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How to be a better leader
By Miranda Kennett
Seven simple ways to maximise your leadership potential.
Wherever you are in the seniority stakes, there’s a lot you can do to enhance your skills as a good leader. Rate yourself against these seven attributes.
This is the number one quality we want in our leaders, according to surveys worldwide. It means keeping your promises, being a role model and when occasionally you can’t share the truth, being open about this.
Having a clear idea of where the organisation is trying to get to and why is vital. Team members will work together and withstand setbacks if they know they are moving towards a shared goal.
Because the pace of change is unrelenting, being responsive to altered circumstances in the market, in technology, in the law and the economy has never been more important. This means having the confidence to see when a different course of action is required.
You will be judged by what you do and say. If you don’t share your ideas, people will neither trust you nor be inspired by you. Communication is a multi-way proposition – what others are saying matters too.
Bad things happen sometimes. The more you can demonstrate you can cope and bounce back, the more inclined your team will be to do the same. Bottling up your angst won’t do you or them much good. Admitting there’s a problem and you don’t have all the answers will bring people on board to help provide solutions, rather than panicking.
If you fail to engage with your staff as human beings, don’t be surprised if they have no loyalty to you. Trying to understand what it’s like to be in their shoes may take a little more time and effort than just telling them what to do, but it will pay off in terms of quality and productivity.
However great you are at doing, you can’t do it all. Discover the strengths of your team and allow them to grow into some of your responsibilities, leaving you freer to do the things you alone can accomplish.
Don’t worry if you’re not naturally charismatic. If you are honest, visionary, flexible, resilient and empathetic and you communicate well, chances are you’ll be a leader people will gladly follow.