As we grow our businesses and careers, larger projects will start to come our way. You’ll need to be responsible for multiple moving parts, and most likely, you’re going to need some help. It’s important during these times, that you have a strong team supporting you.
If you have ever had the pleasure of working on a team with an ineffective leader, you feel my pain. Sometimes, the project doesn’t even get finished— and if it does, it’s not without much frustration. It’s an experience that most of us would not want to relive.
When you are leading a team, there is a lot expected of you. If it’s your own business, your name is on the line. And if it’s a company you represent, the higher-ups are going to praise you when things are going well, and potentially penalize you when things go wrong. You need to know everyone’s job, have all of the answers and hit all of the marks. It’s a lot of pressure.
But crafting a strong support system and leading with efficiency, will make the experience more pleasant, not only for you, but everyone involved.
The Fish Rots from the Head
Tips To Be An Effective Leader
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people (especially those in leadership positions) don’t bother themselves with this very simple process. Just simply taking the time to be nice goes a long way, and it will make your colleagues feel more at ease. If they feel comfortable, they are more likely to be productive as well. It’s a win-win! Unhappy people don’t even want to show up for work, let alone go that extra mile. You want to keep your team as happy as possible because they will want to fight for you and your vision. They will gladly push your project further than you ever imagined.
Let Your Team Breathe (NO micromanaging!)
I don’t know anyone who likes to be micromanaged. Yet, there are so many leaders that take this approach. I think we can all collectively say “Back Off!”. Being an effective leader does not include watching your team’s every move. That would drive anyone insane, and it will not make your team more productive. Micromanaging will cause your team to resent you, which will turn into not liking you, and ultimately they will be unhappy (which leads to the first point I made). Hopefully, you chose these people to be on your team because of their specific qualities, you have to trust it! If you are going to stand over their shoulder all day, then what is the point of having them there? You might as well do everything yourself. The whole point of having a team is to relieve you of certain tasks, enabling you to focus on other things. There is a big difference between overseeing a project and micromanaging. So take a deep breath, and let your team do what you hired them to do!
While you’re overseeing your team and not micromanaging :), it’s important that you communicate what you need done clearly! A big reason why things don’t get done right the first time— is because the communication is broken. You may have said one thing, but had a different idea in your mind. Make sure that you are communicating what you are aiming for in a way that your team understands. A good way to do this is to ask them if they understand! Making sure your communication is clear and concise, will help to prevent mistakes and generate higher productivity.
I am a BIG advocate for organization. I think anyone who has a mind of reaching their goals consistently should make this a habit. In relation to your team, you need to know who is doing what, when they are doing it (or when it should be finished) and why they are doing it. Moreover, you need to be organized yourself so that you know what tasks need to be done each day, what phone calls to make, what meetings to attend, etc. Your project should be moving along like a well-oiled machine, and you cannot do that if you don’t have things organized. If are always on top of things, you will warrant respect. Your team will want to follow you, because they have clear direction from you, and they can depend on you to have everything together.
Above all, respect those around you. Don’t talk down to your team members, don’t make them feel like they don’t have a voice. Listen to their concerns and address them, make sure to acknowledge them when they have done an exceptional job! Here’s a big one, admit when you are wrong, be human! Treat them the way you would want to be treated, and show them that you value them. Remember, they are making it possible for you to focus on other things and they are a big part of everything that is taking place. Treat them well and show them respect, they will return the favor!
In short, being an effective leader is really all about how you relate to others.
What do you think makes an effective leader? Let us know in the comments below!