Improve Your Leadership Skills
Are you looking to become a better leader? Like any skill worth acquiring, leadership and management skills require daily, consistent, and thoughtful practice. Below are a few of the daily tasks, activities, and actions you can take to help you improve your leadership skills.
- Be 100% Responsible – Taking 100% ownership of the success of a task is critical for strong leaders.
How to do this daily: When things go wrong with a project (and things always go wrong), be the first to own the mistake.
- Be Consistent – Nothing derails a great leader like inconsistency. Be the rock of your team. Do what you say you are going to do every time.
How to do this daily: Write down what you tell people you are going to do. Be relentless with your follow through.
- Set the example – You don’t want people to come to meetings late? Then don’t ever be late. You want to keep people on task so they leave on time on a regular basis (and focus on their family). Don’t be seen every night staying late. Do you want people to be accountable, own mistakes, and be problem solvers? You have to be all of this FIRST and do it CONSISTENTLY.
How to do this daily: Determine how you would want your team or staff to handle situations. Take that action. Become that person first, and consistently do that!
- Focus on the positive – As a manager and leader, you have to help people improve. Often that includes identifying and pointing out mistakes. This is important to continue to improve. However, make sure you make an effort to point out the positive as much as the negative.
How to do this daily: Make it part of your daily activities to find 3 actions or attributes of your team and publicly recognize them.
Can’t think of a way to do this? Try some of these fun and unique employee awards!
- Invest in your team – Every good employee wants to improve and wants to increase their skills. By investing in their development, you are telling them they are valuable and are important to you.
How to do this daily/weekly: Check on your team’s development path. Do you already have a path defined? If so, you will want to hold people accountable for completing their training. If you don’t, create one. Ask your team and your employees where they see themselves in 5 years. Ask what types of skills they will need and what they want to accomplish. Help them develop a career and development path (and hold them accountable).
- Connect with your team – Work is work, but isn’t it more? We ask people to give all of themselves, so we should, as leaders, know all of them. Make it a point to get to know people and show that you care about them more than just their contribution to the organization.
How to do this daily: Ask at least 1 person every day about themselves. It could be as simple as asking how their weekend was or if they have anything fun planned for this coming weekend. When you ask, make sure you give them your full attention. Ask follow-up questions to their answers so they know you listened and know you care.
- Create an Idea Engine – If you have a large team and you’re not getting feedback and ideas from all of them, you are missing out. Don’t think just because someone is a lower level employee that they don’t have a GAME CHANGING idea. These people are the ones most likely to suggest ideas and strategies your executive team didn’t know was even possible.
How to do this daily: Create a suggestion box. Make it a point to ask people if they have submitted an idea. Don’t rely on people to do it. Encourage them, and make sure to take action on ideas (so people know it’s not just a PR tactic).
- Address the Elephants – Do you have difficult tasks coming up? A project with deadlines that feel impossible? Do you have a new organizational structure that people are not happy with? Don’t just ignore these big elephants in the room. Address them for what they are – show people you understand their concerns and voice the concerns for them.
How to do this daily/weekly: This may or may not be a regular action item depending on your business. Just be ready to address the tough and not so good parts to let your staff know you are on THEIR team.
- Get personal – Share your story that includes your ups and your downs. People connect with REAL people.
How to do this daily: At every meeting, share something about yourself. Keep it short but make it personal.
- Celebrate small wins – Sometimes work gets overwhelming and we feel like we are losing more than winning. To keep your team motivated, you want to celebrate small wins. If you only focus on the big wins, people will burn out and get frustrated too soon and too often. Inc.com talks about the importance of celebrating progress frequently.
How to do this daily: If possible, define small actions that are needed to get to the next step or the next win. Communicate the importance of this win to everyone and feel free to give some HIGH FIVEs!
- Have fun! – You and your team spend so much time at work. Why not make it fun?!
Struggling to find a way to add some fun. Check out 100 Fun Office Games & Activities.
How to do this daily: This should be the best task you have daily. Add a fun table topics question at the beginning of a meeting, add a joke of the day (just make sure it’s appropriate of course), add fun activities every week, have contests for prizes.