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How To Be a Better Leader

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

I've never led a large team...yet. I'm not a well-known leader...yet. I don't run a huge company with millions in revenue or million of followers. But everyday I think (and work on) how to be a better leader.

While there are many more qualified leaders out there, what qualifies me to talk about leadership is experience – being led by both good and bad leaders, and being able to recognize my strengths, weaknesses, and areas on I'm trying improve myself.

It's in this lived experience where I've learned the true characteristics of effective leadership.

Here's 10 important ones in my humble opinion:

1. Always Remain Positive

As a leader, your attitude can set the tone for the entire team. Keeping a positive mindset, even in challenging times, can help keep morale high and encourage others to keep pushing forward.

2. Build Up Others

A good leader nurtures and develops their team members. By offering guidance, providing feedback, and recognizing each individual's strengths, you can help them reach their full potential.

3. Ask for Help

Great leaders aren't afraid to admit when they don't have all the answers and are open to seeking assistance or advice from others. This not only ensures the best solutions are found, but also fosters a collaborative team culture.

4. Hold Yourself Accountable

Accountability is crucial. As a leader, take responsibility for your actions and decisions, and ensure your team members see you doing so.

5. Admit Mistakes

Admitting when you're wrong isn't a sign of weakness—it's a sign of strength. It shows you're human and helps to foster a culture where mistakes are viewed as learning opportunities.

6. Rise to the Occasion

Leaders need to step up when times are tough. Show resilience in the face of adversity and your team will follow suit. And when no one else is stepping up, don't hesitate, get in there.

7. Care about People

True leadership is about caring for your team members on a personal level. Understand their needs, concerns, and aspirations, and support them accordingly.

8. Be Bold

Don’t be afraid to make tough decisions or take calculated risks. Boldness in leadership often leads to innovation and progress.

9. Listen More

Listening is a powerful leadership tool. Hear your team members' ideas, feedback, and concerns. This fosters trust, encourages open communication, and can lead to better decision-making.

10. Express Appreciation

Recognize and appreciate the efforts and accomplishments of your team members. This can boost morale, promote a positive work culture, and encourage further productivity and innovation. It shows your team that their hard work doesn't go unnoticed, which can lead to increased job satisfaction and loyalty.

How to Develop Leadership Skills

Enhancing these leadership characteristics isn't an overnight process—it requires ongoing effort and commitment. Start by becoming more self-aware, understanding your strengths and weaknesses as a leader. Seek feedback from others, and be open to constructive criticism. Take opportunities to lead, whether in your current job, a community project, or even a group of friends. Practice makes perfect.

The role of a leader extends beyond just delegating tasks or being the big boss. It's about inspiring others, fostering a positive and productive environment, and leading by example. Each one of us has the potential to be an effective leader—it's all about honing the right characteristics and continually striving for improvement.

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