5 Tips all Successful Leaders Should Know

There is a huge difference between leaders who assert their authority to get results and leaders who inspire and work hard to be a success. The following article discusses 5 characteristics of effective leaders that Business Owners and Managers can benefit from knowing.

1. Show confidence in your team.
It’s important for your team to regularly have time to express their goals and aspirations in their roles. If a task has been completed to a high standard, let the individual know you appreciate their time and effort. In a number of employee surveys, the overwhelming response to the question “What motivates you in the workplace?” was firstly, gratitude, and secondly acknowledgement. Your management team can implement a reward system where both leaders and employees have the ability to thank and reward each other for a job well done.

2. Find and encourage creativity and learning.

“Mix conviction with a man and something happens.” 
– Adam Clayton Powell Jr.

Great Managers recognise that linear thinking within a team can be a liability; your team should be open to change as well as contributing new ideas or suggestions. Creative energy can only thrive in working environments with no room for judgment. Find outlets for an honest expression of ideas and feelings about work and allow for personal growth and development. Nurture your working relationships, office space and environments that allow for freedom of expression and creativity. If the environment seems mundane, perhaps consider taking the project outside or somewhere equally stimulating. If you think your employees are struggling with motivation it is your job as a leader to explore new ways to reward and reinforce inspiration through a prize based system or other form of recognition.

3. Focus on results & less about the process.
The management roles in place in certain companies are designed to protect internal processes, rather than empowering people. Regardless of your company’s procedure, the main focus should be given to the end result rather than how you reached it. A true leader should always see that it’s better to be resourceful, and that it’s always easier to be forgiven than receiving permission.

4. Accountability
A good leader knows that if the team fails, he is responsible; a bad Manager however would blame the team. The latter doesn’t earn anyone’s respect, and so there is a constant fear of losing power and the cycle progresses and worsens. If the team doesn’t hit its targets, the bad Manager is commonly only concerned about losing their role in a structural organisation. A true leader, on the other hand, recognises that no matter why the team falls short, he or she is to blame. Even if there is a belief that a specific team member might have been the cause, adopting a no blame culture in the workplace encourages the team to do better.

5. Earn your teams respect.
Good leaders do not have to be likable people. Long term, great leaders have the ability to recognise their role is to stimulate their team to performs tasks they may not want to complete, in order to achieve targets and company goals. Contrasting this with bad Managers, who typically either try too hard to be liked or tell themselves that they don’t want to be liked. Good leaders know that while cordiality is important, for the greater good, short term likability has to be sacrificed in favour of long-term respect.

As we examine those notable points that we consider to be vital to create a productive working environment, it is also important to recognise that your commitment to wanting to be a successful leader is the most powerful tool.