Would your team of employees follow you to the ends of the earth, or do you have trouble getting them to stay past 5pm? Well, the good news is that no matter where you are on the leadership success spectrum, there are some tactics you can use to improve inspire, motivate, and ultimately create a more productive and effective workforce.
In fact, all you need to do is read the post below to find out what they are. Like a knight of old, would your employees follow you to the ends of the earth?
Enthusiasm goes a long way
The first tactics that differentiate successful leaders from those that fail are enthusiasm. In fact, passion is infectious, and it means if you have it for your business and the tasks that need completing for it to run, so will your staff.
Of course, underlying enthusiasm are a few different things that make it possible. One is that both you are your team are rested enough and get enough of a break away from work actually to be excited about it when you are there.
To that end demanding long hours, and unnecessary overtime is always a bad idea. In fact, you need to shift your focus on getting your targets achieved, rather than on the amount of time employees give to work. The reason being that this can not only save your money but help everyone to stay positive and enthusiastic as well.
Additionally, when it comes to enthusiasm, you need to remember that people will only respond to it if it is authentic. That means even if you are the best motivator and cheerleader there is if your heart really isn’t behind what your business’s goals are it will show and have a knock-on effect on everyone in the company.
Luckily, there is something you can do if you are having issues in this area. Its to take some time to get reacquainted with your business’s goals and values, and if necessary realign them to something that makes you more enthusiastic about work.
Use your crystal ball
Next, remember that a successful leader isn’t just great in the moment, but also has a weather eye on the horizons as well. What this means is that through your expertise, data gathering, and analysis of the market you work in, and how well your business is doing you can preempt future problems and avoid or address them before they become significant.
After all, if you the leader, don’t have an idea of what is to come for your business, who will?
Know your onions
Leaders need to know their onions to be successful. This is because authority and respect in a business situation aren’t given automatically but need to be earned.
Of course, part of this will be achieved by how you treat people and the results that you get while leading the business. However, what many people forget is that having expertise in your field can help to confirm your authority as well. After all, not many people question lawyers if they provide legal advice because they have studied the law in detail.
Happily, you can achieve a similar authority as the leader of your business by taking a course in administration management. Of course, many leaders do get such qualifications because they can’t afford to take a 3-4 year break from their careers and go back to college.
Luckily, this is no longer necessary because of the wide range of online degrees that are now on offer. In fact, such courses tend to be asynchronous which means that you can access the lectures, and assignment at any time and so fit them around your current responsibilities and schedule. Even if that is one that is exceptionally full because it is taken up with running a business.
Of course, there are additional steps that you can take to establish yourself as an expert in your field, and so be a more effective leader. One is to set up a blog where you offer information and advice on the area in which you work. You may even wish to create your own informative course or videos that help to convey useful information to others in your industry.
Play to your strengths
One of the smartest thing as an effective leader can do is to evaluate their own strengths and weakness realistically. After all, none of us are good at everything, and instead of seeing such weakness as a problem, a good leader will know where further study or effort are required, and when tasks that they aren’t strong on doing can be delegated to someone else.
In fact, you will often see the very highest and most successful leaders assign key responsibilities for things such as HR and interpersonal communication to their deputies. Something that frees them up to focus on other tasks that will further their business that they are better suited to, such as finding new markets, or developing better products.
Have you heard the phrase “Leaders eat last?” Well, it means that to maintain the success of your organisation in the long term you need to ensure that any benefits your company earns are distributed to employees before management take their cut.
Yes, this is a revolutionary way of conducting business, because we are used to thinking that the higher up the food chain has the right to first dibs on any profit, and those at the bottom should just be thankful to be employed at all.
However, what this approach does is to rewards those that make up the majority the business, and in the process establish trust and motivation. Something that means the leaders, who also get rewarded just not in an unproportionate way, can do their job more effectively. The reason being that they have already established a positive relationship with those they manage.
Kindness is free
I bet your mother used to tell you that manners don’t cost a thing, and she was right too. In fact, being kind to people rather than doing them over just for the sake of it is another way that you can improve your leadership skills.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that as a leader you won’t have to make some hard decisions sometimes and that you won’t have to correct people, discipline people, or even let them go. However, what we are focusing on here is less about what you do and more about how you do it. After all, there is very little to be gained from dehumanising people, balling them out in front of their coworkers, and generally being unkind, and so much to be gained from the opposite.
In fact, studies have shown that employees are much more likely to be civil, motivated and productive if they are treated with a certain level of respect and kindness than if they are ruled by fear. To that end, if you want to be a successful leader, a totalitarian dictatorship is definitely not the way to go.
You are not infallible
Bosses, managers, and leaders often think one of two things. That they are either infallible or that they need to appear to be so. This, however, is not always the case. In fact, infallibility is a quality that no human possesses and, to believe you are this as a leader can actually be a perilous thing. The reason is that it leaves you closed to new ideas, learning opportunities, and correction.
Of course, as a leader, you don’t want to appear as if you don’t know what you are doing, or that you aren’t reliable, but these are different from your fallibility.
In fact, being able to acknowledge and own up to a mistake, as well as take action to correct it could be the one thing that stands between your company and failure. To that end, retaining enough humility to be able to see the flaws in your own behaviour and work, and correct these is an essential quality of a successful leader.
Praise is the most valuable motivational tool
Money, food, and fear are often believed to be the most effective motivational tool that there are in this world. However, I would suggest that for most employees there is one that is far more valuable than that and that it is acknowledgment and praise.
What this boils down to is verbal recognition for a job well done from those in positions of power. Of course, this is great news for leaders that are looking to become more successful because unlike other incentives such as commission, and bonuses, praise doesn’t cost a thing.
With that in mind, leaders do need to get good at being able to authentically validate the hard work and success that their employees have demonstrated in their work. This being something that can foster positive relationships, increase motivation, and so ultimately encourage a much greater sense of loyalty to those in leadership positions.
In summary for leaders to be successful,, they need to have the expertise and experience in the field in which they are working to back them up. They also need to demonstrate their humanity by treating others with kindness and admitting their mistakes. Finally, they need to offer a vision for the future of their business, as well as the enthusiasm that will motivate everyone to get there.