It’s Time to Boost Your Leadership Skills
The privilege of leadership is getting to believe in people even before they believe in themselves. It’s a commitment to make a difference in the lives of the people around you - specifically, your employees. As a leader, it’s not only your job to ensure your team meets goals and achieves success, but also to ensure you’re helping the individuals on your team be the best they can be.
In order to lead your team to success, you need to set the standard high and focus on learning and developing the skills and characteristics necessary to being a great leader. Skills and concepts that can fall into the category of ‘hard skills,’ such as: project and time management, verbal and written communication, public speaking, and industry specific expertise cannot be forgotten. Yet, while it’s important to continually work on this type of skill, it’s equally important to focus on developing personal traits and characteristics strong leaders possess:
Compassion and Empathy
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, while compassion is your willingness to go out of your way to help those in need around you. A strong leader will practice both traits.
Empathizing with your employees allows you to better relate and connect with them as people and demonstrates that you’re a person too. Leading with compassion and focusing on the belief that every person has value, is capable and is responsible ensures everyone is treated with fairness and kindness. Leading with both compassion and empathy is one of the best ways to gain your team’s trust and loyalty, both of which are necessary to being a successful leader.
Authenticity and Honesty
Authenticity is being true to who you are, and honesty, or always being truthful, goes hand-in-hand with being authentic. Not being authentic or honest is the fastest way to lose your team’s respect and trust – two things critical to have if you’re going to lead your team to success.
It’s usually very easy to tell if someone isn’t being authentic, or isn’t comfortable with who they are. It may not always be easy to tell if someone isn’t being honest, but as soon as dishonesty is discovered, it’s nearly impossible to earn trust back. Even when it isn’t easy, focus on discovering who you are and being authentic to yourself, and commit to being honest with your employees.
Positivity and Determination
As a leader, your energy sets the tone for your entire team. If you look at every situation as an opportunity to learn and grow, so will your employees. If you believe failure is not an option, and are determined to make things happen and achieve results, your team will be too. Your attitude will reflect on every individual you engage with, and you can’t expect positivity and perseverance from your team unless you practice what you preach.
As a leader, you serve others before you serve yourself. This means considering the needs of your team, as individuals and as a group, and focusing on the best interests of the team as a whole. The most successful leaders realize that it’s not about their own success, but about the overall success of the employees that make up their team. Focusing on the needs of your team and achieving success together is what makes you a successful leader.
Being a leader is a well-earned privilege – you get to work to better the people that make up your team, and assist them in achieving success on both an individual level and as a unit. In order to do that and become a successful leader, you must work to develop the ‘hard skills’ specific to your position and your industry, but you must never forget to also focus on the critical characteristics all great leaders share. Selflessly leading your team with compassion and empathy, encouraging positivity and determination, and remaining authentic and honest are traits that will ensure you earn and keep the trust and loyalty required to be a successful leader.