The Best Free Leadership Advice You’ll Ever Get

screen-shot-2016-09-19-at-4-20-49-pmIf you’re like most leaders, you’re always looking for ways to improve your leadership.

People are constantly asking me what they can do to make their leadership exceptional. They usually expect the answer to involve costly coaching sessions, or expensive training programs. But the best advice I can give is a simple technique that will improve your leadership immediately without costing a penny.

Here it is: Get out of the office.

The leader who is always in the office behind closed doors is not the kind of leader people want to follow.

Get up and get out.

Talk to your team, connect with your advisors, speak to your people.

While you’re there, make sure you try out these leadership practices:

Smile with sincerity. Smiling is a powerful tool. It helps people relax around you; it draws people closer and allows you to connect easily with others.

Engage wholeheartedly. A recent study found that 70 percent of employees are miserable at work and most people feel their boss or leader doesn’t engage with them. You can do better. Connect with your team and find ways to let your people know they are important to you.

Listen carefully. Keep your ears open. Too often leaders think they have to do all the talking, but the best thing you can do is smile and genuinely listen. People have a lot on their minds, and they need someone who is available to listen to what they have to say.

Question with curiosity. The best leaders are always asking questions—not only to elicit information but also to help others better understand the issues.

Answer earnestly. Most people on your team probably have questions they want to ask, but they may feel too intimidated to ask or they’re concerned about disturbing you. Make it easy for people to find you and speak to you—keep yourself available and accessible. You may want to schedule a listening session or another time when people are specifically encouraged to ask what is on their mind so they can be as productive and effective as possible.

Get feedback. Most leaders don’t really want honest feedback, so they don’t ask for it—and as a result they receive it only in rare cases when it’s forced on them. The best leaders know that feedback is the most reliable path to improvement, and it’s an important part of their efforts to be better and lead better. But it’s not all about criticism and improvement—feedback is also the best way to discover your strengths.

Give feedback. Leaders need an open channel of communication with their people. Learning to give feedback well opens the dialogue and leads to more candor in both directions, enhancing credibility and competencies on both sides.

Show that you care. There is this big misconception that leadership is all about power and influence, and that showing care and compassion is a sign of weak leadership. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The best leaders are remembered not for their power but for how they made people feel. Let people know you care, be there for them, and show that you appreciate and value them.

It’s easy to get bogged down in everyday responsibilities and accountability, but in the end it’s the small, simple things that end up mattering the most.

Lead from within: When was the last time you left your office and engaged with those you value the most?

Additional Reading:

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Photo Credit: Getty Images


Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness is being released by Portfolio May 2017.

35 Responses to “The Best Free Leadership Advice You’ll Ever Get”

  1. Gagan Chauhan

    20. Sep, 2016

    Once again, thank you for sharing this! This is very inspirational and helpful…quiet thought to provoke! Leaders are built not born! Get out & get going!!! Cheers

    Reply to this comment
  2. CYNTHIA DAVIS-KNOTTS

    20. Sep, 2016

    Thanks for sharing your leadership knowledge and inspiring to encourage people.

    Very helpful as a community representative!

    GGMCORP,
    Non-Profit, start-up
    Peace&blessings

    Always love your tweets! Empowering!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Cedric HIcks

    20. Sep, 2016

    Great article.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Matthews Otalike

    21. Sep, 2016

    Great and inspiring thoughts on leadership always, Lolly.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Jeanne Ddoucet

    22. Sep, 2016

    For having lived it as a leader, all your thoughts are significant and true. Jeanne

    Reply to this comment
  6. Mariamma baby

    22. Sep, 2016

    This is very interesting >>.get out and keep going!!!

    Reply to this comment
  7. Bill Jones

    23. Sep, 2016

    Excellent article. As a student of leadership through my years, this article is a great little summary that all leaders need to take to heart. Leaders need to be engaged with employees and staff. If leaders do not take care of those they lead, those they lead will not take care of those who lead them! Please read this article and take the advice to heart if you want to become a good leader.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Joel

    23. Sep, 2016

    Now, if only all management would read this, how different would the workplace be?

    Reply to this comment
  9. Theresa Rusch

    23. Sep, 2016

    Lead by example. Excellent advice! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply to this comment
  10. MICHAL PETRAS

    23. Sep, 2016

    A fantastic article.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Virendra sinha

    24. Sep, 2016

    Excellen5 advice.Thanks for sharing.

    Reply to this comment
  12. Sanjay J. Rakecha

    24. Sep, 2016

    Superb !!! advise…

    Reply to this comment
  13. B.N.N.Prasad

    24. Sep, 2016

    Lolly,
    You have summarised leading from within well with” get-up & get-out, connect and be sincere.
    Wisdom also may mean “what not to do”; using discretion.
    Yes all nine are so apt.

    Reply to this comment
  14. Mohamed Rafi

    24. Sep, 2016

    Awesome.

    Reply to this comment
  15. London Management Centre

    28. Sep, 2016

    This is too true. A great leader/ manager is always one to get involved with the employees, whether its to find out how they are, how the projects are going or just simply to get to know them better. No employee likes a ‘ghost leader’.

    Reply to this comment
  16. Majaliti John Stephen

    11. Oct, 2016

    Lolly,
    Excellent article. Continue sharing.

    Reply to this comment
  17. Teens Mean Business

    26. Oct, 2016

    Great article. Thank You Lolly very much.

    Reply to this comment
  18. Ravichandran.S

    07. Dec, 2016

    The leadership qualities spelt are very true .The leader must spend good time with the Managers and staff to give/get feedback .
    Leading from the front is always better than leading from the cabin .
    The leader must be accessible to the employees.
    The leader must be humble and down to earth .

    Reply to this comment
  19. Sandy

    27. Jan, 2017

    It’s the simple things that make the difference.

    Reply to this comment
    • Name (required)

      09. Mar, 2017

      Simplicity has been my path, a World wrought with complicity, we can only look and see a simpler way. Re-inventing the wheel is a very good mind model, in that, there”s always a much better way.
      Thought simplicity, we can easily see 10-12 steps ahead of where we now stand. Standing firm with a gentle mind is not a weakness, it’s a strength others are drawn to and not repelled from. Bless You…

      Reply to this comment
  20. Dana

    27. Jan, 2017

    It’s so seemingly simple, but even I have a hard time remembering to take the time to get up and walk around to chat with my team. But, it makes all the difference. Thanks for the reminder!

    Reply to this comment

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