A Guide to Effective Leadership: How to become a better leader & not just a boss


To increase the success and involvement of your team, develop your leadership skills. Gaining practical leadership skills can significantly positively impact the performance of your team, organization, and even yourself.

To be a successful leader, you must comprehend your motivations, strengths, and shortcomings.

Open communication, supporting employee growth and development, and providing and accepting feedback are ways great leaders build relationships with their teams.

Anyone may assign chores from a corner office, but good leadership involves more than that. Influential leaders significantly impact their organization’s overall performance in addition to the team members they oversee. Great leaders tend to make their staff members happier, more productive, and more invested in the company, which has a knock-on impact that improves your company’s bottom line.

According to Dana Brownlee, the creator of Professionalism Matters, “I think a great leader improves others around them.” There are various ways to determine whether someone is a great leader, but I prefer to focus on others around them: Are they developing, becoming better leaders, inspired, etc.?

It could be time to reevaluate and revise your strategies if you look around and notice that your team members are no longer interested or moving forward with their tasks. According to Brownlee, the following actions could indicate that your leadership approach is subpar:

In the previous month, no one on your team criticized one of your suggestions.

You spend more time planning your professional development than your team members.

You don’t talk to a team member at least three times a week about things that aren’t linked to work.

Various team members will respond differently if asked what your top three priorities are for the year.

Team members worry about failing.

According to recent research by the Center for Creative Leadership, 38% to more than 50% of new leaders fail during the first 18 months of their tenure. By implementing effective leadership techniques that inspire their team members to achieve their objectives, leaders can avoid falling victim to this horrific statistic.

We consulted with CEOs, directors, and leading specialists to determine what those leadership techniques are and how you might use them.

1. Communicate openly and honestly

Open communication with your team members is one of the most crucial components of effective leadership. Your team members should look to you for honesty and integrity, according to Sanjay Patoliya, the founder and director of Teclogiq.

It’s crucial to be direct when you’re in charge of a group of people. Your staff will follow if you make honesty and ethics a core value in your business since they mirror you.

Great leaders, according to Brownlee, can adapt their relationships and communication techniques to fit each circumstance and team member, taking into personal account preferences. This implies that they take the time to ascertain the preferred method of communication for each team member, such as whether they like texting, emailing, talking on the phone, or meeting in person. Additionally, they have excellent listening skills and genuine curiosity about other people.

Communicating with your team and being transparent can increase trust and boost morale. Being sincere in all of your conversations is crucial, according to Ruslan Fazlyev, CEO and founder of e-commerce solutions business Ecwid.

He said there are several forms of leadership; there is no right or wrong. But there are simple things and phony things. There is no support for fake leadership.

Key learnings

Key takeaway: Keeping open lines of communication encourages your staff to do the same. Customizing your communication based on the individual team members is crucial because each may have a distinct communication style.

2. Communicate with the members of your team :

Trusting and understanding your team members is essential when leading a group of individuals. Leaders need to practice connection to do this.

According to lead author and consultant Terry “Starbucker” St. Marie, becoming a “more human” leader necessitates positivism, purpose, empathy, compassion, humility, and love. These essential characteristics will set you up for successful interactions with your team.

As St. Marie put it, “creating a genuine, personal relationship with your coworkers is crucial to fostering the shared trust required to create a strong culture of accountability and excellent performance.” The team may have a profitable business, a content team, and a fulfilled leader with that culture in place.

Focus on learning about each team member’s personality, interests, strengths, limitations, hobbies, and preferences if you want to establish a connection with them. This can help you understand their intentions and drives.

According to Patoliya, influential leaders empower their staff to use their abilities to contribute value and develop a sense of autonomy. Employees’ confidence in themselves and their leader grows with their performance when their leader can recognize the skills of specific team members and give them the freedom to be accountable and responsible.

3. Promote both professional and personal development :

Being an effective leader involves playing the role of your team’s cheerleader. You ought to care about their development and success.

Abbracci Group CEO Keri Ohlrich advised managers to set aside some money, even a modest amount, for their staff members’ personal development.

She added that there is plenty of opportunity to continue learning new skills or improving old ones, with alternatives as diverse as on-demand, virtual, and in-person possibilities. “Give your staff the freedom to learn new things and incorporate them into their work,” the author advises.

It would help if you made emotional investments in your employees’ development in addition to financial ones. According to John Rampton, the founder and CEO of Calendar, excellent leaders enable their staff to develop by providing them with difficult chances and guidance as required.

“Leadership strategy is about empowering others to perform their best and take on new challenges to engage and inspire personnel,” he said. “Employees enjoy challenges and the sense of accomplishment that comes from meeting them. Allowing people to handle these obstacles is always intelligent, whether the challenge is a demanding customer, a complex sale, a challenging circumstance, or anything else.

Leaders might be amazed by how much they can accomplish when they believe in their team members and offer them the chance to develop. Don’t hesitate to provide others with responsibilities and promote individuality and innovation.

4. Maintain a cheerful outlook :

While team leaders would like everything to always go according to plan, difficulties will inevitably arise. The way you manage a complex issue speaks volumes about your leadership abilities, regardless of how serious the blunder is or how minor it was.

Robert Mann, the author of The Measure of a Leader (iUniverse, 2013), advised choosing to look for the positive in every situation. Before you decide what makes a situation unsatisfactory, consider three good aspects of it. People interact with one another more favorably the more you focus on the positive aspects of a problem.

According to Mann’s research, people can reason and solve problems better once they list the positive aspects of a challenging circumstance. This is because they are less emotionally invested in the issue at hand. The same holds for leaders who need to strengthen their plans. Find out what you’ve done in the past that has worked if you or a team member discovers a particular course of action you’ve taken isn’t working.

Nataliya said that keeping your staff engaged by concentrating on solutions rather than problems can assist. “A productive team is more likely to develop in a favorable environment. A good leader will recognize the impact they may have on their workplace by projecting passion and confidence.

5. Advice workers rather than directives :

A good leader understands how to demonstrate to others what is needed rather than only telling them. Leaders should coach their team members toward a more dedicated, collaborative workplace, according to Luke Iorio, president, and CEO of the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), rather than coaxing them.

You won’t get the degree of engagement you seek “if you are controlling individuals to do particular things in certain ways,” he said. “Coaching is about assisting the individuals you lead in realizing their options. The people will go considerably in the direction of the enterprise.

Rampton argued that influential leaders should foster learning by instructing team members instead of merely giving commands. “People wouldn’t develop if leaders never imparted knowledge to them. To develop future leaders to take their place, leaders must teach.

6. Specify expectations and goals for employees.

Employee success mainly depends on your team’s apparent goals and expectations for its members. Encourage staff input and questions when developing these goals. Engaging them in the process can improve it.

According to ALTR Created Diamonds president Amish Shah, influential leaders will also outline the company’s mission and how each team member’s aspirations fit into that picture.

“A leader needs to keep their staff informed about their vision to excite and inspire them,” he stated. This makes it easier for workers to comprehend the goal that the whole team is striving for. Everyone can monitor progress and recognize accomplishments when goals are clearly defined.

Ohlrich emphasized the significance of articulating how these objectives affect the corporation. No of their level of seniority, she said, every employee should be able to explain how what they do contributes to the company’s success.

Maintain the goals of your team members. Review your goals periodically and adjust them as necessary. Doing this will show your team members that you’re there and paying attention to what they’re working on.

Tip: Encourage employee inquiries and feedback when establishing these goals. Engaging them in the process can improve it.

7. Express candid criticism on performance :

According to Taso Du Val, CEO, and founder of the Toptal freelance talent network, the most excellent method to lead your team in the correct direction is to provide open, direct feedback, even if it is criticism. To provide them with the proper advice, you must also be completely aware of your company’s direction.

People won’t be able to develop if you aren’t straightforward with them about how you feel about them and their work, according to Du Val. “No matter how much you’ve communicated to your staff and leadership team about their success, they will struggle to make judgments and act if you don’t know the exact direction your firm is heading. Once these fundamental concepts are in place, it will be simple to implement deadlines, regular product plans, performance reviews, structure, and processes.

Highlight employee achievements in addition to giving constructive criticism and performance reviews. Inform a team member when they perform well. Thank them for their efforts and celebrate their victories.

Positive reinforcement will foster a productive environment, according to Shah. In addition to being motivating, explaining how success affects the company rather than simply patting someone on the back makes them work harder in the long term.


8. Request input on your leadership :

Honest feedback is helpful for everyone, not just your team members. Since it can be challenging to analyze one’s leadership abilities accurately, advisors, colleagues, and even one’s staff can be pretty helpful in gauging one’s performance. St. Marie asserts that discussing your leadership style and approach with friends and peers might help you gain the proper perspective.

You can identify your areas of need for improvement with leadership coaching. More motivational than books and seminars alone can be a professional who assists you in creating a strategy to meet your leadership goals.

According to Iorio, coaching enables leaders to connect the dots and implement [changes] in a practical situation. You won’t have sustainable change until you take the time to integrate, process, and reflect.

Fazlyev concurred, pointing out that your team may provide important insight into what is working, what is not, and what challenges you must face succeeding.

9. Be receptive to new concepts :

Influential leaders can recognize and embrace the fact that change is unavoidable. Accept change and innovation instead of striving to keep things the same only for constancy. Be receptive to fresh perspectives and other ways of thinking. Everyone offers a distinct view to the table, which should be embraced rather than shunned.

“You fully embrace every possibility and potential when you’re open to hearing the opinions of the talent around you,” stated Shah. See things through to completion. Recognize that mistakes will be made along the way, but before giving up on a project, try to determine why and how it failed.

Encourage your colleagues to share their ideas when tackling a challenge. True creativity, engagement, and success may prevail when workers feel free to share fresh ideas openly.

Key learnings

Important lesson learned: Encourage your staff to contribute fresh viewpoints and ideas. Doing this encourages creativity and a greater sense of ownership among your team members.

10. Recognize your driving forces :

It will be evident if someone in a leadership position sees their job as “simply a job.” You need the correct motivation if you want to lead effectively. Do you truly want to motivate individuals to perform to the best of their abilities, or are money and status more vital to you?

St. Marie counseled those in positions of leadership to consider their motivations sincerely. “I view being a leader as a privilege and a calling. You are undoubtedly off to a good start if you truly believe that leadership is your calling and how you’ll change the world.

Ohlrich asserted that understanding what drains your energy is just as vital as comprehending what stimulates you. Knowing your strengths and limitations will enable you to broaden your team and build a well-rounded skill set. It is beneficial to avoid surrounding oneself with people who are exact replicas of you and to avoid hiring them.

Your leadership style should also be assessed because it affects how you communicate with your team. There are nine different types of leadership, and the most effective ones can customize for their circumstances and workforce. Take a simple leadership self-assessment test from the Leading With Courage Academy to gauge your leadership skills if you are currently in a leadership position but unsure where you rank on some of these criteria.

Keep in mind that developing into a competent leader takes time. Even though some people inherently have good leadership qualities, anyone can learn and develop them. You can guide your team to success with effort, commitment, and strategic planning.

Conclusion :

In conclusion, while playing different roles in the development of an organization, leadership and management are the same. Without creating a management framework based on systems, leadership is worthless, and management would be ineffective without leadership’s efforts serving as the foundation for values.

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