Most successful leaders spend their time thinking about strategy and technology and processes. And those things are important, of course, but it can be easy to forget that sometimes it’s the smallest gestures that have the biggest impact. Here are seven little ways to make a big difference:
Be grateful. People expect recognition when they’ve made an extra effort and acted beyond their responsibility, but sometimes as leaders we forget to be grateful for the daily efforts people make. Great leaders don’t take anything for granted; they show appreciation for their team’s everyday contributions as well as their extraordinary efforts.
Be attentive. When people speak to you, don’t reply immediately. Instead, listen and be thoughtful. Focus on being a patient and attentive listener.
Be caring. Being a good leader means caring about the people you’re leading. That doesn’t just mean remembering their birthday or work anniversary. Make a point of knowing what’s important to those who work for you, what’s happening in their lives, and make a daily practice of connecting with a few of them. Caring about your people sets you apart as a leader.
Be respectful. Leaders, by definition, are those who others follow, and leadership behavior causes others to act. Therefore it is important to remember that if you respect others they will respect you—and if your people respect you, they will go above and beyond for you. But if you don’t respect them and they don’t respect you, you’ll have trouble succeeding as a leader.
Be invested. As a leader it is important that you invest your time and energy into the growth and development of those who work for you. Show them that you’re interested in their future, and in return you will get hard-working people who are loyal and determined. Remember, you don’t build a business—you build people, and then people build the business.
Be flexible. You don’t want people who have no life outside work. You want people who practice a healthy balance, so the next time someone asks to leave early for an appointment or to work remotely for a day, as a leader you need to say yes with grace. Show people that you trust them and respect the fact that they have lives outside the office, and morale will stay high.
Be accessible. Leaders are busy people. But if you make it clear that you’re willing to carve out time and make yourself available, you make yourself truly a part of your team. Encouraging people to come to you with issues or suggestions will not only help them feel more at ease, but help you earn their trust—a winning formula for successful leadership.
Lead from within: In leadership, small gestures can have a big return and a huge impact. What small gestures are you doing today?
#1 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.
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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.