Leadership skills are not something that you’re born with, but it’s clear that some people are fortunate in finding leading easier than following. There are many techniques that improve your leadership skills over time. Some require a major investment of time and energy whereas others are small, incremental changes that lead to improved results later.
Here are four ways that you can directly impact your leadership to make it better over time.
Be a Role Model for Other People
The best leaders are ones that lead by example. People want to look up to the people in leadership positions, whether they’re the team leader, the junior manager, or someone more senior. Workers respect people who are dependable with a calming personality, even when in crisis mode.
Leaders don’t just demand results and scald people who fail to live up to the standards they set. They need to inspire the people who work for them to deliver results. Encouragement and some guidance when it’s called for are better tools than making someone feel bad about their performance. Getting the balance right between driving results through and being a role model for your people takes practice to get perfect.
Elevate Your Situational Awareness Quotient
Good situational awareness is required to anticipate problems by understanding the full picture and how it will affect the current situation. Seeing problems before they occur or, at least, their potential occurrence, and working to cover any downside that could happen is a useful skill for a leader to possess.
Being on-the-ball when it comes to analyzing a situation for vulnerabilities or even suggesting better ways to do things that deliver improved results or lower costs is something that scores points with upper management. Junior managers move up to more senior positions when they demonstrate a keen eye for the nuts and bolts of the business and where improvements can be made.
Advancing Yourself Academically
Understanding effective leadership in competitive environments never goes out of style. Rather than learning on the fly, a masters in executive leadership teaches you how to make changes to a company from the ground up and to build teams more effectively.
An executive leadership masters online degree allows students to study from home or their office by taking online classes designed for busy executives who wish to advance further in their careers. Improving your character, being clearer about the integrity needed to succeed, and developing improved leadership qualities all contribute to a greater level of success within a company.
Admit Failures and Learn from Them
No successful leader is a winner all the time. A key trait of the best leaders is their ability to accept when a project or a product has failed, draw useful lessons from it, and ensure it never happens again. Being a better leader means accepting that we’re all fallible. Sometimes, the failure might come from one of your direct reports. In which case, the failure was also yours because they lacked proper instruction or you failed to identify early enough that they were not up to the task. Taking personal responsibility for your team’s failures (not just their successes) is all part of being an improving leader.
The path to great leadership never ends. It’s a continual state of learning, development, and improvement over a lifetime. You never get it completely right, but that’s the challenge of it.