Know your own strengths (and weaknesses).
If you need to, sit down and write a list of what you’re good at and what you’re not so good at. Seeing your strengths and weaknesses in black and white will help you to know why you’re an effective leader, and it will also point out where you can improve.
Be confident in yourself.
If you’re not confident, how can you expect anyone else to trust your leadership? If you know your own strengths, then confidence will naturally follow. The people you are leading must have faith in you, and if they know you are confident in your abilities, they will relax and let you lead them.
However, if you are not confident in yourself, they won’t be either, and someone who is confident will be knocking at your door to take your place. Assume you are a leader, and you’ll not only act like one, but everyone else will sit up and take notice—and they’ll treat you as a leader also.
Listen to everyone.
This is not to say that you need to heed what everyone is saying, but you do need to make them feel heard, valued, and respected. This is the first step in turning yourself into a more effective leader. Your people need to feel like you hear them and honor them.
Take time to make good decisions, but after you’ve made them, stick with them. Don’t be indecisive or unsure of yourself. Some decisions will work and some will not. True leaders know they did all they could to gather the information to make a good decision, and they did the best they could with the data they had at the time.
Keep wise counsel.
Be careful about whom you confide in. Many leaders have damaged their credibility by talking to the wrong people. It’s rarely a good idea to share secrets with your work friends, and if you need a sounding board, you may be better finding an upper-level manager to work with. Always be careful and mindful of the office gossip mill.
What is your favorite leadership tip?