“To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” —Eleanor Roosevelt
Some people are seemingly born into this world as leaders. They can easily get those around them to buy into an idea or turn around a bad situation. You can see these men and women in workplace, the community, politics or sports.
However, the idea of a natural-born leader is somewhat of an illusion. These folks were able to learn how to motivate or inspire others through education and experience. Whether you’ve been in an executive position for years or you’re just getting your feet wet making decisions, you can always improve your leadership skills.
Listen and pay attention
A leader cannot be effective if he or she isn’t connected to their team. Make an effort to be conscious of the team members’ sensitivities. Good leaders learn to recognize the value of various opinions and think about where those around them are coming from. When people show their emotions during interactions, it can reveal essential points of how they view certain issues or personal relationships.
Also, pay attention to what people do outside the workplace. Connecting with your employees over their families or interests shows you value them as people and not just employees. In turn, these people will respect you more as a leader if you understand them as people.
Learn from others
A good leader also knows she or he doesn’t have all the answers and looks to the successes of others as a guide. Look at the track record of those who have previously held your position. Analyze why they fell short and why they were successful. Start seeing typical mistakes. Evaluate your leadership style compared to theirs. Also, watch your peers to check their progress while considering factors such as location and finances.
If possible, find a trusted friend or colleague who can act as a sounding board, advisor or even mentor. Avoid seeing seeking help as a sign of being inept or weak.
While it’s good to draw inspiration, keep in mind – the best leaders are true to themselves. They don’t try to become someone else or play a role. Their leadership style is a natural extension of their best characteristics.
Practice what you preach
Whether they want to or not, leaders set the tone for a workplace. With this in mind, make a concentrated effort to exude the values you want to see in your workers. Establishing rules and then going on to violate them is a sure-fire way to lose the respect of your employees.
Most importantly, good leaders always make an effort to stay positive. See failures as chances to learn. Fight adversity as a ‘happy warrior.’ Avoid talking bad about those around you. Keeping a positive mindset will go a long way in convincing people to follow your lead.
From all of us here at ZDA, we want to wish you and your organization a Happy New Year! If you are looking for a supply chain staffing solution to start 2016 off right, contact us today!