Raise your had if you are a leader. Every hand should be up. We all are or will be leaders in some aspect of our lives. We lead in our roles as mother, father, aunt, big sister, etc in our families. We take on leadership roles at our jobs, churches, sororities, and social groups. If you write a blog you even take on a leadership role with respect to your readers. I’ll ask again, raise your had if you are a leader. Now keep it raised if you think improving leadership skills is important.
Last week at my day job, where I am essentialy a team lead, I actually learned something. LOL Ok, it’s not that shocking. I do learn things at work often enough. But, not things that I actually feel excited about. Then there was an email inviting us to attend a monthly voluntary training. The topic was leadership and I felt excited. This was one of those rare opportunities where I could learn some life skills in addition to my day job skills.
I went to the training on improving leadership skills and it was good. There was only room for 25 people. I wish the entire workforce could have attended. The training was an hour. I came away feeling good about the leadership skills I already possessed and like I got a few pointers on how to be better. And where else would I share those pointers but here?
- Keep in mind that it takes a lot to build credibility and not a lot to lose it. If you act one way in public and another in private you will lose credibility quickly. Be consistent.
- Have high standards and empower people. However, don’t set them up to fail by giving too much responsibility too quickly. Let small jobs progress to bigger jobs.
- Competence + Motivation + Attitude = Success. You can teach competence and try to foster motivation but a positive attitude must come from within. When all three are present you will get successful outcomes from the people you are leading.
- Self improvement is essential. Never think you are a good enough speaker, writer or listener. There is always room for improvement.
- Do not rush to make decisions. Ask yourself, do I have to make a decision now, do I have enough information.
- Use email efficiently. Emailing someone is not the same as getting work done. When things are important or urgent call or speak in person and use email as a way to share information. Keep your emails short and BLUF – state the Bottom Line Up Front. If your email correspondence starts to resemble a text or IM conversation it is time to pick up the phone or schedule an in person meeting.
- Be accountable. Don’t have a CYA (Cover Your Ass) attitude. When things go wrong look first for weaknesses in the process before blaming people.
- Give praise in public and criticism, no matter how constructive, in private.
- Remember, you are only as good as the last thing you did. Leaders also need to produce good work.
I know a lot of this is common sense and goes without saying but it is good to be reminded. Being a leader is often stressful. Keeping these tips in mind can make leadership a much more joyful experience.In what roles do you serve as a Leader? What Leadership tip can you add to the list? How do you work on improving leadership skills?