The subject of leadership has been extensively studied over the years. The days of micromanaging employees are mostly long gone, at least when looking at ways to motivate your team and guide them to the next level of productivity. So here comes leadership. To be a good leader is to not simply make your employees, or coworkers, do their jobs. To be a good leader is to motivate your team, help them reach their full potential and even exceed it, and to lead them on to success.
But how do you become a good leader? Some people are natural leaders, they’re born with it, but if you are not one of those people, don’t worry! In this blog post, we will go through 3 things you can do to become a better leader and in turn guide your team to success.
1. Create Vision
Your team needs to believe in you, in your company, and in what you are trying to achieve. Vision is not simply an array of inspirational words to try to make your team motivated. Vision is a strategy, an aspirational one for sure, but a strategy nonetheless. To have vision is to have a leadership strategy for the future of your company in the long term. It is the drive of what you do as a leader and as a part of the organization.
So why is having a clear vision important for your team?
To lead a team is not to simply make sure that everyone is working. It’s crucial for any leader to bring everyone on the same page, so that the work done is going towards achieving the common goal. That common goal, that glue that sticks the team together on the same page, is done through a clearly defined vision. The productivity of the team is not measured by people working and how hard they are working, but by where this work is moving the company to. And your job, as a leader, is to guide them towards that.
By having a clearly defined vision, any team member, and especially you, are able to place every project, everything they’re working on, within the scope of the broader picture. Is this bringing you closer to the end goal or is it directing you somewhere else? These questions are fulfilled if the vision is set crystal clear and everyone within your company understands it.
2. Communicate & Listen
Communication is critical in any organization. Leaders must create a culture of open, two-way communication between the leader and the team. Similarly to communicating your vision, by providing feedback to the team and enabling team members to give feedback up the chain during each step of the process, leaders can increase the quality of work produced and maximize the productivity of the team.
The benefits of this open communication are two-fold. First, it allows to gain insight into the processes of your organizations. You are able to analyze whether some processes need to be changed, whether it’s on your behalf as a leader, or on the behalf of the team and the work they are doing. You are not simply reacting through evaluation at the end of the month, but making constant adjustments during the whole process. Secondly, open communication acts as a motivational factor for your team. Whatever role they play at the organization, it is crucial to be listened to and for their ideas and input be used to pave the road to success. One of the key motivational factors for workers is the ability to bring value and be important to the organization, and open communication provides exactly that.
There are a few ways you can encourage communication. Make sure employees are not simply included in meetings, but are engaged as well, generating ideas and participating in discussions. Depending on the size of your organization, it’s important to either create a system where employees are able to suggest ideas and solutions to management, or alternatively have a dedicated meeting for this. Having a constant stream of communication between all members makes the whole organization more productive.
3. Give Autonomy
Just as your workers want to be listened to, they also want to have autonomy in what they do. It is easy to feel like you need to oversee everything and micromanage your team members. But this doesn’t only hinder productivity in terms of slowing down the process, since they have to wait for your approval, but also it demotivates workers. When leaders delegate responsibility, they show those workers that they are valued and they are trusted. This makes them more motivated to work better, since they now take responsibility, and they want to prove that they are worthy of this responsibility.
Overseeing work, guiding, communicating, providing feedback — all of these things are important in being a good leader. But to be an excellent leader, you have to be able to let your team members do what they do best. You still need to guide them, but you must not control every step of their work, because that only hinders their productivity.
To be able to pick the right candidate for responsibility, it’s critical for you as a leader to learn about your team, and to coach them up to the level of autonomy if they aren’t ready. Make sure tasks are broken down and delegated to the right individuals.
And don’t forget — you must reward them. Whether it’s a simple ‘Well done!’, a gift card, a bonus — your team will be much more productive if their work is recognized and praised. Especially if they were given a degree of responsibility, acknowledging their contribution and their work is only going to make them work even harder. People take pride in the work they do. So as a good leader, you have to let them know that their contribution is not overlooked.
At the end of the day, being a good leader is no easy task. There are a number of different techniques and processes you can implement to become the best leader you can be. The important thing to remember is that being a good leader is to understand that your team members are human beings and should be treated as such. Get to know them, motivate them, guide them, coach them, listen to them, reward them, and make them care just as much as you care. And if you define a clear vision, create a culture of communication, and give your workers autonomy, you will see productivity increasing and your skills as a leader improving. And don’t forget — good leaders must adapt and change.
David Beriev is a marketing specialist at amoCRM. amoCRM is an easy-to-use, yet powerful CRM solution for teams who make data-driven decisions and love their customers. David is passionate about helping businesses gain competitive advantage through innovation and creativity.