How to Become an Effective Leader

Whether you want it or not, sometimes the weight of command falls onto your shoulders. Now, you can either give up, or you can be the leader you were born to be — which one is it? If you’ve chosen the latter, congratulations! You just made your first step to become an effective leader. However, don’t pat yourself on the back just yet; there’s more work to be done!

To really make your leadership skills shine, take a look at the full article down below!

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Learn How to Delegate

You can’t hope to do everything and be everywhere all at once; you need to learn to trust your co-workers. Better yet, delegate some of the responsibility and give them increased authority to accomplish all of their designated tasks. That way, they’ll have more confidence in their abilities and won’t be annoyed by your constant micro-management; after all, nobody likes a total control freak.

Also, by delegating work to your subordinates, you will create competent lieutenants to act as your right hand when you’re not there, so the office doesn’t fall apart without your presence; you want to have competent workers (and leaders) besides yourself. Finally, by delegating, you can boost the amount of work your team can accomplish in a single day, making them more productive overall.

Lead by Example

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Being an effective leader means being a good role model for your employees. One of the essential traits of a good leader is being at the forefront of the action and embracing new changes and innovations in the workplace. 

The top skill you need to master is how to become more productive during your working hours. If you’re successful at accomplishing your daily goals, well versed in organizing your time and avoiding productivity drains, you’ll set a perfect example for your employees to follow.

For instance, you find a new app or tool that’s worth using or investigating further. Now, instead of just fearing change and standing still (stagnating), you take up this task and move your team forward to new levels and challenges. 

Another thing is finding the right balance between getting your own hands dirty and delegating. Sometimes you have to jump in and wrap things up yourself, especially with the more administrative tasks that nobody likes doing. Your team will appreciate it, and they’ll respect you more for not just sitting in your high castle.

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Have a Positive Attitude (At All Times)

As a leader, you need to have an iron will and a positive mindset at all times. In history, great commanders were usually the first to charge and last to give up; on the business battlefield; it is no different. Often workplace morale will be low for plenty of reasons. Yet, you must not let that get to you. Remember, your employees — especially the new ones — look up to you for guidance; if you are down, they will follow suit. Hence, if you cannot get yourself to stay positive during rough patches, consider looking for some exceptional mindset training to help you cope with tilt and having a negative attitude overall. Don’t let the pressure come to you; your team depends on it.

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Give Credit Where Credit Is Due

The worst thing you can do as a leader is to fail to recognize your employees’ accomplishments. Particularly with new staff members who are trying hard to earn their keep. If you don’t reinforce the idea that their work is appreciated, they will stop trying altogether, and that’s the last thing you want from your employees. Instead, always give credit where credit’s due and never fail to recognize their achievements. 

This only takes a few seconds of your time and it can mean the world to your employees. So, don’t be lazy or — even worse — too proud to acknowledge that someone else (apart from you) has done an excellent job. Additionally, offering them some reward (monetary or otherwise) to celebrate all the hard work they’ve put in recently is never a bad idea as well.

Connect with Your Employees

You need to realize one thing — you’re dealing with humans here, not machines! Interacting with your employees on a more personal level will not only create strong bonds between you, but they’ll also work better and be more productive, knowing that they are a part of the team. When hiring new team members, make sure to not only focus on skillset but personalities that match the personalities of your team. 

Hence, focus on getting to know each employee personally. Find out their interests, hobbies, and strengths and weaknesses, so you can connect with them and establish more meaningful work relationships. As a result, you will not only gain their trust (and support), but you’ll also know which tasks are better suited for their skills and qualifications, making work a breeze. 

To Become an Effective Leader Don’t Take It All Too Seriously

Although being a leader means having a lot of responsibility on your shoulders, you shouldn’t take it all too seriously. This might seem a bit contradictory but bear with me. To organize and manage all the workflow going through the office, you need to keep a cool head.

Crumbling under the immense pressure and the weight of command is not only a recipe for disaster but bad for your reputation as a leader as well. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” kind of scenario. So, don’t let it get to your head and create a fun working environment instead. Look at it more as a challenge or a game rather than a life-or-death kind of situation (depending on the type of the job of course). You’ll feel better, and your employees will be more motivated as a result.

You need to be yourself. Forcing an alternate persona that doesn’t suit your character will only backfire on you and bite you on the neck later on. So, be natural.

AUTHOR BIO: Jacob Wilson is a business consultant, and an organizational psychologist, based in Brisbane. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for Bizzmark blog.