Good leaders, like professional athletes, make everything they do look easy. But in reality, many of them have to work hard to manage or compensate for potentially career-limiting traits.
I’ve worked with many executives as a business leadership coach, and I’ve come to understand that becoming a better leader requires a strategy and suggestions on how to improve. With that principle in mind, here are five ways you can become a better leader immediately.
Practice self-awareness. Think of yourself as the conductor of an orchestra—focused on helping every person on your team perform at their best. To be effective in this work, you need to understand your own strengths as well as your weaknesses and leadership gaps. Understanding yourself helps you leverage your strengths and your gaps. And at the end of the day, we all need to understand what challenges us and allow that awareness to become better leaders. What we understand, we own—and what we own doesn’t own us.
Learn how to coach your people. The greatest and strongest leaders know they’re only as good as the teams around them, so they put tremendous emphasis on coaching and supporting their people, helping them grow. It’s important to give each person the attention and feedback that will motivate them to make meaningful contributions.
Be willing to talk about difficult subjects. It’s always nice when you can act as a cheerleader for your organization, but the more important task is to help your team navigate the uncertain times. Business is messy, leadership isn’t easy and the way ahead may be far from clear. Communicate with your team about the issues facing your organization and industry—things like risks, variables, volatile markets. When you do, you not only build trust but also quash speculation and rumor mills.
Ask for help when you need it. Most leaders consider themselves highly capable, which makes it even harder when they need to ask for support. But requesting help from others will always be one of the best ways to become a better leader. If you’re feeling stuck, seek out a mentor or hire a coach.
Serve as a model. When you act as a model of integrity and hard work—when you talk the talk and walk the walk—people will admire your leadership and work to emulate your behavior. If you want to become a better leader, work on modeling the qualities you’d like to see in your team and in others.
Lead from within: The best leaders know they can be even better leaders and they do everything they can to improve.
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N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
Photo Credit: Getty Images
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 has become a national bestseller.