No matter what leadership role you are in whether it is heading up a multi billion pound organisation or leading a small sales or operations team, modern leaders are faced with constantly changing work and business environments. This makes it is impossible to adopt a single style of leadership which will suit all situations.
But what style and approach will be best suited for which situations? Below are some tips to help you traverse the pathway of becoming a better leader in a smoother and potentially more rewarding way:
- Recognise that the world is rapidly changing. You therefore have two choices – you can either resist change or become involved and learn from it. Your organisation, team, peers and superiors will be looking for you to demonstrate a willingness to accept change. Leading by example encourages others to deal positively with organisational or market changes. It will also help you and your team to sustain high levels of performance even in difficult and challenging times.
- Learn to develop a ‘Positive Mental Attitude’, when the going gets really tough this will really help to see you through even the most difficult situations.
- Adopt a ‘Can Do’ approach. Focus on what you can do to change things for the better, not on things you cannot change or are outside of your control. This will help you and your team to decide where to focus your energies. Take responsibility for making decisions and consider the impact of your actions.
- Balance your time on both the ‘task’ and your ‘people’. As a leader it is important to get the task completed successfully but not at the expense of ignoring people’s feelings, not recognising their contribution or by not involving them. Focussing on the task only can have a devastating effect on motivation, morale and levels of performance. However, simply focussing on the wants and needs of your staff will mean that tough decisions don’t get made and the task isn’t completed on time. This is why a balance between the two is important.
- Do you sometimes feel that people are on a completely different wavelength to you? This arises when your preferred or adopted style of leadership is different to others. However, there are significant benefits if you are able to adapt your style so that you can ‘connect’ with others more easily. You will start to see things from a different perspective and therefore you are more likely to consider a broader range of ideas, be more creative and potentially become more productive.
- Listen, learn and gather information. Gather things that are useful to you, for example: tips, tools, information or other resources that are important. No one has all the answers. Instead, build a collection of resources to help you solve problem. Leaders cannot afford to stop learning in an ever changing world.
- Never forget the goal. With so much going on and constant demands on your time it is very easy to forget your goals and become distracted away from the main purpose. Therefore successful leaders frequently ask themselves ‘What is my goal or purpose here?’ Once this has been clarified the next question should be ‘How am I progressing?’ If you can satisfy the goal, you are being effective.