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 set your bar high, there are several ways you can improve as a leader.
So how to improve as a leader?
We asked entrepreneurs and business owners what being a leader means to them and here are the responses.
#1- Reflecting on own skills
Business leaders need to reflect on their skills, behavior, and attitude toward all employees. Empathy is crucial, but leaders need to take concrete steps to ensure equal treatment. Leaders for the most part are visionaries, and as visionaries, sometimes we tend to think too far ahead. Mindfulness helps in keeping us grounded in the present, and making sure everyone else is on the same page. It helps us see the employees' and customers' problems that often get overlooked by a sometimes overly futuristic mindset.
Thanks to Marcus Clarke, Searchant!
#2- By practicing values & actions
If you want to improve as a leader, you should practice the same values and actions that you want your employees to practice. The people that you hire will look up to you as a source of inspiration and information. After all, you are the powerhouse of your business. They will take their cues from you! I know that if there is something especially important that I want to establish as part of my business’ branding, like making cooking as accessible as I can for every type of family, then I will do everything I can to establish this in how I act and approach the business. My employees will take note of this and approach my business with the same attitude.
Thanks to Anna Silver, Cook for Folks!
#3- By personal reflection
I often make it a habit to spare some time for personal reflection at the end of each week, as it allows me to review specific situations and how I managed to handle them, in order to better identify areas for improvement. This also involves collecting 1-1 employee feedback from my staff every few weeks, which often helps to put things into perspective for me by allowing me to tangibly review my own performance and consistently keep on improving my leadership strategies.
Thanks to Mila Garcia, iPaydayLoans!
#4- By delegating tasks & trusting employees
A true leader can let go of the reigns and shift some responsibility to his subordinates. This trust is also reflected in the leader’s ability to accept new ideas as well as criticism from his team members. Let your team members have more of a say in the important ideas, you never know what you may uncover or whose potential might shine. When a leader can trust and keep an open mind, his teammates feel more competent and exhibit skills that stem from that confidence.
Thanks to Chris Roth, Highline Wellness!
#5- Ability to build other great leaders
Great leaders have the ability to build other great leaders. As leaders, we must cultivate positive outlooks and approaches to help increase earnings for others. One step toward improving leadership is to create a hub that caters to other people’s performance and goals giving us the chance to guide in real-time and lead as challenges arise. Most importantly, it is vital we embrace both personal and professional development and recognize growth comes from an ever-evolving business.
Thanks to Kathleen Black, Kathleen Black Coaching & Consulting Inc.!
#6- Joining your team members on the front lines
You can improve as a leader by joining your team members on the front lines and doing the work. It’s hard to become a better leader if you stay behind and don’t get your hands dirty. By standing beside your team, talking with customers, and seeing the process that happens every day within your company, you become a leader who can actually make a difference. You can see where you are needed and adapt your leadership style to really help things.
Thanks to Lee Devlin, Homecure Plumbers!
#7- Acknowledging people playing a role in our growth
Our achievements and our goals are always a priority for us, & they should be too because, without an aim in life, there would be no reason to move forward. From our family, who are our strongest supporters who provide us with lessons, people play a major role in every step we take towards success. So, as leaders, in life as well as in our careers, the only way to keep improving is to pay heed to the people around us & keep them close, for they are the ones who have helped, & continue to help us chart our path.
Thanks to Dr. Azmaira Maker, Aspiring Families!
#8- Making sure the learning never ends
Every step forward in our career is the result of something new that we have learned. Learning is what equips us with the knowledge and skills required to move forward, & it is only those who commit themselves to continuous learning that experience progress. We also have the power to initiate learning, which is why we must commit & encourage others to do the same. Whether it's through formal programs & courses or even through books & the lives of others before us, we must make sure we never stop learning.
Thanks to Konstantin Kuligin, K5 Mortgage!
Self-awareness is essential to increasing our effectiveness and confidence as leaders. It strengthens our relationships and boosts our overall happiness! We benefit from a combination of self-awareness tools including behavioral assessments, being an active listener and asking for feedback; and self-reflection through mindfulness meditation. Knowing our strengths & limitations gives us the power to communicate with intention and clarity, helps us make better decisions, and liberates us from biases & assumptions!
Thanks to Jess Paulk & Kara Sand, JessandKaraconsulting!
#10- Seek support from peer leaders
To be a great leader, you need to be around other great leaders that could be your potential mentors too. These people can help you with advice and learnings that are invaluable in your journey. Be open to feedback and insights on such skills and other aspects that can help you develop the skills you want. Search for their interviews and learn more about their life and their challenges. This way, you can identify the characteristics and attitudes that can make you a strong leader in the future.
Thanks to Jack Klauber, Everyday Dose!
#11- Practicing decisiveness
An efficient leader has the ability to be decisive. You need to be able to make timely decisions that are in your favor. At times you cannot afford to go wrong as this may lead to severe losses or downfalls for your company. Start with practicing effective decision-making skills to get more comfortable in making informed business decisions. In the event of unfavorable business decisions, use it as a learning opportunity for your future endeavors, as this will help you make the right decisions based on your previous learnings.
Thanks to Zarina Bahadur, 123 Baby Box!
#12- Analyze your strengths and weaknesses
Everybody has certain strengths and weaknesses. You need to constantly conduct self-awareness sessions to identify your strengths and weaknesses. You may even develop new weaknesses & strengths over the course of time, which is why this should be a continuous assessment. This will help you find the right areas to improve as a leader & build your skills accordingly. For example, how do you handle setbacks, skills currently you lack, or what are the key talents you possess that can be fruitful for the organization.
Thanks to Nathan Watson, LionLocs!
#13- Being an insightful learner
Being a leader doesn’t imply you always need to be in the limelight. A great leader is someone who listens to ideas, suggestions, & feedback from other people & grows on them. Great listeners know that communication is not only about words but also about choosing non-verbal cues, such as body language and eye contact. A genuine leader has no issue yielding control to another person when right. You must not feel devalued when someone disagrees with you, propose your ideas, or questions your imagination.
Thanks to Maria Saenz, Fast Title Loans!
#14- By creating a fun challenge
I rarely have challenges that help me to be able to think on my feet. I often try to do something that causes me to learn something, and creates a fun challenge. I often do puzzles and try a different workout routine in order to simply make things interesting. If you do not challenge yourself, it becomes tougher to be able to make quick decisions and foster your critical thinking skills. This makes it more difficult to be a successful leader, and your job is not as exciting, and people might begin to rely on you less.
Thanks to Karen Lee, Smart Robotic Home!
#15- Partake in the challenges
The only path to being a great leader is to be open to learning new things, keeping your mind sharp and skills fresh. It is paramount to partake in the challenges that might come your way, which is a great thing for a leader. Empower your teammates every time Everyone has imperfections, and they are not the best at everything; the sooner you understand, you can learn to be a great leader. Handing over tasks to others not only liberates you up for things you do well but also empowers other people on your team.
Thanks to Madilyn Hill, TruePersonFinder!
#16- Boost situational awareness
A great leader is one of those who can check the bigger picture and partake in issues before they occur. It's a vital skill to handle difficult projects with tight deadlines. The ability to foresee and suggest avoiding potential issues is invaluable for a leader. Such an ability helps you identify scopes that others often neglect, giving you recognition. It can be developed while leading remote teams, but you could be more harmonized with your teams and projects with practice.
Thanks to Stella Cooper, Payday Loans UK!
#17- By trusting your employees
Trust your employees! You hired them for a reason, and they are good at what they
do. If you are attempting to micromanage them to fulfill every nit-picky detail that
you see the business having, you aren’t really wanting them to do their job. You are doing their job for them. Trust their process, and I guarantee that they will feel
much more comfortable working for you, which will lead to more significant
Thanks to Megan Moore, Photography-Lighting!
#18- Staying curious
Staying curious drives you personally and professionally to achieve more positive outcomes. As an entrepreneur in an increasingly complex and interconnected global economy, I find there is an even greater need to ask questions to build trust with team members and brand partners spread across the globe. Doing so facilitates a better exchange of ideas and unlocks more value for my business. Curiosity also develops a life-long love of learning that helps us stay agile and thrive in changing times.
Thanks to Maria Shriver, MOSH!
#19- Practicing empathy
Empathy is an important characteristic of a leader. It is important to me to take an interest in my team to ensure that they are doing great in their lives and engage with them on any work-related issues they feel require attention. My team is my customers too and my best brand ambassadors so I value their opinions & feedback & encourage empathy and etiquette to prevail in our work environment as a team-building effort & an approach that will foster loyalty, productivity, engagement for the best solutions.
Thanks to Struan Baird, Luxury Ireland Tours!
They do not say discipline is the key to success for no reason. It's just that it has been said over and over again that the human mind has learned to take it as just another slogan, but has completely lost meaning of it. The moment you learn not to do some things (consistently), and how to do other better things (consistently), is the moment you gain so much more than you could have ever dreamed of. Discipline is underrated. Discipline works. Discipline makes millionaires and billionaires.
Thanks to Evelyn Ott, Soul Canvas Ink!
#21- Active listening
I believe active listening is key to becoming a successful leader. I hold weekly meetings with my staff to hear about any issues they face in their professional or personal lives. I insist on them being as honest as possible to improve the overall quality of the office environment. As a result, this practice builds trust and eliminates conflict. That’s because
I'm leading by example by acting on employee feedback to improve the work
Thanks to Jessica Kats, Soxy!
#22- Be more mindful
When it comes to mindfulness and how it can make a good leader a great leader, it can all come down to your relationship with other team members. A mindful leader will instinctively know when an employee isn't quite behaving the way they normally might, meaning they will now have the opportunity to explore the situation and offer support. This can lead to higher employee engagement and retention rates two things that are much-needed in today's business environment.
Thanks to Lauren Kleinman, The Quality Edit!
#23- Don’t be afraid to take initiatives
A leader who doesn’t take any initiative is responsible for blocking the growth of the organization. A leader should step out of his comfort zone and find out new ways to achieve goals. They need to explore and research thoroughly before introducing something new to the team. A leader should be proactive and should always be ready to accept new challenges and take initiative. Leaders should learn more and take on more responsibility for the success of the organization.
Thanks to Ellie Walters, Find People Faster!
#24- Don't be a know-it-all
Just because I have my own business doesn't mean I know everything about the industry. I sure know a lot, and a lot more than many. However, there are also plenty of other entrepreneurs who know more than me. Knowing this gives me the opportunity to learn from them, grow as a leader, and pass on the knowledge to others. I will never learn anything if I think I'm always right. In order to help my staff improve, I also need to work on improving myself personally and professionally.
Thanks to Nicky Taveras, DnthomeBuyers!
#25- Be in the know
You improve as a leader if you are aware of everything that’s going on around you. One of the most helpful policies that I have implemented is the weekly updates I ask from my employees. Before the week starts, we jump in on a quick meeting to know what their goals are for the week and how they are planning to achieve them. My employees give me updates on what they were able to do for the entire week. From here, we decide our next steps and anticipate the issues or problems that we might come across with.
Thanks to Keith Nugent, Camberlion!
#26- By attending leadership training programs
Leadership development courses can help individuals learn about effective communication, team building, and motivation techniques. Being open to change and learning from mistakes are also important traits for leaders. Leaders must be willing to adapt their strategies as the situation changes in order to maintain control and keep their team members productive. Leaders must be able to motivate others to achieve common goals. By doing these things, individuals can become better leaders overall.
Thanks to Melanie Cohen, Instya!
#27- Feeding the mind with valuable insight
I read marketing and business books, attend webinars, listen to podcasts, connect with other professionals, talk to colleagues and employees, and more; any resource I can pull from to strengthen my mind, skillsets, and business acumen. This initiative has broadened my perspectives in such a manner that allows me to lead with efficiency and purpose. I learn more and more to improve as a leader and enjoy the fruitful journey along the way in doing so.
Thanks to Datha Santomieri, Steadily!
#28- There is always a room for improvement
There is no such thing as the ultimate perfect leader, but people can always continue to make progress on their leadership skills. This kind of thinking takes a certain level of humility. By remembering that you are always a work in progress, you can continuously analyze your leadership skills in terms of what has been working, what has not been working, and what aspects of your leadership habits can be adjusted or transformed. Constantly thinking of ways to improve as a leader will keep you on your toes.
Thanks to Miles Beckett, Flossy Dental!
#29- Being honest
Being honest is something that we can't learn overnight. But if you want to become a better leader, then you have to start being honest with yourself. If you are not honest with yourself, how can you expect others to be? You need to know what your strengths and weaknesses are before you can work on improving them. Continuous Learning is a continuous process. There is always room for improvement. As a leader, you need to constantly strive to learn more about leadership.
Thanks to Leslie Radka, Great People Search!
#30- By asking for feedback
First of all, talk to your people. Ask for feedback on how you can become an even better leader. Second, take advantage of the plentiful resources out there: books, podcasts, and training abound! Third, reflect daily on how you are interacting with your staff. Do you have positive relationships with your team? If not, what can you do to fix that? Leaders who are highly self-aware and constantly striving to learn are the ones who are unforgettable!
Thanks to Marie Gettel-Gilmartin, Fertile Ground Communications!