5 Practices That Make You a More Successful Leader

Lara Stewart
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Often, a team is only as effective as the person who is leading it. It is your responsibility to ensure that the objectives you set out to achieve are accomplished. 

1. Leading by example

Don’t feel that it is beneath you to get in the trenches and work right alongside your team members. If you want people to make more sales calls, take the lead by getting on the phone and making some yourself. The same thing stands if you want people to reduce time on personal web browsing or increasing follow-up with prospects. When your team members see that you are willing to do the work that you are asking of them, they are more likely to enthusiastically compl

2. Making your team understand what you want to accomplish

Coherent goals and effective communication go hand in hand. Develop clear strategies and the tactics you want your team to use to achieve them. Make sure that these are all communicated to your team. Keep communication open both ways; the feedback of your staff can help you understand what works and what needs to be reevaluated.

3. Learning from the past

If you tried a tactic in the past and it was a failure, don’t try to force it again. For instance, a team leader who sets unreasonable goals that were not achieved the last time they were set is only setting up a team for disappointment and dissatisfaction.

By the same token, if a strategy served you well in the past, repeat it. Too many companies try a promotion or other strategy once and then never follow up again.

4. Supporting your team

According to a Gallup poll, lack of appreciation is the number one reason that people leave jobs. Publicly recognize team members who display excellence. This sort of appreciation increases worker satisfaction, which, in turn, supports productivity. When mistakes are made, take responsibility. Team members who know that their leader is not going to throw them under the bus are more likely to trust their leader and be willing to take chances.

5. Focusing on outcomes over activities

Some bosses feel that they need to keep tabs on activities at all times to be an effective leader. But, micromanaging just slows your workers down and reduces employee satisfaction. Highly effective leader Richard Branson says that the secret to highly productive teams is trusting your employees and letting them take charge. Instead of feeling you have to be directly in charge, look at more important metrics, like the results that your team members get. If you are happy with the numbers, let them keep doing what they are doing. It is only when you are seeing that people are not working effectively that you should step in and take a more hands-on approach.

Strong and effective leadership requires a sort of balancing act. By engaging in better leadership practices, you can create a stronger team that is happier, stays with the company longer and is more effective at reaching your company’s goals.