The best leaders treat brainstorming as a democracy of ideas. One way of getting more invested participation from your employees is to introduce a weekly team meeting where new ideas are solicited from each person. This is a great way to strengthen the team mentality, showing your employees that you want and welcome their brilliance.
Here are five things you can do to train and transform yourself to be a great leader:
1. Keep promises, period.
Never make promises you’re not sure you can keep. Nothing kills your credibility quicker than a breached promise or unfulfilled expectation.
Sometimes keeping promises can be challenging, if not downright painful. This commitment will develop discipline and integrity. Practice it with your kids as well as colleagues.
2. Leaders Know How to Listen.
Leaders listen to everyone, even those who might not have as much “experience” as other people in the room. The best leaders treat brainstorming as a democracy of ideas. One way of getting more invested participation from your employees is to introduce a weekly team meeting where new ideas are solicited from each person.
3. Treat your team as you expect them to treat customers.
Asking your team to be courteous to customers and being a jerk to them is incongruent and hypocritical. Being the leader doesn’t give you a free pass to indulge your base instincts. The way you treat people is a barometer to everyone on your team.
Robert Greenleaf coined the term “servant leadership” in the 1960’s. It isn’t about being servile, but about finding ways to support your employees so they can become successful. Periodically ask: “What can I do to help?”
4. Surround yourself with the right people.
The ‘right’ people, in this case, are not the ones who think and act exactly like you. It’s actually the other way around. The best strategy for success is to hire people who are diverse, passionate and smart and then listen closely to their perspectives.
5. Ask rather than wait for feedback.
Some leaders react to unsolicited feedback as criticism and miss an opportunity to learn. But waiting for your employees to become brave enough to offer you feedback is a risky proposition. Don’t ask employees what they like or dislike about you. You’ll get better information by asking: “In your opinion, what might I do to become a more effective leader?”
Finally, maybe some leaders are born, but the rest of the population must learn and grow throughout their careers. The transformation into an effective leader doesn’t happen overnight — it takes various experiences and often the guidance of others.Even if you don’t currently hold a managerial title, an affinity for leadership is likely to take you far in your career.