Did you know that 50% of employees in the US alone quit due to bad leadership? That’s right, poor leadership can have adverse effects on employee morale, profits and overall business performance. With bad leadership, you will have a hard time achieving your business goals.
The converse holds true, and we have the numbers. According to a study conducted by the American Psychological Association, over 90% of employees do their best work when they have good leadership. That’s 9 out of 10 employees in your organization.
Bad leadership means you can lose your best talent at the drop of a hat. Additionally, it means you’ll waste money and time recruiting and training new staff for the same old positions. To be honest, it can be a drag.
Yet great leaders are made not born, meaning you can build your leadership skills to satisfactory levels. And in today’s post, we share 7 practical tips for growth in a business leadership role. We hope you find a gem among these tips and improve as required.
Please don’t leave without sharing your best leadership tips in the comments.
Without further ado, let’s get down to business because there is a lot to learn.
I know nobody likes to eat the humble pie, but to grow as a leader, you absolutely have no choice. Humility should be one of the virtues you practice on a daily basis, both at the workplace and in public.
Nobody wants to work with a leader who is full of themselves. A leader who cannot admit their wrongs is toxic to the whole team and deprives the team of the chance to learn from the mistakes.
A great leader knows and accepts they aren’t perfect. When they run into obstacles, they share with the team instead of sweeping their misgivings under the rug. And when they are outright wrong, they accept responsibility, learn from the mistakes and move on to the next big thing.
Humility is a big part of accepting you aren’t perfect or better than other members of the team, even if you’re the leader who is calling the shots.
While eating humble pie is a great way of earning favor in the eyes of your team; behaving obsequiously just to earn favor won’t get you far in terms of nailing your business goals.
Nobody likes a pushover. A great leader is humble but strong. If a team member makes a mistake, you must admonish them while helping them to learn from their mistake. Being a strong leader doesn’t mean shouting across the office or humiliating the wrongdoer.
A strong leader stays focused on the business goals, and never play favorites. Punish all wrongdoers equally (or according to the degree of their crimes), but also reward them when they do something good.
Never bark down orders; you’re not a dictator. That leadership style is long dead; the new leader is a team player; a caring friend – but still authoritative. Never be toady; instead be strong and humble.
Be Competent (Or Keep Learning)
You don’t have to know everything there is to know about your business. But you also don’t want to be the outdated leader clinging to knowledge that is no longer practical. Nobody is going to follow you if you’re only leading them down the rabbit hole.
Your team members are more enthusiastic to follow you if they feel you know what you’re doing. If they think you are incompetent, insubordination will crop up, and you will have a hard time as a leader. Defectors don’t make good employees because they eventually leave, and some will even tarnish your brand name for good measure.
You need to keep learning to stay relevant. Or as the professors at Maryville University put it:
“Modern business moves fast. Leaders must possess a deep disciplinary expertise as well as the ability to contribute ideas across an ever-changing landscape.
As a business professional, you [must] build dynamic expertise that can be applied in many settings. This helps you prepare for more diverse opportunities as demand for modern business expertise continues to grow in for-profit, nonprofit, and public sectors.”
Need I say more?
Teamwork is Everything, Nowadays
Want to be a dictator? Create your own country, establish draconian laws and hope the powers that be don’t bring you down, or take you to an early grave. We’ve had many dictators before, and their leadership style was loathed. Many have come crumbling down, never to rise again.
In business, dictatorship doesn’t work. The modern-day leadership style grows when there is teamwork. Instead of isolating yourself in your corner office, you must be willing to get your hands dirty. Again, don’t bark down orders; join your team and do the actualwork they are doing to make you money.
Yes, you’re a mighty leader, but why do you still need a team? Your employees aren’t there to serve you; they are there to help you achieve your goals. One of the best ways of showing your team you value their input is by joining them to do the donkey work.
Don’t alienate yourself; you’re not a god. Be a part of the team, not a master of the team. Does that even make sense? I mean, work with your team, not just over them.
Work on Your Communication Skills
Let’s say, for instance, you lead a software development team. You’re not the average coder; you know your way around code and have a million and one coding languages and tricks under your belt. The people in your team are the exact opposite; they are average coders, and don’t know much in comparison.
Now, what might seem like a tiny issue to you might sound like a monster to your junior staffers. But if you articulate your ideas clearly, and join the team to solve the problem, you’ll be surprised how easy it becomes to move your business agenda forward.
You might have a PHD in your field, but if you lack the right communication skills, you might experience friction realizing your goals. It pays to buy a sales or marketing book, and work on your soft skills. Also, practice expressing your ideas clearly without ambiguity or any complexities. Don’t be a blunt jerk; it doesn’t work. Instead, be clear and concise.
If you’re making money, share with your team the good news and reward team members accordingly. Don’t be a stuck-up – thinking all success belongs to you; that’s the quickest way to fail. You must recognize the contribution of each staffer and make them feel they are a part of the company, even if they are not performing to the fullest. Luckily, today we have software, tools, and apps that make recognition in the workplace fun and easy to implement.
You should foster a creative environment in the workplace so that team members can contribute to the overall business strategy. What does that mean?
Encourage your staff members to share their ideas on how to move the business forward. You’ll be surprised how much insight you can receive from your team. To boost team interaction, you can offer incentives or rewards to members who are willing to contribute to the overall business strategy.
It can be a free lunch, bonus, vacation package, free equipment, vouchers, and so on.
Simply make the workplace fun; make your employees feel they don’t want to be elsewhere. Well, you don’t have to go for office pool tables, even if it’s a great idea.
Be a Strategic Planner
A successful leader is visionary. They have the overall plan in their head but inspire team members to follow through thanks to strategic planning.
A worthy leader takes time to plan out every minute detail. After that, they don’t leave the plan to the team; they ensure execution takes place within budget and time constraints.
If there are setbacks along the way, they step in, offer guidance and show the team what to do. The astute leader doesn’t isolate themselves; they are part and parcel of the process.
If one specific plan doesn’t work, they device a new plan in a timely manner without changing the goal. At the end of the day, the whole company wins.
Learning how to be a great leader takes time, but with enough dedication, you can be the leader everybody wants. We hope our 7 practical tips to growth in a business leadership role point you in the right direction.
If not, we welcome your thoughts, concerns and suggestions in the comment section.