Leading any sized team, no matter how small or large, still comes with the same challenges and hurdles no matter how you look at things, so it is important that as a leader, you embody everything you want your employees and team members to be. Set good examples, and others will follow. Understand early on that a good leader has a good team behind them and that without support and backing, you are leading no one.
Lead With Purpose
Knowing your business inside out is essential, as is knowing what you are trying to achieve. So, before you go any further, ask yourself where the business is going, and most importantly, what is your role in the business’s development and growth? If you do not know your business’s intentions, then how will you know what your purpose is? Finding out where you are headed is key to success. Once you have a purpose as a leader, you can then filter this purpose down to the rest of your team. Not having a purpose means you will just float through the day, not really achieving anything, and then getting frustrated when people or things do not go the way you envisaged that they would.
Lead from the Middle
Don’t be the leader that is isolated from the rest of the team, instead of lead from the middle, and ensure you keep your teams’ ideas, thoughts, and feelings in mind as you push forward and seek change. Always set examples for your team and lead by example. Don’t expect team members to be focused and attentive if you are not an attentive and focused leader. Always welcome honest feedback, and encourage your team to do so. A leader who is in tune with their team will be a leader that can depend on their team in times of need. Never forget how important it is to communicate with your team. Good and open communication encourages transparency at all levels.
Education and experience are key; both of these areas will ensure that you are an effective leader. Experience comes with time; however, education can be gained and earned. Studying for a master in business administration will allow you to brush up on areas of business you may feel you lack experience or awareness in. To be a great leader, you need to think of education as ongoing and not just something you do as a one-off. Getting educated and staying informed will also ensure that you are the most rounded and well-equipped leader possible and that you are ready to tackle and handle anything that is put your way. Being aware of all aspects of a business is essential for good leadership.
Knowing when to step away from a situation and knowing where to apply pressure is one of the things that will make you an effective leader. Good leaders listen to team members and employees, and then they take action. Establishing areas for improvement before implementing change will ensure that you are seen as a valued and well-respected leader. Respect is hard to gain, but if you are efficient and effective and you think of the needs of others and the business first and foremost, then you will be respected, and as a result, what you bring to the table and implement will then be effective.
No leader can achieve everything they want to on their own, so it is important to delegate tasks and responsibilities as and where you can. Involving others within your processes and decision-making will ensure that you are seen as an inclusive leader. Being inclusive is essential to ensuring that the working environment for yourself and others is the best it can be, both comfortable and safe.
Openness and Honesty
Team members and employees value a leader if they are honest and open. Nobody wants to work hard for somebody who may come across as devious, deceptive, or secretive, so keep this in mind. If you are an open and honest leader, then you can expect the same from your team and those that surround you. Openness and honesty count for more than you possibly realize; it will ensure that things get done correctly and that if there are any issues within your team, they are spoken about and rectified at the earliest opportunity. Honesty with your team and employees will ensure that you have a strong working relationship moving forward; the importance of this cannot be underestimated, especially if you are working in a small team.