There are many management-level employees who have earned their job title by working hard, contributing to the team, and being passionate about what they do - among many other reasons. Now that they are in charge, the question that must be raised is: are they leading? It needs to be noted that you can manage without leading, but this is a trait that you want to avoid from your management at all costs.
An effective manager is someone who goes beyond telling their team what to do by showing the team what do. After all, the definition of ‘lead’ is to go before or with to show the way; conduct or escort. To become an effective leader, some of the following traits must be exuded:
As you can see from the above traits, true leaders are selfless and team-oriented. This is because they should be considered as part of the team, not above the team, and know that their success isn’t personal, but is overall based on team performance.
A great first step to being a more effective leader is to learn about your team members. Talk with them one-on-one about their family, friends, and interests outside of work. Tell them about yourself, don’t just be a name and face who they need to take orders from. This will most likely cause team members to earn your respect - and vice versa. Now that you understand your employees on a personal level, dive into their professional interests and skills. Learn what they’re good and bad at, as well as what they may want to know more about. This way, you know who to assign to what; this can even give you a chance to let team members jump on certain projects to give them the opportunity to learn new skills.
A key takeaway from this article is that leaders don’t measure success based on their performance, they base it on their team performance. As a leader, take the time to learn about your team members. You don’t need to necessarily be their best friend, but you should genuinely care about their personal and professional interests. As the proverb goes, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
January 26, 2018
Tags: Leadership, Team Building, Self-Improvement