5 Ways to Improve Your Leadership Qualities
Many people dream of becoming a well-loved leader in their lifetime. Be it at work, school or just among family and friends, a leader is a strong individual who others respect and look up to. Oftentimes, a leader is someone who has a strong viewpoint and can boost others’ morale during trying times or helps direct their peers in the right direction. Be it appreciating your peers and complimenting their strengths, or stepping up and in to meet deadlines and save the day.
But how does one become a leader? Is an individual just born with the charisma and wisdom that it takes to become an effective leader? Or is leadership a skill set that is learned throughout the years?
While some individuals may have been born with a natural tendency to be a leader, everyone must work on fine-tuning these skills. If you are looking for ways to enhance your leading abilities, look no further. Here are 5 ways to improve your leadership qualities.
1. Practice What You Preach
The easiest way to become a strong leader is by practicing what you preach. In other words, you need to lead by example. If you don’t value what you are saying or teaching enough to do it yourself, likely, others won’t follow your example either. But why is this the case?
Leading by example is another way to explain the psychotherapy term, modeling behavior. This phrase is frequently used in the cognitive behavior therapy profession and refers to when learning occurs through observation and imitation. This behavior occurs most often in children as they learn to behav e through watching their parents. However, this behavior is still frequently exhibited in adults in instances where they look up to their role models or are under an individual’s leadership in a professional or personal environment.
If you are in a position of power or leadership, others will be looking to you for guidance. Whether it is a conscious decision or not, the choices you make and how you behave will be modeled by those who look up to you. With that in mind, it is of the utmost importance that you behave in a manner that you would condone.
2. Know Your Strengths
Unfortunately, no one can do everything perfectly. While everyone has their weaknesses, they also have strengths that are unique to just them! Being able to take an objective look at your strengths and weaknesses is the first step to growing and improving on your leadership skills.
By knowing where your leadership skills lack, you can focus on improving in these areas by giving them your undivided attention. Similarly, by knowing where you are gifted, you can determine what makes you the most effective as a leader and capitalize upon it.
For example, if you are an excellent speaker, be sure to schedule speaking engagements for yourself. By playing to your strengths, you can effectively inspire your teammates.
3. Embrace Your Mistakes
Admitting that you are wrong is hard. This is especially true when you have an audience to admit your mistakes too. But by owning up to your mistakes, you are becoming a more effective leader. Here is why.
When you admit to an error, especially when you do so publicly, oftentimes you open yourself up for the conservation of “how can I avoid this in the future?”. When you have this conversation, you can learn from your mistakes and reduce the chances of you making the same mistakes again.
By having this conversation with your teammates, you send the message that you are still an effective leader, even when you are in the wrong, and you can adapt and learn from your mistakes. This sets an excellent leadership example to your team and encourages them to do the same.
4. Make It Bigger Than Yourself
As a leader, you will often ask yourself what your “why” is. What is driving you? Is it for a bigger house or a better car? While these things may seem great now, once you obtain these items, you will need to find your drive all over again.
Most leaders have a higher purpose that motivates them- and yes even a bigger house or better car can be a part of that purpose. Will a bigger house give your family more room that you desperately need? Will a better car help you be more reliable when delivering your product? Or perhaps you are just looking to give back to the community and improve your neighborhood by starting a successful business that provides the services that are needed.
By really digging into why you do what you do, you can streamline your focus and more easily identify your goals. Make sure to never lose sight of the big picture as you work through your smaller goals. Your “big picture goal” will provide you the motivation and passion for your work and will allow you to be an empowering leader to others.
As a leader, inspiration is everything. But not only your own inspiration. A good leader has a team that is as inspired as their leader is. But how can you cultivate that inspiration?
The key to inspiration is to remain open to new ways of thinking. In a study conducted by two psychologists at the University of Rochester, it was found that inspiration is facilitated by receptiveness. By being willing to try anything, you are opening yourself up to new ideas and that is where inspiration lives!
Be open to hearing ideas from your teammates and don’t write off their ideas even if you don’t initially agree with them. They may just have the answer to the problem that you’ve been looking for.
And how can you translate this inspiration to your teammates? Encourage them to think outside the box. Always remain positive, provide feedback and continue to advocate for them to try bigger and better things.
These you have 5 ways to improve your leadership qualities. As you begin to work on these leadership skills, you will find that you will be more motivated and capable of pursuing your own goals.
Maria Gold is a Content Manager/Writer for Empire Resume. She is dedicated to helping educate and motivate people with the latest career articles and job search advice. Her interests range from writing to programming and design. She is also passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology.