Leadership is a buzz word these days. Everyone is talking about it. We have books and blogs and seminars and podcasts all devoted to helping you become a better leader. As a leader yourself, you probably feel cramped for time; there’s so much to do and so little time to do it.
You might even feel like you can spend so much time talking about being a better leader that you can’t find time to actually put any training into practice. Believe me, I’ve worked with all kinds of leaders—entrepreneurs and small-business owners who want to become better leaders—but they don’t know where to start. I know it can be overwhelming.
With that in mind, let’s break leadership down into five easy-to-understand steps. No doubt, good leadership can’t be simplified down to a formula and checklist. But hopefully, if you’re trying to take it to the next level as a leader, these pointers will get you moving in that direction.
So how can you become a better leader?
- 1. Get to know your team.
What motivates each person who works for you? Even better, what demotivates them? When you take the time to really get to know your team, you gain an advantage called information! You know how they tick, and you can give them a boost when needed.
- 2. Help your team see how they fit in the big picture.
Talk with them about how they see the future of the company and what they want it to look like. Getting their feedback helps them see you value their input—and that you like them and want them on your team. People need to know this more than you can imagine
- 3. Communicate!
I can’t stress this enough. Share information. Make them feel like they are “in the know.” If your team is in the dark, they can never share your spark! Nothing is worse than a leader who attends upper-level meetings and doesn’t pass any information on to his team. Your team will gossip and waste time speculating and guessing because of your lack of communication. But that’s not all: Leaders who don’t communicate breed distrust on their team.
- 4. Develop a crusade mentality.
Help your team understand how your product or service makes a difference in people’s lives. Share stories and testimonies with your team all the time so they can see how their actions are affecting your consumers, vendors, and people you interact with in the marketplace.
- 5. Stay involved.
Keep your finger on the pulse of your team. Pay attention to their mood. Is the atmosphere quiet lately? Do people seem unfocused? You can’t lead a group that you don’t have a connection with on some level. Make some time to give your team a boost with occasional parties. If you don’t have something or someone to celebrate, just make it a party to thank them for all of their hard work!
"Remember, this is up to you. If you want to become a better leader, it’s your responsibility to put in the time and effort to become one."Chris Hogan
This won’t be an overnight event. You’re not going to wake up tomorrow, drive into work, walk through your office door, and all of a sudden become a Vince Lombardi-type leader. What you can do is resolve to make changes, then put them in place incrementally.
Focus on one point at a time. For the next few weeks, how can you take action steps to get to know your team better (point 1)? Could you schedule an informal 30-minute meeting or lunch appointment with each one of them—using it simply as a “get to know you” session? Could you take the whole team on a one-day retreat or off-site meeting? Do what works best for your team, but do something.
You won’t become a better leader by just talking about becoming a better leader. Put some of these practices in place in your life and work culture, and see what happens. You may be surprised at how much transformation you see in both yourself and your team!
By: Chris Hogan
Chris Hogan speaks all over the country at businesses, associations and colleges on money and leadership. He also conducts on-site training sessions for organizations of all sizes. As a former All-American college football player and business owner, Chris understands that leadership is essential for the success of any team. You can follow Chris Hogan on Twitter at @ChrisHogan360 or check him out here: daveramsey.com/speakers/Chris-HoganRead More Articles by Chris Hogan