Seven Tips for Becoming a Better Leader

Tips for Becoming a Better Leader

  • Stop and Listen. Great leaders are great listeners. Listening skills have always been important in the workplace. Employees today want to be heard, contribute, and feel ownership for your organization’s initiatives. They want to be asked for comments on problems and initiatives. Show a genuine interest in what other people are saying. Make people feel as though they are the most important people in the room.
  • Overcome Criticism and Learn from Your Mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes and poor decisions for which they receive criticism. Do not dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energy in determining how to move forward toward finding the answer and solving the problems. Accept personal responsibility for mistakes is the bigger error. Learn from your mistakes and allow them allow it to take you to the next level.
  • Learn to Ask for Help. Most successful people know how and when to ask for help. Most people are inclined to offer help when asked. You will get smart advice. You will get support from others. And, best of all, you will likely make a lot of people feel good that you respected them enough to seek their support and opinions.
  • Learn to Accept Yourself. None of us can ever be faultless. Accept that what is done is done; you are left with yourself exactly as you are. Accept the way you are, and then build on that. There is no need to beat yourself up because we don’t like some bits of yourself. Perhaps you can change lots, but that will come later. Pick yourself up and begin again. Acknowledge that you will fall short from time to time and that you are human.
  • Surround yourself with those that are supportive and smarter than you. Surround yourself with people more interesting than you. Interesting people are uncommon in a world in which conformity and the path of least resistance is the norm. The people you should choose to work with should not only be smarter than you are but also share your determination to succeed.
  • Possess the dogged determination it takes to get stuff done. All the intellect and ideas in the world do not matter until you are determined to get things done. Develop the persistence it takes to manage the difference between what your ideas predict and what actually occurs. The deficiency of carrying plans out is the single biggest obstacle to success, and the cause of much disappointment.
  • Know when to follow a hunch. People have always been intrigued by tales of that flash of knowledge — sixth sense, gut feeling, intuition, whatever you call it — which seems to come from nowhere. As we live our lives, we build a body of knowledge and experience. So, instead of consciously moving through a set of logical steps, we implicitly draw on this deep knowledge of problems and solutions. Leaders have the best hunches about what they know the best. Sometimes those hunches seem to go against logic. Purely rational thinking can lead you only so far. Beyond that, you have to make the leap, trust your intuition and act.
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