If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.
— John Quincy Adams
Being a leader is one of the hardest skills to master, especially in a world where people need to trust you before following your lead.
Playing sports, serving in the military, and being placed in uncomfortable positions all my life has to lead me to a list of 12 challenges that leaders often face.
In addition to naming the challenges, I will be offering short and quick solutions to help you become a better leader for any situation you find yourself in.
1. Earning The Trust of Your Team
People will not follow your lead if they don’t trust you. And why should they? They want to take orders or requests from a leader who knows what the hell is going on, is confident in their abilities, and cares about the team.
Learn your stuff, be an expert on the project you’re leading, and show that you can contribute as well. No one likes a leader who sits around and just watches.
2. Learning How Strict to Act
You don’t want to be too strict or else everyone will be frustrated with you. But you don’t want to be so strict-free that no one takes you seriously or listens to you.
Experiment with different ways you talk to people on your team and figure out what makes each individual tick. We all respond in different ways. In front of the group, you must be strict and establish discipline and accountability.
Once you, the leader can entirely trust your team, that’s when you can take your foot off the pedal a little bit and allow more leniency.
3. Taking Feedback
Most leaders think their word is always correct, but that isn’t always the case. Sometimes leaders make mistakes too, and it’s important to listen to your team when they call you out on something.
A great leader never assumes they’re right. They can be vulnerable and admit when they make a mistake.
The best leaders receive from their team feedback in the way they lead. It’s a great way to establish trust and form expectations.
4. Keeping Their Team Happy
It’s difficult to keep the morale and satisfaction of your team, high. Their attitude is based on an accumulation of the way you communicate with them, a sense of purpose in their tasks, and whether or not you praise their hard work.
Something that great leaders have always done for me and my team has been to offer food. The power of eating with your leadership is so powerful because it’s the most human interaction you can have.
Your leader and your own guard drop down because you’re enjoying a great meal and you really get to know one another better.
5. Sharing Their Vision
Vision is everything in leadership. A leader who lacks a particular vision in place or purpose in the work won’t trickle down well to the rest of the team.
A great leader can easily communicate their vision to their team which motivates, inspires, and helps them understand why they matter.
Some leaders tell you to do something without a vision in place. If team members want to know why you’re asking them to do something, you need three good reasons readily available.
The better your vision is dispersed across your team, the more positive their attitudes will be about the work they’re doing.
No one ever said being a leader was easy. That’s why they’re put in that position — to lead a team on a project to complete a mission.
The more open of a leader you are, the better grasp you’ll have on your team.
Leadership is a two-way street. You can’t expect people to listen to you and actually gravitate towards you if you don’t show them you care or know what the hell is going on.
Brush up on communication skills when you can, fully understand your mission, and make sure your people are taken care of.
As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.
— Bill Gates