“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.” ― Peter F. Drucker
Leadership is getting the right things done. Developing this acumen doesn’t happen in a single leap. Here are ideas.
1. Apologize quickly without hesitation
It took many years for me to realize how saying “I’m sorry” can help. For years, I thought leadership meant insulating myself from my subordinates and hiding any weaknesses. If I made a mistake, I’d pretend it was just a misunderstanding or someone else’s fault. If you fess up quickly, people working for you will respect you more and follow directions.
2. Admit when you don’t know every answer
Not admitting my mistakes came from a sense of superiority and pride. I thought, I’m the leader so I must be right. I now understand leadership differently. It’s a servant role. And, like anyone in business, you are never going to have all of the answers. Revealing you are human is helpful; good leaders go and find the answers the team needs.
3. Analyze first, then act
It takes time to collect information, and there’s a sense in leadership that you need to move quickly. We are paid to respond and act, not to sit back and wait for someone else to solve problems. Yet, I made the mistake of acting before analyzing. In a few cases, I even approved projects, new hires, and direction before getting 100% of the data.
4. Train others only when you really know the topic
I’m trained as a writer and designer, so it was easy to pass on this knowledge to my team. At times, I’d try to train them in other areas, like testing for bugs in a software program or in HR issues. I should have found an expert to do the training.
5. Be quick with positive feedback, slow with criticism
It sounds corny, and maybe you can overdo this one, but I honestly believe many employees in young companies need constant encouragement. We live in complex, competitive times and people are inundated with too many tasks and not enough time. Technology and business life can be overwhelming. so it’s important to point out any “wins” no matter how small. And, if you do have to criticize, think seriously about the impact first.
6. Ask personal questions
One of my greatest challenges as a leader had to do with my introverted personality. I didn’t share enough about myself, my family life, and my aspirations for the team. I’ve since realized how being hyper-focused and analytical by nature also helped me get promoted and were probably my greatest strengths. I wish I had tried to understand my team’s personal motivations more and relate on a personal level.
7. Embrace failure on projects
Here’s an interesting one. During my tenure as an upper-level manager, I tended to avoid failure at all costs. Early on, I started a company on my own that went belly up. So, in the corporate world,
Read full article via 20 Ways to Become a Better Leader Right Now | Inc.com.
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Jim is president of InnoThink Group and Leadership Matters. He is a leader in workplace learning, productivity, performance, and leadership training solutions. For over 25 years, we have helped companies improve their performance, productivity, and bottom-line results.