Leadership is a complex and multi-faceted topic. To be an effective leader requires awareness of the context in which you are leading, the motivation and skills of the people you are leading, and your own leadership style. Despite the complexity, there are some do's and don'ts that can help you become a more efficient and effective leader. In this guide, we'll cover five of the most important leadership do's and don'ts.
One of the most important things a leader can do is keep lines of communication open. This means being accessible to your team and encouraging two-way communication. Leaders should make it safe to ask questions and be available to address concerns (psychological safety). Being responsive to feedback builds trust and engagement.
Leaders must be able to make decisions quickly and confidently. Indecision breeds confusion and causes morale to suffer. Sharing why and how a decision was made creates buy-in and allows for adjustments to be made if circumstances change.
As a leader, it's important to role model the behavior you expect from your team. If you want employees to be punctual, professional, and productive, you need to lead by example.
One of the most common mistakes leaders make is trying to do everything themselves. It's important to delegate tasks and give employees the authority to make decisions. This will not only free up your time, but it will also help your team feel more empowered and motivated.
No plan is perfect, and things will inevitably go wrong from time to time. Leaders need to be flexible and adaptable, so they can adjust their plans as needed.
Micromanagement is one of the most common leadership mistakes. It's important to give employees the freedom to do their jobs and make decisions. If you try to control everything, you'll just end up frustrating and alienating your employees.
Leaders who think they know everything are often the ones who make the most mistakes. It's important to be open-minded and willing to learn from others.
Playing favorites is another common leadership mistake. Leaders who play favorites often create an environment of mistrust and resentment.
Leaders who are control freaks often have a hard time delegating tasks and empowering their subordinates. This can lead to low morale and decreased productivity.
Dictatorship is the worst leadership style. Leaders who are dictators often create an environment of fear and intimidation. This can lead to low morale, high turnover, and decreased productivity.
Leadership is a skill that can be learned. There are many books, articles, and resources available on leadership. Here are a few suggestions:
There are many great books on leadership. A few to include on your list are, The Leadership Challenge by James Kouzes and Barry Posner, and The 5 Levels of Leadership by John C. Maxwell, and of course, The New Leadership Playbook by Andrew Bryant
There are many leadership workshops and seminars available both in-person and online. These can be a great way to learn new leadership skills and network with other leaders.
A mentor can be a great resource for learning leadership skills. Mentors can provide guidance, advice, and support.
One of the best ways to learn leadership skills is to observe other leaders. Watch how they interact with others, make decisions, and handle difficult situations.
The best way to develop leadership skills is to practice them. Volunteer for leadership roles at work, in your community, or in other organizations.
There are a lot of different opinions out there about what makes a good leader. But there are some basic leadership principles that everyone can agree on. If you want to be a successful leader, make sure you do more than just give orders. Be open to feedback, delegate responsibility, and be willing to put in the hard work yourself. And, most importantly, don't forget to have a little fun along the way.
Andrew Bryant founded Self Leadership International in 1999 with the intention to empower people to have more ownership, options, and opportunities through self-leadership and personal mastery. Andrew is the author of The New Leadership Playbook and can tailor his signature keynote presentation to highlight the conversations your leaders need to have to accelerate results. Book Andrew Bryant today!
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