11 Ways to Improve as a Leader
To help you find new ways to improve as a leader, we asked business leaders and professional experts this question for their best advice. From prioritizing growth to setting your bar high, there are several ways you can improve as a leader.
Here are 11 ways to improve as a leader:
- Work to Improve Your Company
- Prioritize Learning to Grow
- Keep a Mindfulness Practice
- Face Challenges Head On
- Lead from the Heart
- Surround Yourself with the Right People
- Show Your Team That You Care
- Keep Open Communication
- Set the Bar High for Yourself
- Consider Holistic Leadership
- Trust and Empower Your Team
Work to Improve Your Company
Improve your business to improve as a leader. The more leaders seek improvement in their business, the more they themselves will continually improve. For example, if a leader seeks to improve a compensation plan to better attract talent, or design a marketing strategy to grow the business, the leader will improve by nature of being a leader. Seek to improve the business, and a leader will naturally improve in similar areas.
Alex Belladorsi, Appliance Technician
Prioritize Learning to Grow
In order to be an effective leader, you need to invest in your knowledge consistently. This means staying up to date with what is happening within your organization, your industry, and, of course, with your customers’ needs and desires. The minute you stop learning, the less capable you will be of making important business decisions and recognizing profitable opportunities. You can invest in your knowledge through many different ways like conferences, networking events, books, and so much more — you just have to be hungry for it!
Carey Wilbur, Charter Capital
Keep a Mindfulness Practice
Mindfulness and meditation play a huge role in improving as a leader. Developing a practice that enables you to still your thoughts and snuff out the noise and clutter helps with productivity and problem-solving. I also find that the most logical and intelligent decisions come from a state of calm and internal peace. Mindfulness also helps boost our self-awareness, which makes us more sensitive to other people’s feelings, which is a critical element in relationship building and effective leadership.
Gregory Drambour, Sedona Retreats
Face Challenges Head-On
Improving as a leader means facing conflicts head-on with an open mind. Leaders have to know how to handle difficult people, have hard conversations, and resolve conflicts. Leaders have to be honest and straightforward. This requires a lot of courage! In my line of work, offering security guard services, I have to constantly be listening to my employees and ensuring they have what it takes to do the job.
Michael Staton, Lyon Shield Security
Lead from the Heart
During these challenging times, leading from the heart can make all the difference in your team's productivity and performance. When they know you care about them personally and professionally, they will care more about the company and their role. When I approach a difficult situation or conversation, I remind myself to see it through the other person’s perspective and open up my heart to understand. I find the best conversations happen that way.
Jenn Christie, Markitors
Surround Yourself with the Right People
Bottom-up, not top-down, is the key to success for many business leaders and luminaries. Surround yourself with smart people, and crowd-source the wisdom of those around you. Nobody has all the answers, and no single person should be expected to know everything. Successful leaders and strategic planners of all kinds utilize group intelligence, community engagement, and insights from those around them.
Josh Yeager, Bright Brothers Strategy Group
Show Your Team That You Care
Show respect and gratitude to your subordinates. Empower them by promoting a culture of self-starters and decision-makers. Trust employees to make decisions and provide opportunities for employees to take on leadership roles. Reward and encourage employees that showcase initiative. Offer training opportunities to motivate employees to advance their skills. Incorporate weekly check-ins between managers and employees. Send out monthly surveys to gather anonymous feedback from staff on company culture, work-life balance, and overall attitude towards work. Listen and incorporate positive changes based on the feedback received.
Kelli Lane, Genexa
Keep Open Communication
Welcome open communication with your employees! When you become a leader your employees can trust, they will be comfortable sharing their opinions. Communicating with your team is a great opportunity for everyone to learn from employees that may have different experiences. When you are all communicating about the work you are doing, more insightful collaboration is happening and your end result is more diverse.
Tirzah Shirai, Blink Bar
Set the Bar High for Yourself
While many people feel constricted by self-discipline, great leaders require it. It is a must in your professional (and personal) life as it instills in you a set of ways for your thoughts, behaviors, and actions, and it means doing what needs to be done even when you don't feel like doing it. It is one way to improve as a leader as it enables you to lead effectively and inspire others to develop their own self-discipline.
Self-discipline isn't only what you do for yourself, but what you do for others. It allows you to set the bar high for expectations and hold people accountable for the choices they make every day. Ultimately self-discipline creates a high-performing, innovative, and adaptable environment where success is inevitable, both for leaders and their people.
Jeff Henretig, Apothecanna
Consider Holistic Leadership
Holistic wellness and leadership go hand-in-hand. The analytical and practical components of leadership have historically been corporate America’s focus, but holistic leaders additionally focus on the emotional and spiritual aspects of leadership to better guide their employees.
Holistic leaders are managers that employees want to follow because their personal fortitude and interpersonal empathy aren’t just the blueprints of a good leader — they’re the hallmarks of a good person. I use this as a blueprint for describing our individual holistic wellbeing, as you should treat yourself the way you want to treat others — as a whole person, with a complex tapestry of interwoven needs.
Elias Janetis, Squeeze
Trust and Empower Your Team
I’d like to continue pushing myself to be a more effective leader and CEO. We have a wonderful team of experienced and passionate professionals. There were times in the past when I thought I needed to do everything on my own, but now I’ve learned to rely on the team of Avengers I was lucky enough to build to do this together. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is not to settle when it comes to building your team. Delegate, trust, and support the people you’ve hired so they can reach their full potential.
Yanghee Paik, Rael
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