Are you stepping into a management role, or struggling with how to be a good leader in the position you are already at? Some might try and tell you that being a leader is something you are born with, but that simply isn’t true.
Being a good leader to a team or company takes time, practice, and knowledge. It isn’t going to always be easy, and it won’t always be fun, but developing strong leadership skills will improve every aspect of your job.
What Makes a Bad Leader?
You know what you don’t want to be – a bad leader. Knowing what makes a person a bad boss to work under will help you avoid these common mistakes. Think back to what you hated about previous bosses.
Was it their arrogance? Their temper? How intimidating they could be?
Whatever the case, avoid these traits! Some telltale signs of a bad leader include:
- Being a bad listener
- Having a bad temper
- Being indecisive or unsure
- Blames others for their mistakes
- Arrogant and overconfident about their own skills
- Secretive of current work or job duties
How To NOT Do These Things
It’s not as simple as identifying what you shouldn’t be doing, and not doing them, though that is a good first step. If you are in a leadership role and you are struggling, be honest with yourself and evaluate what is wrong.
Are your staff not listening to you? Maybe that’s because they don’t feel listened to.
Are your staff not doing the things you want them to? Consider why they aren’t doing them your way – look at it from their perspective, and find the incentive you can give them to change.
Is your staff not coming to you with issues? Maybe it’s because last time you lost your temper with them, and they are scared to approach you.
If you feel like you are an absent leader, or disconnected to your team, increase the time you spend with them. You cannot overstate how important an active leadership role is within a successful organization.
This doesn’t mean babysitting your team, but it means being present and there for them when they need it. Take them to lunch or share the breakroom with them to hear their concerns and be a real member of the team.
If you’re still struggling, sit down at the end of the week for ten minutes and write down what went wrong that week, and how you could have fixed it or prevented it entirely now that you have perspective on the situation.
This exercise will help you find room for improvement in your everyday work life, and if you keep doing it you will automatically go back to those improved reactions as time goes on.
It is hard to make a list of what you might consider your failings at your job, but you won’t ever get better without being hard on yourself.
If You Think You’re Done, You’re Not
Don’t think that just because you have figured out this team that you are always going to be great at leadership. The role of a leader is always evolving, and you should be evolving with the role, too.
What works now won’t always work in the future, so you should be constantly working on improving yourself in your role.