Leadership skills are critical for the success of any type of business. They determine the performance of the most important asset of any company—the employees. The capabilities of the leader affect employees’ skills, their productivity, their job satisfaction, and endless other factors that contribute to an efficient workplace with powerful workflow and excellent abilities to achieve the desired results.
For some people, leadership comes easy and almost seems like an innate talent. But for most entrepreneurs and managers, building leadership skills require commitment, time and focused effort. Many attributes make up a good leader, and there are countless leadership styles which work well for different people. Nevertheless, there are some common characteristics in most good leaders, that you can learn through well-thought-out and efficient leadership courses.
Here are a few of the key markers on the journey to becoming a great leader:
Engage and Motivate
Employees motivated to do a great job are the foundation of a successful company. So, as a leader, learning how to motivate and inspire them should be one of your main objectives. To become a good motivator, of course, you must first learn how to stay motivated, and consequently, productive, yourself because leading by example is far more powerful than leading by simply telling people what to do and how to do it.
No one feels motivated and can perform at 100% all the time. Nevertheless, as a leader, you can find effective tricks that can help you find your motivation easier. Find the time to learn different techniques, learn a good restart routine and always allow yourself some downtime, and take care of your mental and physical health. And remember that once you master your own motivation, motivating others will become easier.
Keep in mind that different things motivate each person, depending on their position within the company, their personal life, or their professional goals. This is why you must know your employees, show how fundamental each person’s contribution is to your company, appreciate them, and offer incentives like allowing them to build new skills to advance within the company and the freedom to design time and place flexibility into their work.
Respect and Appreciate
A huge challenge that companies across industries continue to face is high employee turnover rates. More than ever, workers value their own time and personal needs. They will start looking for better options if they don’t feel like their efforts and contributions are being appreciated, or if the company’s purpose is mis-aligned with their own.
Remember that your job as a leader isn’t to boss people around, but rather, to champion the brand story, create vision, teach and guide employees to perform tasks well, and enable the team to celebrate company success. So, dictating to your employees, operating with command-and-control measures and behaving like a king, simply will not work. To earn respect, a successful leader is never disrespectful.
Listen and Empathize
There is no better way to improve any relationship than to have open and transparent communication. Allow your employees to express their opinions and listen. If you demonstrate that you are interested in their perspective and needs, they will be more open and feel more appreciated in their job. Most importantly, satisfied employees can be a source of powerful ideas to move your business forward and innovate to exceed your expectations.
Reward and Reinforce
Employees must understand the purpose of your company, no matter their position, their tasks, or their seniority. Working towards the same “why” with clearly established goals and steps to achieve them, creates for an efficient workflow and, ultimately, a successful, scalable business.
Repeat and Replicate
If you are a good leader, you will easily recognize the benefits of empowering the “students to become masters”. So, rather than turning workers into better employees, your ultimate goal should be to turn them into better leaders. Of course, this commitment will make them better employees, but much more importantly, it will generate loyalty and make them an advocate for your company and its brand.
This way you will be able to have full confidence in your employees’ capabilities and make sure that all the processes within the business are executed properly. Remember, the point of having employees is to rely on others to do the necessary tasks for the company to function. You can’t be responsible for everything and perform all of the tasks yourself!
Aside from your contribution to their motivation, improvement, and empowerment, there is much you can do to be the best leader you can be. Offer your employees training, provide them with career mentors, create fun working conditions, present new learning opportunities, celebrate success, reward innovation, maintain a safe environment, encourage open, authentic and transparent communication… to name but a few.
As a business owner, marketing executive or brand manager, you know that your company’s future depends on your employees. And to be a good employee and truly contribute to achieving the company’s goals, you have to be motivated and productive. Excelling in your leadership role is the most important step toward building a workplace that relies on exceptional employees.
If you’d like to get more tips on how to improve your leadership skills and engage your marketing team, sign up for the TopRight blog! You can also visit me on LinkedIn. And if you are looking for deeper marketing insight, think about picking up a copy of one of TopRight’s latest offerings: Strategic Analytics and/or Marketing, Interrupted.