You don’t need to make things overly complex for them to be essential. The simpler and easier it is to see and understand the better.
You’re a leader. At least, you hope you are. You know there are people who report to you or depend on you for guidance. Yet, determining for yourself how to be a great leader is not easy. You aim to be the best leader possible. You want the respect of your team, the trust of your family, and those in your circle to feel they can rely on you. So how do you learn the qualities of respected leaders and stay disciplined enough to do them?
Simplify, Focus, Prioritize
First, do everything you can to simplify things in your role. As a leader, focus on things that are most important. The things that drive your bottom line---financial, personal, or otherwise. What really matters? What’s absolutely necessary for everything else to work. If you’re a manager in marketing that’s customers. If you’re a parent, it’s love and stability. If it’s your significant other---trust, loyalty, shared vision, and love.
Listen, the key is to keep things as simple as possible. You don’t need to overcomplicate things for them to be meaningful. You don’t need to make things overly complex for them to be essential. The simpler and easier it is to see and understand the better. Don’t be afraid to set some time aside for thinking and brainstorming, if necessary.
Honesty Is Still the Best Policy
Second, honesty is an essential quality for effective leadership. Great leaders are trustworthy. When people know that they can trust you, you will gain respect.
In addition, never do anything that could be considered unethical, illegal or underhanded. Every sound business must be ethical. When customers know, you are looking out for their best interest, they will remain faithful to you. By developing a set of moral responsibilities for your company's employees, you can help ensure that the rules are followed.
Recognize the Greatness in Others
Third, you must be able to spot talents and gifts in other people. As a parent, you learn quickly that not only do children have different personality types, but they have different skill sets and forms of intelligence, too. You find ways to enhance their strengths and cultivate opportunities for them to shine in those areas. The same can be said for the workplace. Make sure your crew is diverse and offers many qualities. This can apply to both contracting people short-term or hiring someone full-time. Putting together a team where each person has the opportunity to add value and be seen as valuable will go a long way in boosting morale, fostering collaboration, and ultimately, increasing productivity. When they do well, reward them.
If It Isn't Measured It Doesn't Matter...Set Goals
Fourth, set goals for every aspect of your life. Measure them, track them, assess them, and implement and execute them. Develop a plan and communicate it. Leadership can happen anywhere. Leaders understand that the whole point to leadership is moving a group from one thing to the next; that is all a goal is. The process of moving oneself from one thing to the next. Thus, if you set goals at home, you should be able to set goals at work. How did you accomplish your home renovation? With a plan. How did you complete that new product launch? By creating milestones. How did you hire that new employee? By, creating a process and following it. It is the same system and procedure no matter where you apply it.
Therefore, when dealing with your team at work talk to them about what their individual contributions should be. Don't just set them up and let them disappear over the year. Have monthly meetings about your goals, and make sure that the whole team is accountable for accomplishing them.
Coupled with the goals, you must set high standards aimed at meeting your goals but make sure your goals are attainable. You are setting yourself up to be disappointed if the goals are out of reach. That will just make you a terrible leader.
Fifth, and on a more personal level, look for synergy whenever possible. Be clear about what your personal goals are; make sure to define business goals clearly. There should always be alignment between them and overlap from time to time. You should work on both simultaneously. When you can't, people will see your lack of passion. Also, you will burn yourself out if what you do professionally does not match what you value personally. If you’re a creative, chances are you’re not thrilled by accounting and vice versa.
If You Have Integrity, Nothing Else Matters
Lastly, integrity is one of the most important qualities of effective leadership. This means you should be honest and do what's right, even when you are out of the sight of others. If you're lacking integrity, it becomes quite difficult for others to have confidence in you. Leading with integrity will earn you trust, loyalty, and respect. That’s it; be consistent.
Ultimately, you will become a successful leader if you believe in yourself and work hard until you accomplish your goals. Don't let the mistakes that you are going to make deter you or lead you in the wrong direction. Let your mistakes train you by learning from them. It is time to grow. Put this advice into practice and you will definitely become a better leader.