts and crises. Especially the ones such as the Covid-19 Pandemic where you have to manage resources and company operations accordingly. Staying open-minded to new opportunities and new ways of doing business will help you (and your company) grow over time.
Improve your Emotional Intelligence or Quotient (EI or EQ)
Successful business leaders in the world usually possess a high level of EI, which means they do not fall during a crisis. They are usually pragmatic and lead from the front with reason and fearlessness. There are five different components to EQ - self-awareness, self-regulation, social awareness, social regulation, and motivation. They are the key elements to leadership, i.e. making quick decisions without being clouded by fear and stress, and setting goals. Some leaders are naturally gifted with these traits but high EQ can also be improved with continued effort.
Become More Efficient
Business owners and team managers usually are responsible for numerous tasks, goal, and issues. This is why time management is crucial and you have the added responsibility of being efficient in your individual as well as your business responsibilities. As you become more efficient, you will have more time to spend improving other skills and accomplishing other tasks.
Leadership is fundamentally a practical skill that encompasses all the abilities of an individual, a group, or a company to influence and guide other individuals, teams, or entire organizations. The age-old thought, only senior individuals and highly experienced staff can fill the shoes of a leader is completely dumb when you think about it. That is why companies like Apple have gone down and lost their value when they ousted their visionary leaders. According to Simon Sinek, author and keynote speaker, when a visionary Founder/CEO leaves a company, the logical action should be to look for leadership talents and promote them, and not necessarily to promote the next senior personnel like the CFO. The reason he gives is that when the company faces a crisis a CFO will most probably look for ways to cut costs instead of finding creative solutions to the problem they are facing.