41 tips on how to be a good leader
Leadership is a position in which people can thrive, stay put, or show their power. It takes time, discipline, and constant learning to become a good leader. You must not only be a leader for people, but also for yourself. If you want the best from the people under your leadership, you yourself must also be held accountable to the same standards. An effective leader leads by example, not just reasoning by word of mouth. It takes practice to become a good leader.
Many people have risen to a leadership position and failed miserably. This is because they don’t understand leadership. They only see the power they have and not the responsibility that comes with that power. If you want to be a person who succeeds as a leader, you need to commit yourself to a true understanding of the leadership position.
We have assembled the qualities necessary to be a good leader. By incorporating these qualities into your behavior, you can prepare yourself to become a leader for your team and be more successful. After all, a leader is judged by his or her team’s results, not by his or her own accomplishments.
A true leader understands that you need to listen to your team, not just hear it. When you listen to your team, you understand their problems, it helps you create a supportive work environment for all members of your team. If this is achieved, your team’s productivity increases. You are already leading a cohesive team.
It’s one thing to talk to your team, but it’s another to interact with them. Interacting means that you discuss tasks and make sure that your directions and goals are understood. Let your team be clear about your expectations and how everyone must work to ensure they are met.
The leader holds himself or herself accountable for his or her actions. This helps his team know what is expected of them. When you work with high standards, your team knows that they must follow your lead or they may get fired. If you work without standards, you will find that your team has no discipline or values.
Excitement is what pushes your team to achieve greatness when they encounter problems. You will need to consistently deliver great results and be enthusiastic about your mission, which will drive your team to success.
Consistency of excellence is what leads to great results. Greatness is achieved when your consistent actions and behaviors build on each other. In this way, leaders build great teams by encouraging their team to perform with excellence every day.
A great leader does not doubt the decisions he has already made. If he shows insecurity, the team will not be confident in him either. You don’t want your team to question your ability to lead them.
You should learn from people who have experience being a leader. They can help you understand what works and what doesn’t in leading a diverse team. Never assume that you know it all and don’t need help. Education is a never-ending process.
Just because you’re in a leadership position doesn’t mean you’re superman. Even a leader needs to know when a task is too difficult for him. Understand when to ask for help so you don’t jeopardize your team by making the wrong decision.
Your strengths are undoubtedly what makes you a leader. Take advantage of these strengths to help your team move forward by focusing on what you do best.
Everyone has weaknesses, no matter how competent they are. Good leaders know their weaknesses because they want to improve themselves. When these traits are known, it will be easier to organize yourself.
Excuses are simply reasons to give up success. Leaders admit their mistakes to eliminate excuses. A team without excuses is a team that works to continually improve its performance.
No matter how perfect your planning, there will be times when your plans will not be implemented because of problems that have not been addressed. There is no need to dwell on what you cannot control. You must learn to adapt and move forward with your goals.
If you do good things and send good energy, it will definitely come back to you. Help the less fortunate and help others become successful. You are given more when you give more of yourself.
The Internet is the place where you can spread the word about your business. That’s why networking is so important. You never know who can provide you with the opportunity to take your business to another level. Constantly add a contact base to your network and work to build strong relationships with these people you meet.
You need to understand your emotions, but don’t let them influence your judgment or work. When your emotions get out of control, they can disrupt yours and your team’s ability to succeed. You could lose a major client because you couldn’t control your emotions while doing business.
Don’t explode and create scenes that are difficult for you to recover from. When you feel like your emotions are about to take over, take time to step back and breathe quietly for a minute. Clear your head and collect yourself so that you speak with your mind, not with your emotions.
Even though it takes hard work to succeed, that doesn’t mean you have to create a strictly work environment. Sometimes it’s better to relax and have fun so that stress doesn’t become a negative factor for your team. Let there be certain days when your team can relax and have fun while working. It’s best to create a fun atmosphere every day so that your team works better.
Even if you don’t want to be slow to make decisions, you also shouldn’t rush and make hasty decisions. This can cause you to put your team in a position that is detrimental to their success. So be sure to analyze both the pros and cons of the choices you are about to make before you make your final decision.
The team of people you surround yourself with will determine your success. That’s why you need to carefully research the experiences of the people you want to attract to your team. If a person’s values do not match those you have set for your team, they can completely destroy the harmony of your team.
Do you always think about your team succeeding? Give your colleagues the resources and environment they need to thrive. Get to know those who work best in what area on your team, and give them assignments where their talent can unfold
There is nothing worse than a leader who thinks he should be worshipped because of his position. When this happens, his team becomes resentful and tries to undermine his leadership. This leads to a dysfunctional environment in which there can be no productivity.
Mistakes can be made when you are in leadership positions. Because of the high pressure associated with your responsibilities, you will sometimes not make the best decisions that can lift your team. You must have the determination to keep moving forward and correct your mistakes. There is no reason to question your abilities as a leader. Just learn from your mistakes and use them as lessons learned to make wiser decisions.
Never make decisions based on emotion. You must think about what is best for the team so that it can succeed. Unless the problem is particularly serious, you need to let go of your emotions and think about the best position that will be acceptable to your business. Think from a long-term perspective rather than making rash decisions.
Leadership means you will be able to lead different people with different viewpoints and values. There will be disagreements, and you will have to think about how to bring those disagreements to a fair resolution. Consequently, a leader must be able to apply excellent conflict resolution skills when he or she has to fix any problems that arise in his or her team.
A leader has so many responsibilities and so much pressure to be able to solve everything. Sometimes these pressures can become too much to handle. Spend time with your family and friends so you can refresh your mind. So you can be completely rejuvenated and get back to your business with the energy you need to lead your team to success.
Good leaders read constantly to refine the thoughts and ideas that originate in their minds. Reading helps broaden your horizons and think fast when you are forced to make difficult decisions. You can also take any courses that help you improve your individual abilities and leadership skills. Once you stop learning, you will not only let yourself down, but also your team.
As a leader, you will have a hard time. You will have to deal with so many different factors to keep your business running and to inspire your team. It can be hard to keep going when no one really knows what you’re dealing with. And the fact that you need to be an example to many others. You need to be steadfast in your intentions, and keep moving forward despite the obstacles.
Don’t be stubborn when your strategy doesn’t work. Know when to turn around and try something else. If you try to push through your methods that don’t work, you are hurting both you and your team. Effective leaders understand that sometimes you have to try something different from the original plan to get successful results.
If a person on your team is doing more harm than good, let them go. If a product or service is costing you money, drop it. Don’t try to make something work that clearly doesn’t work in your favor. Eliminate your losses and increase your profits.
Mistakes are opportunities to learn how to lead and act better. If you make the same mistakes over and over again, it means you are not learning from them. After a mistake is made, figure out why it happened so you can know how to avoid repeating it when the same situations are repeated.
When you make a strong argument for why your decision is correct, back up your argument with compelling facts. Provide facts that clearly show why your decision is the best decision with respect to helping your team achieve its goals.
Always provide your team with feedback that informs their strengths and weaknesses. Do you want your team to continually work to improve quality? Let them know your recommendations about the work you’ve done, so that they take them into account in the future.
Don’t be the one who has to be constantly involved in your team’s work. By doing this, you are not only disrupting your team’s workflow, but also hindering your ability to effectively act as a leader. Allow your team to complete their task, and only periodically check in with them to see how their work is progressing.
Keep an open door so that your team can come to you to discuss their views on the business. You want your team to fully trust you as their leader. It helps to keep an open communication policy in your organization, which is necessary in difficult times.
Playing favorites is an elementary tactic used by leaders who don’t understand people’s emotions. It creates a competitive environment that does more harm than good. As resentment spreads throughout the team, mistrust and dysfunction arise, and then it becomes harder to succeed.
Even if you want to be friends with your team, you don’t want to cross a personal line. People tend to use your personal relationship with them to their advantage. Thus, if you cross that line, it can be used against you, jeopardizing your position as a leader.
You should always strive to pay people for any help they have given you. This shows that you are a person who cares about those who care about you. You can build stronger relationships, thereby improving quality.
You never know what the future holds. Maybe you have a higher position than the other person at the moment. What if he gets a key position and can help you with your business?
If one of your team members leaves, it doesn’t mean you have to stop communicating with them. The person can move on to opportunities that are good for your business. If you were a good leader and you are still in contact with him or her after he or she leaves, he or she will think of you first when an opportunity comes up that can benefit your business.
There are so many leaders who have a successful professional life but a poor personal life. This is because they sacrificed their personal life to achieve career success. Even if leadership takes up a lot of your time, you still need to make time for your personal relationships.
Leadership can be fun, but it can also be a difficult challenge. Learn to appreciate all aspects of leadership. If you don’t like what you do, you will have a hard time being a leader. Think about the prospects you are aiming for, and remember that you are leading a team designed to help you achieve those goals
As you can see, leadership consists of many qualities necessary for success. If you are committed to success, you will be a thriving leader. Also remember that leadership is about inspiring your team to succeed.
How to become a leader and earn authority
As you know, people are divided into two types: those who manage and those who are governed. Most people dream of being in the first category, but only a few manage to do so. You have a chance to join their ranks – I will tell you how to become a leader and lead people.
Who is a leader?
The word “leader” in English means “going ahead, leading, the first. It is a member of a group of people, for whom all the other members of the group recognize the right to make decisions and act on behalf of the whole team.
The phenomenon of leadership has always interested psychologists and sociologists. Why do some people arouse trust and desire to follow them, sometimes even in defiance of common sense, while others do not?
The prevailing doctrine in psychology is that a certain set of traits and characteristics makes a person a leader. In total there are about a hundred of them, nine of which are fundamental – and we will devote our article to them.
The evolution of the leader
You can’t become a leader overnight as if by magic. The work of leadership development builds an inner framework of personality. It is a long work that requires persistence and faith in yourself.
Psychologists distinguish four stages of leadership.
- Leader of your own life. This is the embryonic level where the beginnings of leadership skills are formed. A person takes control over the management of their own life: sets priorities, plans their time competently, sets goals and objectives, which are subsequently implemented.
- Situational leader. At this stage, the person is already capable of taking responsibility for the actions of a group of people in a specific situation. For example, to gather like-minded people among friends and organize a joint event. The more such situations, the closer he is to the third stage.
- Leader in a particular team. The person takes charge of people in order to achieve some long-term goal. For example, becomes the head of the class, the project leader at work, the captain of the KVN team, etc.
- A thought leader. This is the highest level of leadership. Here the individual is able to infect those around him with his ideas and cause them to voluntarily want to follow him. Examples are the leaders of the socialist revolution in various countries – Lenin, Che Guevara, Mao Zedong.
We will not venture into the fourth stage-the third is sufficient to become an effective leader.
The qualities inherent in the true leader.
To become a leader you need to educate yourself in the qualities of a leader, which we are now going to talk about. I will list the main characteristics of a successful leader and give specific exercises to help you develop them. Welcome to leadership training school!
If you want people to willingly follow your instructions, you must have a mastery of the subject. Imagine how your subordinates would feel about a boss who doesn’t know a thing about work. He will cause nothing but irritation and annoyance, right?
An expert in a certain area automatically becomes an informal leader among the less competent people: he gets respect, his opinion is listened to and people ask for advice, even if he is not the boss. Therefore the first thing to do on the way to leadership is to eliminate the gaps in knowledge.
Exercise 1. Increase Competence
Identify for yourself an area in which you lack awareness. Naturally, it has to be related to the area in which you want to gain leadership.
Start slowly filling in the missing knowledge – read books, take courses and trainings, and learn from the experience of more experienced people. As you do so, gradually expand your influence and gain the respect of those around you. This is the basis of leadership.
About the importance of constant learning and increasing the amount of knowledge I wrote in the article 12 habits of successful people – I recommend to read.
Willingness to take responsibility distinguishes a mature person from an infantile one. Some people, even after the age of thirty, remain psychological children and project parental figures outward. They are anxious, neurotic, always doubting and looking for someone to lean on and to hand over control of their own lives. And the position of a leader relies on psychological maturity and stability. It is impossible to become a leader without growing up and learning to rely only on yourself.
Exercise 2. Make decisions for yourself
The first thing to do – stop passing the responsibility on to others, even in small things. Do not know what to order in a restaurant? Listen to your desires, and not ask for advice from the friend sitting next to you. Can’t decide on a dress? Trust your taste, and not just send your friends selfies from the fitting room.
You have to feel the thrill of each independent choice to grow your credibility in your own eyes. Next, you can begin to make more serious decisions that affect the interests of others. Take every opportunity to take responsibility.
Cowards have no place among leaders; they are always somewhere in the last ranks. No one will want to follow a person, trembling like an autumn leaf in the wind. Nor do they aspire to that role. Theoretically, yes, but when it comes to concrete action, they give up.
Fortunately, courage can be developed at any age. To do this, you have to stop fighting your fear, allow yourself to experience it, but not go along with it. Shaking knees and sweaty palms should be a signal to action, not an excuse to hide in the bushes.
Exercise 3. Overcome Your Fear
Think of a situation that isn’t life threatening, but makes you feel frightened. Maybe you’re afraid to talk on the phone with strangers. Or are you terrified of public speaking? The more examples you can think of, the better.
Surely you have tried in every way to avoid causes for fear, to bypass them. Now it’s time to meet them face to face. Start creating situations that scare you – at least one a day. Afraid to be alone in an unfamiliar city? Arm yourself with a map and go! Avoided talking to the cute girl next door? Ask her out on a date.
The first attempts will be difficult for you. Remember, you can only achieve a high goal by constantly stepping out of your comfort zone.
To become a leader, you must first stop being afraid:
- of being criticized;
- of making decisions;
- possible failures.
Watch the video on the subject.
To be a good leader, you must learn to quickly translate your thoughts and words into action. Too much thinking and talking kills spontaneity, sows doubt and uncertainty. Once you have made a decision, you should firmly and decisively implement it without any hesitation.
Exercise 4: Think Less, Do More
Watch yourself – do you make important decisions easily? How much time do you spend on reflection and how much on action? If there is a clear preponderance in favor of the first, try to gradually reduce it. This does not mean that you need to make rash impulsive actions. Just at the stage when the decision is already made, try not to look into the future and not to imagine its possible consequences.
Already after a week of such control you will be pleasantly surprised how much free time you have and how much your anxiety has decreased.
If a person is not confident in himself, then other people can not be confident in him and trust him to manage themselves. Uncertainty is read instantly at a subconscious level and causes a desire to step aside or stand on top. And being a leader from a lower position is an impossible task.
Without self-confidence it is impossible to develop the charisma so necessary for a successful leader.
Just do not confuse confidence with arrogance – the two have nothing in common. A critical, arrogant look at others will not add respect to you, but will only cause irritation. You should give the impression of a dependable person, on whom you can rely, rather than a pompous conceited person.
Exercise 5. Stop making excuses.
By making excuses, you empower others to judge you, and you demonstrate your dependence on their judgment. Stop making excuses, and you’ve already taken the first step toward self-confidence.
Every time you feel the urge to justify some action or act, a strong willed effort to stop yourself. If you are really guilty, apologize and somehow make up for your mistake, but do not excuse yourself – your excuses are not necessary.
At first it will be hard, in every controversial situation you will begin to itch to explain the motives for their actions. But if you learn to keep it behind your teeth at such moments, others will immediately feel your strength.
The ability to communicate is one of the main leadership qualities, necessary not only for managing people, but also for life in general. It is impossible to be a spherical leader in a vacuum, a leader is always formed in a team, and this trait is extremely social.
Exercise 6: Initiate Communication
Take every opportunity to pump up your communication skills. Talk to people in public transport, in lines, on the street, at the gym-even if it’s just a few words spoken. It is very important to overcome the inner barrier that arises at the moment when you start communicating.
Read more about how to develop your communication skills in our article “How to Learn to Communicate with People.
A true leader is able to organize not only himself, but also other people. Systems thinking allows him to see the problem comprehensively and select the optimal solution, rationally using the available resources. He competently distributes tasks, controls the process of implementation and motivates the team to perform them in a quality and timely manner.
All these skills are developed over the years in the process of active work. The earlier you start, the faster you can achieve results.
Exercise 7: Take charge of organizing something
Start with simple tasks. For example, take on the task of organizing a country picnic for friends. Choose a place, decide on the number of people and budget. Then you’ll need to make a list of tasks that need to be performed. It may look something like this:
- rent transportation;
- buy groceries;
- cook food;
- think of an entertainment program;
- take plaids and bedding.
Take care of most of the tasks, and delegate the rest to your friends. Try to approach the issue with the utmost responsibility, take into account all the nuances. As a reward, you’ll get not only the experience of organizing, but also the gratitude of friends for a wonderful day off.
Discipline and hard work
Who would you be more willing to give the leadership of themselves, other things being equal – the chronic slacker who used to sleep until lunch, or a man collected and hardworking? I think the answer is obvious.
A leader has to set a good example to his followers or subordinates, so they will follow him and become better. He must be strict and demanding of himself, and then only he can be strict and demanding of others.
Exercise 8: Start getting up earlier.
The earlier you wake up, the more you can do in a day. The peak of your performance is in the morning hours, and then it goes down.
Most people can’t stand the early rise. And all because they have formed a negative pattern in the brain: “early morning – traffic – crowded transport – work. We need to break this associative pattern and create a new, but positively colored.
Think up your morning ritual, which will charge you with positive emotions. This can be contemplating the sunrise with a cup of coffee in hand, a walk through the quiet deserted streets of the morning, watching your favorite TV series in a warm bed. You should do this every day, and then the early risings will no longer cause you discomfort.
The world is changing at breakneck speed, and to always be on top of it, you need to change with it. The modern leader is characterized by the ability to switch quickly to new tasks, the desire to introduce new effective methods and developments, the rejection of excessive conservatism.
Exercise 9. Try New Ways
Thinking flexibility is trained by constantly looking for new, more effective methods of achieving a goal. Do an audit of your habits; perhaps some of them should be abandoned or replaced with more productive ones.
For example, you always commute to work by the same familiar route that has already bored you. Try a new route, perhaps it will be more convenient and take less time.
Useful materials on the topic of the article
To begin with, I want to recommend you a good project that I have been using for almost a year. If you have read my other articles, you must have noticed that I talk about it almost in each one. The project is called Wikium, and its materials are devoted to the issues of human self-development.
I advise you Wikium if only because it is almost entirely free. The first thing you need to pay attention to on the project are the simulators developed by practicing psychologists and programmers. The simulators are divided into groups according to the skills they form. Some develop emotional intelligence, others – intelligence, others learn to understand the micro-expressions of the faces of others, etc. Each simulator is completely free, and there are about a hundred of them in all.
The second usefulness – webinars. Previously they were devoted only to the features of the brain, today the subject is more extensive and covers different issues of personal growth. Webinars are also free. Speakers sometimes advertise paid materials, but you can not buy them if you do not want.
The third is courses. You already have to pay for them, but most programs (so far there are 16 of them) are very cheap – no more than one or two thousand rubles.
In general, look at the site and sign up for updates. I think you will like it. Below I will briefly describe the courses that will help you develop some leadership qualities. The programs are inexpensive, so don’t pass by.
Description. Already from the title it is clear that the course teaches how to be a more goal-oriented person. It can be difficult not so much to set a goal, as to answer the question, “What exactly do I want?” The course teachers will help you to do this, explaining how to set priorities in life, decide on the goals for different periods of time and start moving towards them.
We also pay attention to how to properly plan your time, how to distribute different kinds of load during the day to live each day with maximum efficiency.
The cost: 990 rubles.
Course to develop communication skills
Description. This program teaches you how to communicate with people in very difficult or already conflict situations. You will understand how to correctly interact with unpleasant people, selfish people, narcissistic or overconfident men and women.
If in the previous course all the information was presented as a text, here you will find video lectures. They are accompanied by exercises, simulators and tests. After buying the course materials will not disappear, you can go back to them after a while if you need.
The first video lectures focus on emotions and control over them. If you are particularly interested in this topic, check out the following program.
Cost: can be purchased for 1,490 rubles and mastered on your own, or buy at the rate of “With a Mentor” for 2,490 rubles.
Description. This program is for those who want to learn to control their emotions. It will help you better understand their experiences, especially negative, and learn to better manage them, keep them “in check.
The second aim of the course is to help each student better understand the emotions of those around him. The ability to “feel” that with whom you talk, helps to choose the right tactics for further communication – with someone to communicate more firmly (especially true for guys), with someone – more softly, so as not to offend and not to alienate the person.
The program is quite extensive – 20 lessons. You will find within the course videos, text material, tables and charts. The skills you will work out on the unique simulators.
Cost: 990 rubles.
So far these are all the leadership courses that I have found to be reliable and effective. If you have personally purchased any courses – please tell me about it in the comments, I will add to my article.
Leaders are not born, but become – this is a fact. Everyone who seriously sets a goal and makes the necessary efforts has a chance. Do not deprive yourself of this chance, start taking action now. Share your successes in the comments and visit us again!