Good leadership starts at the top, and it’s critical to the success of any business. But what makes a good leader? And how can you become a leader in your workplace? It’s not just CEOs and business owners who can be leaders. Managers, supervisors, and employees of all levels can be leaders in their own way.
What Makes a Leader?
We often think of leaders as being charismatic, compassionate, forward-thinking, collaborative, and intuitive. And while these qualities can be conducive to good leadership, they may not necessarily be required.
According to renowned educator Peter Drucker, there’s no specific personality type that designates a leader. Many brilliant American leaders lack certain lauded qualities, yet they’re remembered as some of the greatest minds this country has ever known.
So, what is it that makes a leader? Drucker posits that the best and most influential leaders share the same eight practices. They:
- Ask what needs to be done
- Consider what’s right for the enterprise
- Develop actionable plans
- Take responsibility for decision-making and subsequent outcomes
- Take responsibility for communicating with others
- Prioritize opportunities over problems
- Run productive meetings
- Focus on the collective rather than the individual
From being the leader of the free world to running a small business, the above traits are foundational. Still, these are very broad categories—they’re much more focused on the ‘what’ of leadership rather than the ‘how.’
Here are three ways you can implement these practices into your leadership style:
1. Fostering Relationships
Relationship building is a vital part of communicating with others, creating opportunities, and being conscious of the collective. To us, it can mean several different things. It can mean an upper manager mentoring an employee or forging bonds with other businesses and clients. It can also mean encouraging compassion and collaboration between coworkers, not just fanning the flames of competition. No matter what kind of relationships you’re fostering, it can contribute to a healthy, productive, and innovative work environment.
2. Give Good Feedback
When we say ‘good’ feedback, we don’t mean that your feedback always must be positive. In fact, it’s normal and healthy to offer critique to your employees… but it’s all about the setting and the delivery. If you are offering targeted employee feedback, it’s often most effective to do it one-on-one. Public humiliation or chastisement is poor form, even when it seems to yield the desired result. Try to give feedback in real-time, or at least in a timely manner. Don’t compare employees to their peers (this can become a source of conflict). Allow opportunities for your employees to ask questions and seek support when necessary.
3. Have Faith
Being a good leader means being able to delegate and trusting your team has your back. After all, running a business is rarely a one-person operation. You can rely on your squad of skilled professionals to do the jobs they were hired and assigned to do. No team is perfect, but they should be equipped to handle things even without hawk-eyed oversight.
It’s not easy to be a great leader, but with the right knowledge and skills, you can add leadership to your managerial toolbox. And when you’re ready to delegate, we’re always here to support you with professional office services. Visit My Annapolis Office today to find out what we can do for you.