We all want to be better leaders, more effective leaders, and leaders that truly inspire others, but how are we supposed to navigate the hectic world of leadership? These three tips are a great place for any leader to start.
Listen, ask, engage
Oftentimes, leaders come into their position of authority because of their individual success in an area. This can cause leaders to act as if they know everything and that their way is the best way. However, if you have worked on any type of team this is usually not the case.
It is our job as leaders to surround ourselves with peers who are more knowledgeable than us in certain areas. This is the whole point of working on a team. If the you, the leader, is unable to show humility by not having all the answers, your team will severely underperform. That is why you must intently listen to those around you. After you have absorbed what has been said, it is now time to put your leadership arsenal to use. Ask deep, insightful questions that you are truly curious about. Your team members will be more than happy to further explain and teach you about the topic. Finally, you must engage with your team. Put what you listened to and gathered from questioning to use. This is the turning point from planning to action.
Being a leader is a choice. It's a responsibility that not everyone should take on. For those that do choose to lead, it's your job to be present at all times. It's really easy to be a leader when things are going great and your team is succeeding. You get most of the credit and recognition for success. But what about when things aren't going so smoothly. Your team is declining, members aren't meshing, and the results just aren't there. This is not the time where you can dish off the blame to outside forces, other members, or those above/below you. Just like during times of prosperity, times of despair fall directly on you.
It's all about how you respond and move forward during these times that will truly test your leadership. Take responsibility, own up to the mistakes, and keep pressing on. People don't remember how you act during times of success, they remember how you respond during times of crisis. Embrace the grind, grow, and never look back.
Achieving a leadership role is often a huge milestone for people. Whether this is a captain on the high school football team, a state officer position, or moving up the ranks in your job, this achievement is a big deal. Celebrate your hard work and success of reaching your goals during this moment. But here's the thing: you are just getting started.
Becoming a leader is not the end of a journey, it's just the beginning. If you settle with just getting the position, nothing good will ever come out of it. With leadership, you have to put in the work to see any results. Don't get complacent or let up on growing as a leader. This should be the time to kick things into overdrive and break the limits.