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How To Become A Standout Professional Leader This Year

  • March 6, 2019

The month of March is all about leadership with International Women’s Day at the start of the month and World Leadership Day at the end.

Why the big focus on leadership?

Being a great leader will determine how successful your organisation is and becomes as you move forward.

You don’t need to be a wildly dynamic, charismatic, gung-ho person to be an exceptional leader. If you have quieter people on your team, that approach may well be counter-productive.

What you do need is a considered, communicative and natural approach: one which will send the message to your team that though you have a job to do you’re on their side and working together is about everybody winning.

So, what are some of the traits of great leaders? We explore what they are in this week’s post.

Set Big Goals

The best leaders know how to set goals in a way that makes everyone feel involved.

When discussing team goals, bring everyone together and paint a picture of success – one which they can see themselves contributing to and can get excited about getting involved and doing their part.

Use examples and case studies of other teams or companies who have achieved greatness; it doesn’t have to be within your specific market. This will demonstrate that goals can be achieved in business and by their organisation too.

Make sure you relate the goal to their part in delivering results. For instance, if someone has to organise and develop a new CRM system, understanding that this makes the sales team more productive which equals more sales, will connect the dots for team members as they understand how critical their role is in delivering a team goal.

They Remove Ego From The Equation

Remove ego from the equation. As a manager of a team of you will need to lead, motivate, and direct your team.

Remember, your role as a leader is not to show your brilliance, but to support and encourage theirs.

This is the case across all departments, whether you’re leading a team of customer service advisors, salespeople, or finance administrators. If you’re not an expert in every aspect of your team’s work, be upfront about that, explaining that your role is to facilitate their success rather than be able to do their job as well as they do.

Listen Like Never Before

Listen as you’ve never listened before. This is the most powerful skill you can have as a leader, and the best leaders listen more than they talk.

Effective listening not only alerts you to possible opportunities and issues you might have missed, but it also makes your team members feel like their voices are heard and valued. There is no better building block to a high performing team than good communication.

Understand Your Team

Bring the team together. Extroverts will need no encouragement, but introverted employees will often display a preference to work alone, which can stifle collaboration and morale within the team if it’s allowed to progress too far.

Be understanding and accepting of natural work-style preferences, but also be sure to bring the team together regularly for meetings and collaborative efforts, or you might find you are working with a set of individuals rather than a team.

Be Authentic

Be your authentic self. Showing your vulnerabilities, admitting mistakes and talking about life outside work may seem like admitting weakness, but authenticity is a quality that draws a team together and builds mutual trust. In a team with an authentic leader, mistakes are admitted rather than hidden, and the team are loyal to the leader. Showing your human side is a powerful leadership quality.

Praise and Give Feedback

As a specialist recruitment company, it’s fascinating how often candidates state that their reason for wanting to leave their current employer is that they didn’t feel valued or recognised for their contribution.

Saying thank you is powerful. I know people have a role and expectations; however, a ”thank you, I appreciate what you have done this week for us”, can make all the difference.

All employees need feedback on how they are doing and where and what they need to do to improve.

All your team will have performance objectives at some level that feed into the companies’ overall goals, and feedback on objectives needs to happen consistently.

A more formal six-month review is what many companies implement. However more regular ‘catch-ups’ can help your team improve much faster and stops any veering off track too.

Be Transparent Whenever Possible

Bring your team in on the big issues. Nothing consolidates a team more than a challenge – if issues are discussed with transparency and a solution-focused mindset. Bring the team together to honestly discuss issues, ask for their opinions, and always keep an upbeat attitude that a solution will be reached.

The alternative is to hide problems, which everyone senses on some level, causing a wedge of distrust to form between your team and you.

People aren’t born great leaders; it’s something you learn over time. If you can incorporate these steps into your leadership style, you will be well on the way to becoming the standout leader you want to be.

About Clayton Recruitment

Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organisations across the country since 1989 and during that time has built up an enviable reputation for trust and reliability.

With specialist divisions covering Commercial, Financial, Industrial, and Engineering appointments, on both a permanent and temporary basis. If you are looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.

If you would like to download our latest interview checklist, you can do so here.

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