Douglas Macarthur, an American General famously said, “A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.”
What is leadership, anyway?
Over the years, many leaders have defined leadership. The few common elements from their combined definitions gives us - ‘In a business setting, leadership is the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal.’
Therefore, to be a leader is to influence your team with an intended outcome.
Now the most often- asked question is are leaders born or made?
Research suggests that one-third leaders are born whilst two-thirds are made. Leadership skills can be learnt and leaders can indeed evolve. In this blog, let's go over certain recommendations on how to become a better leader.
Journey to Self Discovery
Leadership is a journey of self discovery. The very best leaders have discovered that effective leadership is learnt by looking within. The greatest leaders know and accept themselves completely. According to our Revby team, the 5 main leadership qualities are- Self-Awareness, Passion, Humility, Decisiveness and Dependability.
Self Awareness: Take the time to understand your values, beliefs, your personality and your style of leading. A better understanding of yourself will enable you to make unique and innovative decisions.
Passion: You must be certain about your passions and have pure intent, in large part because you are constantly working towards what you are passionate about.
Humility: Learn from your past failures. Embracing failures enables us to change and inspire others. You must be willing to take greater risks and also be open to failure, for there is no reward without risk.
Decisiveness: Consistency and commitment are traits you ought to develop as a leader. Weighing multiple options and advising the course for the team to follow should be done without hesitation.
Dependability: You should be supportive and your employees should be able to rely on you in order to reach the specified goals.
Well then, how can one become a better leader?
The developmental journey towards becoming a great leader is enlightening and fulfilling if you embrace it. You must have sheer interest and commitment towards learning and developing continuously. There are several tools and techniques that can be handy aids to good leadership.
1. Internal Process
For starters, the key to leadership begins by truly knowing oneself. As a leader you must be aware about your leadership style and your personality. You can use various personality tests that are freely available online. These can help you discover your strengths, weaknesses and unique features. As a leader, it is ideal to be aware of one's strengths and weaknesses to lead effectively.
Further, you should gain an understanding of your motivators and your skill set. Be conscious and aware about your passion because that drives you to put in effort consistently. In addition to that, make an audit of your strengths and motivators. A constant reminder will serve as a beneficial purpose towards growing your business.
It is extremely important to have a mentor and receive unbiased and regular feedback from a person who is experienced in your field. Along with a trusted advisor, you must also ask your employees for monthly feedback about the organization's processes, chain of command, any difficulties, their morale and so on. This will allow you to look at your business from a different perspective. Genuine feedback can be valuable while coming up with new ideas, expanding your business, and hiring new employees among others. Feedback provides a holistic understanding of your business, which is essential.
Create a plan for self reflection, improvement and development. Commitment will empower you to successfully attain your goals. This commitment will also reflect upon your employees and motivate them. Make sure to inspire and motivate them daily to create a healthy working environment.
4. Avoid Burnout
Burnouts are common within leaders and their employees due to numerous reasons such as lack of management support, unclear, unrealistic and unattainable goals, isolation of employees due to the current virtual scenario and lack of recognition. However, burnouts can be avoided by relying on a few tactics:
Mental and Health Wellness- Encourage others and yourself to make space for practices such as meditation and physical exercise.
Small Mental Breaks- Schedule mental breaks to address your goals or step away from the screen.
Automation- Utilize multiple automation tools that are offered for free and get the repetitive task out of the plate, freeing your time for more productive tasks. Read more about Automation and Social Media.
Flexibility- Allow yourself to shift priorities when needed to reduce anxiety
Celebrate- Reward yourself and your team when you achieve small as well as big goals. The rewards do not necessarily have to be monetary. It could range from employee recognition to handwritten notes.
A recent study shows that only 5% companies have integrated leadership development in their companies and 70% of the workforce in the USA is unhappy due to negative management which can be traced back to leadership. Thus, you must resort to these practices in order to establish a clear vision for your employees and lead effectively. The art of leadership emphasizes on innovation and goes beyond basic management duties.
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