How to Lead: A Practical Guide for New Leaders
Many people are under the impression that leaders must be harsh, cold, and authoritarian. Whatever you say, goes. This isn’t always very practical because being a leader means so much more than giving orders to get the job done. A leader must be able to inspire, motivate and work together with their team to achieve the highest quality. Many qualities make a great leader and the archaic leadership types of yesteryear no longer apply to the modern-day workplace. Here is a practical guide for new leaders that can make a difference.
Let your team shine in their respective talents
It’s easy to give orders and receive compliance and obedience from your team. However, it’s an approach that can stifle creativity and progressive thinking. Instead of dishing out orders to do things your way only, let your team get involved in the process. Assess your team and realize everyone’s greatest gift and encourage them to use their talents to be more efficient at their jobs. This creates more engagement between you and your team members which leads to greater collaborative efforts.
Share your vision
Letting your team know exactly what you have in mind makes it easier for them to work together and relate to you and the vision of your plans. Work takes on more meaning and people can connect to common goals which aim to take the project further. Accomplish this through ample communication and a more hands-on and on-the-ground approach to connecting to your team and encouraging them to connect.
Lead by example
When you expect people to keep a certain standard but don’t practice what you preach, it can lead to many problems. To motivate your team to work hard, you too must work hard and be accountable for all your actions and practices. For example, if you have a strict policy for punctuality, you should abide by the same expectation. Leading by example is also very empowering to your team members which encourages them to have more integrity and diligence. It also allows you to build mutual respect and trust.
Your team looks up to you for guidance. And sometimes, they may seek your ear to get guidance on issues at work or in their personal lives. Being a good listener and trying to relate to them helps to create a more open communication platform and builds a closer bond between you and your team.
Create a fun environment
All work and no play can be very dull and monotonous. Injecting small doses of fun and employee well-being programs can take the edge off. Sports days, company functions, and other team-building events not only show appreciation for your teams but also improve their skills, helping them to be more productive and experience less work-related stress. Happy workers tend to be more invested in their jobs and are more productive.
Encourage room for growth
Always encourage room for personal and professional growth amongst your team. Assure them that the sky’s the limit and they can do great things. Reward hard work with appreciative gestures or words of encouragement. It also means that if someone makes a mistake, view it as a learning experience instead of a setback. Instilling this mentality into your team keeps them motivated to keep on trying to achieve greatness.
Provide the right tools
As a leader, you should be looking for ways to be more efficient when working on your projects. For example, using software and technology for project management to stay organized and have better book-keeping and data collection. These tools can also make work easier for your team to use to help them stay on top of tasks, communicate and keep track of progress, deadlines, and schedules.
Be a mindful leader
Being mindful means that you put more thought and value into everything you experience. This also applies to leadership. Your role, your duties and responsibilities, your team and your purpose are all meaningful and contribute to much more than just obtaining a paycheck. Many learn life lessons on the job, especially from the people they work with and the trials they face together at work. Being a self-aware and mindful leader allows you to see things in different perspectives which can lead to developing your own ability and personality to be more innovative and solution based.
Make communication a top priority
The most efficient teams have members that communicate freely and efficiently. This means that you should schedule frequent meetings to stay up to date on project tasks, relay plans, delegate work, gain feedback and create an environment of co-operation. Being clear and upfront about your decisions, asking for team suggestions, coming up with new ideas and working together to find the most suitable solutions.
Be the leader you always wanted
Many of us have endured the best and the worst leadership styles throughout our work careers. It’s essential to think back on these experiences and figure out what are the qualities that motivated you versus the qualities that made you hate your job. Then, think about how you want to lead your team. You want respect and not be a doormat. Leadership may mean different things to people but at the core of a great leader is the ability to:
- inspire change
- lead innovation
- show empathy
- drive for success
Leaders must be people and goal-oriented. Also, they create win-win situations for all.
As a new leader, it is important to note that human resource is intricate and has more value than the physical components of a business. Without people, you have no workforce so a leader must not view team members as expendable and treat people with care and respect. No leader is perfect, but every leader can improve by focusing on these simple values which promote a healthier, happier, and productive team overall.