PM Articles by Project Times.
Leadership matters in an organization for many reasons, not least of which is because a business that lacks strong leadership cannot continue to function. At minimum, there has to be a set of agreed-upon objectives, but leaders provide much more than this. The best-run companies have employees who don’t just show up but who are enthusiastic about doing so because they are working toward a common goal. However, there is always room for improvement. Whether you feel that you are faltering in this role or you feel that things are going smoothly, the tips below can help you.
Consider Your Soft Skills
There are a number of soft skills you need to develop if you are going to be effective. If you are deficient in any of these, you should work to improve them. First, you need to be able to motivate others. This takes charisma and the ability to see things from others’ points of view in order to understand what will inspire them. You also need to be resilient. Whatever your best efforts may be, they don’t always work, and it’s important to display positivity to your team even in the face of adversity. Hand-in-hand with this goes strong self-control so that you can keep things steady even in turbulent times.
Problem-solving skills are critical. This means coming up with concrete, evidence-based solutions. You may be the type of person who is largely led by instinct. While you can be successful if you operate in this way, be sure that you are still able to logically examine your choices and try to identify any bias that could be influencing your decisions. Finally, you need to either be an extrovert or have some extrovert tendencies. In other words, you can’t sit in your office all day working intently on projects. You’ll need to be communicative and approachable.
Develop Rapport with Employees
One important function of that extroversion mentioned above is that it helps you develop a good relationship with your employees. There are a few reasons to do this. First, by creating an atmosphere of transparency and trust, your staff will know that they can come to you with problems, and this can mean being able to solve issues before they become serious.
Next, this rapport means that you can mentor talented employees, an important function for a leader. It also allows you to delegate more effectively and to make sure that your employees have the tools they need for their job. This is empowering and increases staff morale. Having a good rapport with employees can help avoid communication gaps because there is a solid foundation in place from the jump.
Learn to Implement Solutions
As a leader, your job is not just to solve problems but to bring others along with you. In other words, you need to get others to embrace those solutions as well. If you are managing a fleet and you need to be able to monitor your vehicles more effectively, you could opt for GPS fleet tracking software. However, if this kind of tracking is new for your drivers, they might initially be resistant to it. Therefore, you will need to find a way to demonstrate how it can benefit them. It might free them from some of the manual record-keeping that they normally have to do, make their journeys safer or allow to better serve customers who will have more accurate delivery times. You could also reward high-performing drivers or even create friendly competitions as long as you do not compromise safety.
Assessing Your Effectiveness
Numbers are one way of assessing your effectiveness, and if your team is performing well in an objective sense, then this is one sign you are doing something right. However, it isn’t everything. In line with the soft skills discussed above, there are questions you can ask yourself to determine if you are leading as effectively as possible. How do your employees feel about failure? Do they fear it? If you are trying to be innovative, sometimes there will be failures. You should sincerely encourage them to see this failure as simply a step on the road to success.
Another thing to ask yourself is how regularly you both give and receive feedback. Both are important. When giving feedback, you should offer specific, measurable actions that the employee can take for improvement. However, it is also important that they feel free to give feedback to you on your ideas and performance. This can’t simply be theoretical either. If you’ve invited feedback and not received any, you need to look at why this is. Yet another thing to examine is whether you have been helping them develop their own careers. Of course, it’s still important to focus on your own goals, but if you want to be a leader, you can’t stop there. You need to set clear expectations and work with them on setting their own goals as well. Think in terms of collaborating with your team rather than giving orders from a lofty position above them.
Drew is a financial enthusiast, seasoned blogger, music and sports fanatic. He enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and daughter fishing and boating. He is dedicated to his 20+ year career in the banking, mortgage, and personal finance industry.