Not every boss is a leader. A boss who’s not a leader is more concerned with outcomes and accountability, while leaders feel responsible for the process and the people involved. While bosses may be busy barking orders and overloading employees with task after task, leaders are producing the most effective and long-lasting results. Bossy people are more likely to fail, and leaders more likely to succeed. This is how to be a leader for your team!
Be a people person
Your team is filled with a cast of characters – individuals with different personalities, skills, talents and challenges. You have to enjoy working with them and putting them in positions to succeed. Treat everyone equally and don’t let your personal biases affect the team dynamic.
It’s not your way or the highway! Be open to new processes and ideas, especially those of your team. While you shouldn’t compromise your expectations, you might have to adapt your leadership style to fit the needs and individuality of your team members.
Teach and learn
Guide and use constructive criticism, but don’t control. Recognize everyone’s strengths and weaknesses and challenge your team to improve. Praise successes and jump in to help when obstacles arise. While a boss already knows it all, leaders are willing to learn from those with less seniority and respect the skills and experience of team members.
Motivate and inspire
Bosses limit the creative process and self-expression, which kills motivation and innovation, causing employees to resent them. Instead, figure out what gets your team to perform at the highest levels and expect greatness from them. Cheer their successes and encourage self-sufficiency.
Give credit and accept blame
Leaders know that success is a result of teams’ efforts and are humble enough to praise and reward those employees responsible for it. But when the team fails, you also need to accept responsibility and not blame your team. See that those failures are learning opportunities.
Listen and inquire, don’t dictate and demand. Actively seek thoughts and ideas about critical topics from your team, and be willing to share information that empowers them. Check in with the group and with individuals as needed and clearly communicate your expectations.
You want to allow for autonomy and be able to delegate big responsibilities; however, know when you need to step in. Show your employees you trust them to do a good job and make sure your team has the necessary time and resources. But go the extra mile and demonstrate you’re part of the team, willing to take on the same tasks you ask of them.
Being an effective leader is important to the success of your employees. At CulverCareers, we understand what it takes to be a great leader. Contact us today for more information.