If you’re currently aiming to secure a leadership role, you’ll be expected to acquire many specific skills and competencies. However, it isn’t just aspiring leaders who have to put the work in - there are also a few lessons to be learned by those who have already made it to the top.
Here are five important lessons in leadership that will help both those who are hoping to become leaders, and those who already are.
Include others in important decisions
As a leader, most decisions to be made will ultimately lie with you, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get others involved in the decision making process. Talking to other members of your team before making vital decisions will make them feel valued and encourage them to play a bigger part in helping the company achieve its goals.
Face change head on
When it comes to making changes, the easiest thing is usually to run a mile in the opposite direction – but taking the easy option isn’t really what being a leader is all about. It’s important to embrace change and encourage your team to do the same. Adapting well to change is key for growth and, therefore, business success. Change may involve risk, but you won’t know if it’s a risk worth taking unless you try.
Avoid making assumptions
As a leader, it may be natural to assume that your knowledge extends the furthest but, of course, this won’t always be the case.
One thing it is safe to assume is that your team members have all been hired because they’re good at what they do, so learn to trust them when it comes to their area of expertise. If you find that your ideas differ from theirs, give theirs a try – it will boost their confidence and build their trust in you as their leader.
Always strive to learn more
If you ever reach a point where you’re content with the knowledge and skills you have, it’s likely that you’ll stay at the same level as you are now, rather than improving as a professional. Always take the opportunity to learn more, where possible. As well as improving for your own good, you’ll be setting a good example for your team and could soon have them bringing more to the table than they did when you first hired them.
Do what you say you will
There’s little worse than making a plan of action and then not following through. In order to ensure that your team has full confidence in you as a leader, you need to be decisive and walk the walk as well as talking the talk. If, for whatever reason, you are unable to carry out something that you’ve said you will, don’t fail to address it and hope everyone will forget – be up front and explain the situation. This will earn you respect and bring a sense of transparency to the workplace which most will appreciate.