4 Ways To Be A Great Leader

Great leaders are hard to find but good leadership is a skill that everyone needs to master. There is no magic solution to being a good leader but there are lessons we can all learn.

1       Learn to listen

Listening to staff and customers and other voices in the industry is an essential part of leadership. In addition to getting your voice heard and influencing those around you, it is important to consider what others think and how they act. Being aware of what happens in every part of the business and knowing what works, what doesn’t work, and will work in the future is a vital leadership skill. And it is easier to understand the surrounding environment when you listen with genuine interest, as others will be open and honest about what troubles them. In many cases, great leaders are great listeners with the ability to turn what they hear into meaningful actions that improve people’s lives.

2       Learn to communicate

Great leaders communicate with ease in all situations and circumstances and to all groups and types of people. But such skills are often strained when poor leaders try to deal with stressful people and situations. Taking time to craft a message that communicates to different audiences with different requirements is vital. But many leaders don’t make sufficient effort to engage with others, as they assume what they say will be followed without question. As a result, they find it difficult to communicate even the simplest of messages and often create confusion amongst those they are supposed to lead.

3       Look outside the business

Great leaders create time and space to talk to people outside the normal scope and culture of the business as a way to stay fresh and open to ideas from other organisations. Poor leaders surround themselves with people who are reluctant to challenge them, which weakens their ability to build a cohesive team or a better future. Understanding how leaders in other unrelated areas operate is helpful as a way to find new solutions to reoccurring problems. Not least, because examples of best practice are often found in unlikely places and transferrable from unfamiliar environments.

4       Look inside the business

Great leaders have the necessary insight and discipline to capture and communicate the purpose of the business to a variety of audiences. Such clarity informs who they hire, what skills they look for, where they invest, what markets they target, and everything they do on a daily basis to improve performance. It also informs the tools and technology they choose to drive change and ensure greater competitiveness within the business.

So, great leadership is not always easy but there are lessons we can all learn to add value and be more effective in what we do.