5 Ways to Become a Better Leader

How can you become a more effective leader for your team? I’ve compiled the following 5 tips based on what I’ve learned from different individuals and from simple observations during work and everyday life:

  1. Shut up and listen – I can’t stress this point more. How can you listen to your team when all you want to do is listen to yourself talk? Concerns and ideas from your team members are extremely vital to the success and overall functioning of the team as a whole. You have two ears and only one mouth, so spend more of your time listening then speaking.
  2. It’s okay to be wrong – From his talk at a TED conference, Sir Ken Robinson speaks of how we’re trained to be afraid of being wrong. Well, don’t be. Being wrong is always an integral part of achieving greatness. This is something we can learn from children. Children have wild dreams because they’re creative and aren’t scared to be wrong. So dream, try, and be wrong.
  3. a.k.a Facilitator – All leaders are effective facilitators. For example in meetings, the main job of the leader is to facilitate discussion. Using an agenda, the leader make sure the team stays on track and subdue irrelevant discussion. Most importantly, a leader asks the right questions. You team is able to and will make the right decisions, so just set the path and get out of the way.
  4. Create a safe environment – If your team members feel safe, they will work happily.  They will be more wiling to share ideas and thoughts, praise or criticize, and be willing to take risks.
  5. Don’t act like you’re the expert – The fact is, the most recent college grads will be more up-to-date and technically advanced then you are.  You’re the leader, your duty includes an ability to work with people and lead the team effectively.  Your experience and people skills are what’s valuable to the team.  So don’t let your ego get in the way and be open to learning new things from the younger “experts”.

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