A woman with a ponytail and glasses stands in front of a whiteboard while speaking to a room full of men and women seated in chairs.

Want to Be a Better Leader? Start with These 5 Tips

A woman with a ponytail and glasses stands in front of a whiteboard while speaking to a room full of men and women seated in chairs.

Want to Be a Better Leader? Start with These 5 Tips

Are you looking for tips on how to become a better leader? To improve yourself and your company, start with these five tips to enhance your leadership.

Good leaders are invaluable to any organization, whether they are the CEO of a major corporation, a small business owner, or a company department manager. An owner with exceptional leadership qualities can inspire employees to set and achieve lofty goals, both as individuals and as a team, bringing success to their organizations along the way. You can take inspiration from someone like Mary Barra, who became the first female CEO of an international automaker.

A good leader is always looking to improve. If you want to make sure you’re doing everything it takes to be a better leader, these five tips can help you make it happen.

While seated around a brown table with three coffee cups, a woman with blonde curly hair and a laptop computer speaks with two men holding tablet devices.

Be Decisive

It may sound obvious, but making decisions is one of your main duties as a leader and manager. Your employees are looking to you for direction, and they appreciate having a clear, direct path to follow. A confident, informed decision gives your team a clear plan with goals while building your authority and trust as a leader. Decisiveness is a primary skill in a successful leader, but the opposite can undermine employees’ faith in your abilities.

It’s also important to take responsibility for the outcome of a decision, whether good or bad. Acknowledging that the buck stops with you helps you gain the respect and support of your staff.

Learn from Your Employees

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It’s common for a good leader or manager to assemble a talented staff — and then get out of their way. In other words, don’t assume only you can accomplish something, and don’t let micromanagement get the best of you. Employees often bring a variety of backgrounds and experiences to the table. Harnessing the unique skills and insights they possess not only helps your team succeed, but makes your employees feel valued for their distinct abilities, which can boost employee motivation and team morale.
Learn from your employees and leverage their knowledge to help develop your leadership qualities. Get involved in staff projects and ask pointed questions to make sure you stay informed for making good strategic decisions down the line.

Set Bold Goals

When President Kennedy set his goal for landing on the moon, it was breathtaking in its boldness. It also created a vision for others to follow, and it inspired a generation of scientists and engineers to achieve that goal. Although your goals probably won’t be as lofty as a moon landing, an ambitious — yet achievable — goal will still take time. Having a bold company goal can be an inspiration to your entire staff and give them a greater sense of purpose. As a leader who sets a bold goal, it can galvanize your leadership ability in the eyes of your staff and even help attract other talented workers.

Be Open and Honest

Provide as much transparency as possible about your strategies and decision-making process, short of revealing trade secrets or other sensitive company information. Being inclusive diminishes any “us” versus “them” dynamic that might develop between workers and management, and it makes the concept of a team more meaningful. Leaders who are willing to be open and upfront appear more accessible and confident. At the same time, providing more information conveys a certain level of trust in your employees, which can encourage them to provide valuable feedback early in a project when it’s easier to make changes.

A woman in a white long-sleeved shirt stands in front of a white board with many papers taped to it. Seated in front of her are several men and women with their backs to the camera.

Foster Creativity

As a leader, you can’t think of every new successful idea or moneymaking concept on your own. By fostering an environment of open ideas and encouraging employees to flex their creative muscles, you can tap into the potentially innovative talents of your team to source your next great idea. Employees will feel more integral to the process and the long-term success of the company, and such challenges can raise staff engagement and company morale. Take each of your team’s suggestions and ideas seriously. Let them help you decide on the best options. And be prepared to further develop their ideas into actions.

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