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Good leadership is key to a company’s success. Everything starts from the top, so a leader must invoke confidence in their employees, team members, customers and clients. A strong leader doesn’t shy away from difficult situations or tough decisions. If you’re in a leadership position, the behaviors listed below will help grow your business and establish a healthy work environment.
Communication is a huge part of success in all areas of life. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or head of a department, communication should be a top priority. It’s not just important to communicate often, but to facilitate communication among your employees, clients and other third parties. Be consistent and clear with your communications. Pass along important information as soon as it is available. In most situations, it’s better to provide too much information than too little. And most importantly, don’t avoid communicating because the news is not good. Being able to deliver bad news in a direct, yet sensitive manner is part of being a good leader.
Under Promise and Over-Deliver
You’ve probably heard the phrase “under promise and over-deliver.” It may be tempting to promise a lot in order to attract clients or make customers happy. But you’re setting yourself and others up for disappointment if you say you’ll do something that you aren’t certain you can accomplish. Being honest about what can be done will earn you the respect of customers, clients, partners and employees. At worst, people will get exactly what they expected. At best, they will be pleasantly surprised.
Own Your Mistakes
One of the hardest things for people to do is to own their mistakes. Even the best leaders have trouble admitting to mistakes. Some may think it’s a sign of weakness, but being able to admit to a mistake takes strength. Whatever you do, don’t try to deflect blame onto others or make excuses. You will set a bad example for those beneath you and lose the respect of colleagues or clients. Once you realize a mistake has been made, take immediate action. Apologize and explain how you will fix the mistake. If the mistake cannot be undone, outline some ways you will work to ensure the same mistake will not happen again.
Disorganization can cost you time, money and customers. Although organization isn’t a glamorous topic, it is important if you want to be a good leader. An organized leader inspires his or her employees to be more organized. An organized entrepreneur or small business owner ensures customers and clients that things will be done well and in a timely manner. From your email inbox to your desktop, you should have a system in place so that you can find anything quickly. Staying organized will help prevent mistakes and reduce stress.
Be Open to Change
Some leaders are resistant to change. But leaders unwilling to change not only hurt themselves but their employees and companies. A good leader is constantly learning and adapting. Be open to suggestions, not just from outside consultants or partners, but from your team members or employees. Keeping up with changing technology and trends ensures that you remain competitive within any industry.
You don’t have to be a “natural leader” in order to be a great leader. Take inspiration from people you admire. Brush up on your communication skills by joining professional organizations or taking classes. Ask a friend or colleague for help getting organized. Be willing to admit mistakes and take responsibility. Always be looking for ways to change, adapt and improve. Traits and behaviors can be learned if you’re willing to put in the work.