You may think that great leaders are born, not made, but the reality is that you can become a very good leader, even if you have to work at it. Especially if you have to work at it, come to think of it. Because if you are, to use a Stephen Covey line, sharpening the saw all the time, you will be constantly improving as a leader, instead of stagnating.
Here are some other things you should consider when it comes to improving your leadership ability:
Hire people smarter than you are
One of the best bosses I ever had used to say that line (and that is part of the reason I think of him as a great boss – he made everybody who worked for him feel important.) But there is really something to this idea beyond making your staff feel good. Entrepreneur Rajeev Kapur, CEO of Sonic Emotion, explained it in Inc. magazine: “As a CEO, your job should be putting the best people in the best positions possible. You should give them the tools to do their jobs, get out of the way, and be an obstacle remover when needed.”
Some insecure managers think that doing so will simply mean that their staffer could replace them, but they ought to think about how having great employees can lead to great output and moving your company to the next level.
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Change the conversation – and change the meaning
Career coach Meredith Haberfeld explains it as understanding that you have “the power to create your context.” As an example, the career coach says that “when we choose to shift the context of life from ‘this challenge is grinding’ to ‘this challenge is opening my heart and forcing me to expand,’ the circumstances in our life, while they may not have changed, take on an entirely new meaning.” That means that “new actions are drawn forth from inside of us.”
Adapt to different personalities
You don’t have to be a chameleon in the workplace – in fact, changing your personality to fit with each staff member will confuse and annoy them. But you can understand different personalities, and how to work with them. A great start at doing so is to take the DISC personality test – and to have your employees take the test as well. It can help you understand why you act the way you do, and why your staffers act in the various ways that they do.
For example, if you are a dominant personality, used to barking orders, you may not immediately understand subordinates who take time to commiserate with others on non-work issues before explaining things to their staffers. But they may simply be bonding with their own staffers in a way that helps them get along better.
There are a plethora of things that can be done to improve your leadership, and these three ways are a few out of the many things you can work on. Why not get started by trying some of these tips?