Contrary to the idea that leaders are born that way, leadership is a skill. Like every other skill, leadership can be learned. It takes years to master the skill but you can start being a better leader today, just focus on doing a few things very well.
You might not get everything right the first time around but by constantly improving, it will eventually come naturally to you.
Hack 1. Earn their respect
An employee is more likely to work harder for you if you work hard as well. Set the right example for them as culture nearly always starts at the top. Don’t be rude, smug, and show them that you care about their welfare and that you aren’t just using them. Another easy way of earning respect is by being honest. Most people take pride in their work, so don’t be afraid to give credit where credit is due. At the same time, be honest with them about their work.
Don’t lie about your business because if you don’t want them to care about your business, they won’t. Honesty is the best policy and although it may seem trivial, taking an honest attitude and approach to your employees will provide amazing results.
Hack 2. Learn from your team
Always stay humble, no one enjoys working for a jerk. Don’t assume that just because you are someone’s boss that you can’t learn from them. Steve Jobs didn’t single-handedly invent the iPhone, his employees did. If your employees have an idea they are passionate about, listen, and take notes. Shutting them down will stifle innovation. If the merits outweigh the negatives, give the idea a go. The best leaders listen and learn from their employees. Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX learned rocket science from his employees partly by committing textbooks to memory and by listening to his employees.
Hack 3. Have SMART goals
There is a lot of literature about making goals efficiently and successfully. Having proper goals set allows you to work towards them and to tick them off in a measurable way so you know every time you complete them. The best method is by setting “SMART” goals. Smart goals are as follows:
Set short term, medium-term, and long term goals for yourself and help your employees do the same. If your members of your team intend to move on 2-3 years further down the track, help them get there. By helping them grow, they’ll try their best to help you along the way. This is how a great leader gets the best out of their team.
Hack 4. Share your story
If you a founder with an interesting back story, don’t be afraid to share that story with your team. They might have a curiosity already but are afraid to tell them. By telling them the back story, they might feel more passionate about working for your business. If you made mistakes or large missteps, be honest and tell them so that they avoid the same mistakes.
Be honest about your company to your team, don’t lie to them telling them how well or poorly you are doing. We’re not telling you should reveal every detail about your company’s financials or how much you earn but share detail where possible so that they don’t feel belittled. If you show your team that you trust them, they will provide you the same respect as you.
If you don’t believe this works, just look at some of the most revered founders such as Sir Richard Branson or Elon Musk. They have all openly shared their stories on how they became successful. People love working for someone they can look up to.
Hack 5. Review your leadership
Routinely reflect on how you are doing as a leader. Ask yourself:
- Is the team dynamic positive?
- Is your team buying into your company’s vision?
- Does your team trust you?
- What is the culture like? Is it where you want it to be?
- How accountable is everyone in the team to one another?
If you don’t like the answers, then you need to work on your leadership skills and work towards changing the things which aren’t working for you.