Becoming a better leader is not simply a hot topic, but starts with intention. Aspiring to be a better leader means being a team player with the right character traits. Here are a few tips on developing as a leader
- Choose Your Challenge. Leaders are faced with daily challenges such as prioritization, decision-making, inspiring and developing employees, and leading teams. It is vital to define your key leadership challenges and choose to do something about them. For example, what is one thing you need to face, but haven’t? What’s going on within your organization that requires a new approach or more effort? Identify your challenges and develop ideas and support.
- Stop Minimizing Innovation. Innovation needs direct support however, leaders often send mixed messages sabotaging efforts with their own behaviors. Ask yourself, do I encourage others to be creative yet quickly suppress ideas. Do I “push” innovative ideas down, rather than “pull” them up? Do I act as through I always have all the answers? It may be time to create the opportunity to learn more about fostering innovation.
- Managing Change. Organizations are either looking ahead to a major change, recovering from change, and/or handling varying levels of continuous change. If you’ve applying the same mindset to your work, you may need a refresher on how to lead change. Guiding change requires managing your own change behaviors as well as, dealing with employees’ reactions, and managing the mechanics of change.
- Invest in First-Time Managers. Making the switch from individual contributors to leading others can create a unique set of challenges, causing employees to derail — William Gentry, author of “Be the Boss Everyone Wants to Work For,” has shown first-time managers struggle the most with communication, influence, leading teams, and developing others. Managers should give their individual contributors the gift of leadership development, providing coaching and mentoring geared towards their employee’s specific needs.
- Take Care of Yourself. Being relentless about doing more, and being more is not sustainable and creates stress symptoms, resulting in personal and organizational liabilities. Like our body, if we don’t keep our brain in shape, it doesn’t work as well. Add activities into your life to learn actively, breathe better, and solve problems,
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