If you truly want to advance your career in business, then you’re going to have to become a better leader and mentor. You want people to look up to you and trust in your decision-making skills.
Be glad to know that it’s never too late to start improving in this area and understanding what it takes to set yourself apart from the rest. There are strategies that will help you focus on what’s most important as you work on your leadership abilities. Accept that it’s a process and change takes time, so give yourself a break as you learn and grow.
Leaders don’t hoard information or try to stomp on others to get ahead. They contribute to the greater good by helping people and sharing their knowledge, so everyone wins. Be good about lending a hand and assisting those who aren’t catching on as quickly as you. You develop your skills when you’re willing to work with others on what they need to improve upon and not leave them behind just because you’re a faster learner. Refusing to be a team player will only isolate you and cause others to shy away from being around you in the workplace. Know that you giving out information won’t make you weaker, but a stronger and more intelligent business person.
Spend Time Developing your Skills & Knowledge
You’re going to be a better leader at the office when you work on becoming an authority in particular areas of expertise and a well-rounded individual with a lot of different knowledge. You should always be looking for ways to improve your skills and educate yourself on what you don’t know. For example, if you work in law then read up on available states with legal studies programs and enroll yourself in the courses that are going to help you advance your career. While it’ll require you sacrificing a little bit of time and money, it’ll be well worth your efforts when you’re moving up the corporate ladder and developing your leadership abilities.
Motivate your Team Members
Leading employees isn’t an easy job, but someone has to do it. Step up to the challenge and work on motivating your team members to do and be better. Be extremely good about dishing out positive feedback and hold your critiques for the appropriate time. Focus your energy on letting them know all they’re doing right and pinpointing each individual’s strengths on a regular basis. Save the areas for improvement discussion for your performance meetings when you can talk one on one with each person and not embarrass them in front of others. Don’t forget to reward your team members for good performance by taking them out for lunch or giving them the afternoon off once in a while.
Find A Mentor
You don’t have to, and likely can’t become a better leader all by yourself without any assistance from others. Find a mentor who you can turn
to and seek advice from on a consistent basis. Pick someone who you look up to and that has been successful in their own career and who you know will be completely honest with you when providing pointers. It may be best to find a coach outside your company who can be an objective observer. Meet with them regularly and go over all that’s on your mind and questions you have about how to be a better leader in the workplace. Listen attentively and take their message seriously so you can work on improving your talents in this area. You have to be open to receiving feedback yourself if you’re going to enhance your leadership skills.
Manage your Time Better
If you always have your head down in your work, then you’re not going to have time to lead others or demonstrate your leadership capabilities. Manage your time better, so you have the opportunity to showcase all you’re learning and be there for your team members when they need you most. Leaders know how to reduce their stress and balance their responsibilities, so they have the time to coach others and are always readily available for having discussions with their employees. You can’t let daily tasks bog you down, or you won’t have the capacity to think clearly and offer up new and innovative suggestions for improving the company.
Speak up & Voice your Opinions & Ideas
If there’s one task you must accomplish as a leader, it’s to overcome any hesitations you have about opening up at work. Become a better leader in the workplace by not being shy about speaking up and letting your voice be heard. You can’t let all of your opinions and ideas fester in your mind, or you’ll end up feeling frustrated and acting out when it’s not appropriate to be sharing. You have to build a sense of confidence in yourself and not let your inner voice keep you from getting your thoughts and proposals out in the open. Practice speaking up in meetings and on an individual basis, and you’ll slowly become more comfortable doing so as time passes. You never know when one of your ideas is going to catch fire and contribute to your company accomplishing even bigger initiatives.
Lead by Example
You have to not only talk the talk, but you have to walk the walk and lead by example if you’re going to get others to respect you. Your actions speak louder than your words, and your employees are always watching what you’re doing. Show them you’re a leader by acting like one when you’re at the office. Don’t get wrapped up in politics and present a demeanor that you’re better than everyone else. Strong leaders don’t have to go around telling everyone how great they are or that they’re smart and talented. It’s understood by others by the way they carry themselves and conduct business on a daily basis. Lead by example by showing up on time, pitching in when the team needs it and giving your employees your attention and time when they require it.
Admit When You’re Wrong
Nobody likes working with someone who thinks they’re always right and isn’t receptive to hearing new perspectives or thoughts on a matter. Your leadership skills will improve when you aren’t afraid to be wrong or not have all the answers. Covering up your blunders and pretending like you’re perfect will only turn people off and they’ll distance themselves from you. Make it clear that you’re human too and not only do you make mistakes, but you take it a step further and learn from them. Teach your employees to do the same, and you’ll all be better off in the long run. You have to be able to relate to others and demonstrate honesty and integrity if you’re going to be a good leader in the workplace.
Think Before You Act
One area that could truly set you back and keep you from being a solid leader in a professional setting is if you act without thinking. This is where you can get yourself into trouble and not be able to dig your way out of a hole if you’re not careful. Successful leaders always spend time contemplating and in the thinking stage before they even consider acting or making a move. Get comfortable sitting back and taking in information and facts before you decide how you’re going to proceed. Thinking before you act also allows you to take calculated risks and feel confident in your decisions prior to following through with them. Make a note to yourself if you have to so you’re always stopping to gather your thoughts before you act.
Learn How to Facilitate instead of Dictate
When you’re in a high position at work, it can be tempting to want to boss people around or dish out the answers. However, this isn’t going to help your employees learn, and you’ll get stuck taking on more work. What you want to do is learn how to facilitate discussions and communicate with others to have conversations, instead of you dictating and barking out orders. Your listening skills will come in handy in this situation because you’re going to want to hear others out before formulating a response. Put this idea into motion when you’re holding your regular team meetings and see if you can get a discussion going without you doing all the talking.
Leadership skills can be learned so there’s hope for you even if you feel like you struggle in this area. Use these strategies to help you build your confidence and take on bigger leadership roles at your company. Be patient with yourself and know that you’ll make mistakes along the way, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be successful and improve your leadership abilities in the future. Take one day at a time and stay focused on all you’re doing right as you challenge yourself to become an even better leader.
Founder Dinis Guarda
IntelligentHQ Your New Business Network.
IntelligentHQ is a Business network and an expert source for finance, capital markets and intelligence for thousands of global business professionals, startups, and companies.
We exist at the point of intersection between technology, social media, finance and innovation.
IntelligentHQ leverages innovation and scale of social digital technology, analytics, news and distribution to create an unparalleled, full digital medium and social business network spectrum.
IntelligentHQ is working hard, to become a trusted, and indispensable source of business news and analytics, within financial services and its associated supply chains and ecosystems.