Leadership is one of the most challenging pursuits a person can undertake. It requires dedication, patience, and a lot of hard work. However, leadership is often misconstrued as a position of privilege. While that may be true in some sense, that doesn’t tell the whole story.
A leader is, first and foremost, a servant, which means the focus of leadership should be serving others. Good leaders are those who can contribute to the growth and development of those around them. In fact, a big part of leadership is giving back. Successful businessmen like Peter Loftin, Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates have all contributed in some shape or form towards the betterment of others.
Looking for ways to be a better leader? Here are some tips:
- Lead By Actions, Not Words
The world’s greatest leaders are men and women of action: Abraham Lincoln, Joan of Arc, Napoleon, Genghis Khan, Magellan, Queen Elizabeth, and many, many others.
Anyone can give orders but not everyone can lead. Giving orders is easy, but leadership is hard work. It takes a special kind of person to be a leader–one who can move others by example and take accountability for their actions. In reality, leaders are just glorified servants whose primary mission is to guide others.
Prominent business leaders like Peter Loftin have succeeded not because of their words but because of the work they put forth.
- Communicate Effectively
The modern workplace is prone to mistakes, miscues, and all sorts of blunders arising from poor communication. A lot gets lost in translation, especially over the Internet. Mistakes happen–even when they shouldn’t.
Good leaders understand the power of communication (and the cost of miscommunication), which is why they use words carefully. They speak with precision and have a knack for delivering the right message in the right manner, leaving virtually no room for error.
To communicate effectively, think before you speak: (1) evaluate the situation and examine its context, (2) formulate your message in a firm and clear manner, and (3) invite questions and clarifications. Save yourself the trouble and say what you mean. A good leader doesn’t mince words.
- Encourage Independence And Creativity
Too often, companies sacrifice creative freedom for conformity–all in the name of systems and processes. While this is obviously unintentional, it stifles employees’ potential and robs companies of their employees’ best work.
This is not to say that we should scrap systems and processes. However, it would do everyone good to strike a balance between creativity and order.
Good leaders are masters at balancing creativity and order. They know when to let ideas loose and when to rein them in, giving each person freedom while still maintaining the flow of the workplace.
Effective leadership sometimes means taking a backseat and allowing others to shine, even if it means breaking a few rules.
- Practice Kindness
Kindness is one of the most essential, yet often overlooked, traits of a good leader. Although people often admire powerful charismatic leaders, many of them would much rather work for leaders who are kind and generous.
Leadership is more than just bossing people around. It involves nurturing others and helping them reach their full potential–a task that requires patience and a whole lot of kindness.
Being a leader is so much more than a title or a position. Rather, it is living a lifestyle that contributes towards the improvement and growth of others.