An Introduction To Being A Great Leader

Interested in becoming a great leader?

Leadership is a crucial component of management. Managers can help organizations maintain productivity, boost collaboration, and achieve organizational success. Great leaders don’t put themselves before others. Instead, these leaders are humble and possess other qualities like:

  • Self-sacrifice
  • Fantastic communication skills
  • Ability to take responsibility for their actions
  • Determination
  • Resourcefulness
  • Empathy
  • Mindfulness
  • Passion
  • Honesty

An effective leader also helps sync departmental goals with overarching organizational objectives. They will also ensure all office workers are well-trained and equipped to perform their duties and work effectively and efficiently. Leaders also provide team members with the necessary resources to perform their tasks, including time knowledge, equipment, software, and more.

In this blog post, we’ll cover why leadership is essential in the workplace, how you can improve on these skills, and four leadership abilities every great leader should have.

Why Is Leadership A Critical Skill

Leaders set examples for their team members. As a result, organizations with great leaders can inspire employees to follow a particular path filled with ethics, productivity, transparency, and accountability.

Leaders are there to provide guidance, boost team morale, and help the team achieve goals while simultaneously helping the organization achieve long-term success.

Here are a few other reasons why leadership is an essential skill in the workplace:

1. Provides Focus And Drives The Team Forward

Leaders help teams stay focused on the task at hand and help them achieve their goals by clearly defining them and outlining how they can get there. Leaders should also motivate team members to stay on track and work productively by setting reasonable deadlines and targets. Leaders can help teams avoid bottlenecks and roadblocks by consistently monitoring employee progress and providing solutions before any challenges turn into problems.

2. Empower Team Members To Work At Their Full Potential

A good team leader is familiar with the team’s strengths and the capabilities of every team member. As a result, these leaders assign tasks that take advantage of every team member’s strengths, leading to a well-executed project. Good leaders encourage team members to communicate and collaborate, fostering strong company culture, and boosting teamwork. As a true leader, you should also provide feedback, praise employees, and empower them to work harder and improve their skills. 

3. Takes Responsibility For Decision-Making

Being a great leader means being able to make tough decisions — even in challenging situations. The decision you make needs to benefit the team and the project. As a result, you need to have a good balance of emotional and logical reasoning when making crucial decisions. Additionally, if the decision leads to poor results, great leaders take responsibility for their actions and devise solutions. They don’t shift the blame onto others. 

3 Challenges Leaders Face

You must understand that leadership and middle management can be tough to become great at leading people. As a result, you must prepare for any challenges you might face. 

Here are three challenges leaders face:

1. Earning The Trust Of Your Employees

It can be challenging to earn the trust of anyone, especially if that person had negative experiences in the past. As a leader, you need to gain the trust of your team members, so you can work together with accountability and transparency. You can boost trust in the workplace by communicating with employees, maintaining eye contact, sharing personal experiences, and showing interest in their careers and personal lives.

2. Dealing With Pressure And Stress

Leaders often have to make difficult decisions. Sometimes, these situations can be stressful – for example, firing employees, selecting a candidate for a role, or telling an employee that they have to move departments because they’re not performing well. 

Naturally, some people will take things personally and have a bit of resentment towards you. 

Leaders also have to excel under pressure. As a result, you need to have excellent stress management skills. 

3. Managing Difficult People

You’ll often come across employees who might not share the same values, interests, or work ethic as you. But great leaders don’t use these differences to create conflicts. Instead, they find ways to work together with every employee while maintaining their core values.

4 Skills A Great Leader Should Have

Having exemplary management skills can help you become a successful leader and lead your team and organization to success. Fantastic leaders understand how to motivate their team, connect with team members, and encourage employees to grow and improve their weaknesses. Additionally, the ability to recognize your own mistakes and improve on your shortcomings sets mediocre leaders apart from exceptional ones. 

Remember, anyone can sit in a fancy office and delegate tasks. Only the best leaders can inspire team members and significantly impact the organization from within. Great leaders are essential for high-performing companies since employees who work under fantastic leaders tend to be more engaged, motivated, and productive. 

So without further ado, here are four skills every great leader should have:

1. Open Communication

One of the essential leadership skills is effective and open communication — with team members and other stakeholders. According to Sanjay Patoliya (the founder and director of Teclogiq), leaders need honesty and transparency. This way, team members will follow suit and complete projects ethically and honestly. Honest leaders can also improve the level of trust within a team and boost team morale.

Additionally, great leaders invest time in understanding their employees and the communication each team member prefers. For example, some team members prefer face-to-face communication, while others prefer email. Showing employees that you’re paying attention to their needs can motivate them to work harder and contribute to the organization’s goals. 

2. Ability To Change

Fantastic leaders have the emotional intelligence to understand that change is inevitable. As a result, great leaders can embrace change and adapt to challenging circumstances. So instead of preventing change and maintaining consistency, embrace the innovation that change brings.

In addition to embracing change, great leaders need to be open to new ideas and encourage employees to voice their opinions. When brainstorming, allow every team member to speak up and present ideas. Don’t deem an idea unviable without fully exploring it first. Showing employees that you value their thoughts and opinions can boost employee engagement, productivity, and innovation.

3. Clear Expectations

As a leader, you need to set clear expectations for your team. Ensure these expectations align with individual employee goals. Once the objectives are set, encourage employees to ask questions and provide constructive feedback. 

According to Amish Shah, president of ALTR Created Diamonds, great leaders communicate a company’s vision and mission and explain how every team member’s goals fit into that overarching objective. Leaders can keep their team motivated and inspired by helping employees realize how they can contribute to organizational goals. Clear expectations and plans make tracking progress, identifying bottlenecks, and celebrating achievements easier. Additionally, leaders must communicate how individual goals contribute to the organization’s objectives. As a result, every employee needs to understand how their tasks support the company’s success.

4. Self-Reflection

Employees need constructive feedback to improve on their weaknesses and grow. But employees aren’t the only ones who can benefit from feedback. As a leader, encourage your team members, mentors, and colleagues to give you feedback on your leadership skills and progress. While it may be difficult to self-assess, talking to your colleagues can help you learn more about your leadership style and what you need to work on.

How To Develop Your Leadership Skills?

Here are three ways you can improve your leadership skills:

1. Volunteer For New Tasks

If you want to learn new skills and thrive during challenging circumstances, you must volunteer for new tasks when your manager or supervisor asks for additional help. Doing so will help you learn to remain calm and collected when facing new duties. It’ll also help you learn to gather information from credible resources, helping you complete tasks more efficiently. You can apply this to your leadership role since managers often face difficult situations and must find ways to adapt to change while making sensible decisions. 

2. Teach And Share Information With Others

Teaching team members and employees can help you practice patience, understand other people’s opinions and perspectives, and increase your knowledge on the topic. Additionally, when you’re teaching a beginner, you’ll need to reorganize the information and present it in an easy way to consume and understand. Doing so will help you understand the subject matter differently. You can apply this skill to your leadership style. Leaders need to communicate with all team members; sometimes, this requires re-organizing information and explaining things simply so all team members can understand.

3. Understand Your Strengths And Weaknesses

Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. This way, you can make the most of your strengths and find ways to improve on your weaknesses. For example, if you’re a charismatic leader who excels at socializing with team members, use this skill to motivate others when completing a project. On the other hand, if you struggle to come up with new ideas or think outside of the box, you can improve this skill by practicing brainstorming sessions.

Another way you can improve your leadership skills is by getting leadership coaching. Coaching can also help discover areas where you need improvement and help you achieve your leadership goals. 

If you want to improve your leadership presence and skills, check out the workshops we offer at Corporate Class. In this highly-acclaimed live online leadership skills development workshop, you’ll learn what it takes to develop and master your “presence” as a leader or boss. Interactive and powerful, you’ll walk away with insight and tools to help establish a high level of personal charisma, confidence, clarity, and impact. This practical leadership workshop has been delivered to Fortune 500 companies worldwide and is designed to support continued advancement and upward mobility.

Who should attend?

  • C-Suite Executives
  • Senior Leaders
  • Anyone in a management position
  • Anyone who wants to improve their leadership skills

Contact us today to improve your leadership skills and become a thoughtful and productive leader!

Ways To Tell If You Are A Great Boss

An experienced manager knows how to inspire and motivate their team. They also understand the importance of getting to know their team, sharing credit for wins, and knowing when it is time to coach, mentor or provide timely feedback to team members.

Here are a few other ways you can tell you are a fantastic boss:

You Are Prepared To Coach

A good boss knows they need to step in and coach their teams and when they can remain on the sidelines and let people figure things out on their own. 

Managers hire employees who have the relevant skills and expertise to thrive in specific positions. As a result, bosses rarely need to teach employees how to do their jobs. However, managers can teach employees about the company culture and processes. When managers provide employees with the relevant training to help them succeed in their roles, employees feel more capable and confident. Moreover, they will be more willing to ask for help and recognize when they’ve made mistakes.

You Can Take The Blame

Bad bosses will shift the blame onto team members when a project or task goes wrong. However, a good boss can admit that they made a mistake and help teams move forward from failure.

Additionally, some bosses think that admitting mistakes and imperfections will make them seem weak and lose the respect of colleagues. But the opposite is true. Owning up to mistakes can encourage your team to trust you more. Good bosses are positive role models for employees. As a result, they can encourage employees to adopt the same values and approach workplace challenges the same way. 

You Deliver Honest Feedback

Nobody is perfect and we all have room for growth. As a result, it’s crucial for leaders to give employees constructive feedback. Great bosses know how to deliver honest feedback that can help employees grow and improve their skills. 

You Get to Know Team Members

Great bosses understand that it’s important to bond with their entire team and colleagues. Spending time with employees outside of the office can help them trust you more and feel more engaged at work. You can build relationships with team members by greeting them whenever you see them at work, attending team-building events, and initiating casual water-cooler chats. Ensure you remember details about your employees. This shows them that you care and you can bring up those specific details in future conversations. Additionally, remember to share information about yourself as well. Doing so will help you connect with your team and let them know that you are only human!

You Give Autonomy

Great team leaders avoid micromanagement by showing team members that they trust their judgment and capabilities. Such managers ask for feedback periodically and offer assistance when needed. Additionally, ensure you don’t limit your staff to one way of completing a task. Instead, celebrate employees who come up with new systems or processes for tasks, especially if it boosts productivity and efficiency. 

If you want to improve your leadership presence and skills, check out the workshops we offer at Corporate Class. In this highly-acclaimed live online leadership skills development workshop, you’ll learn what it takes to develop and master your “presence” as a leader or boss. Interactive and powerful, you’ll walk away with insight and tools to help establish a high level of personal charisma, confidence, clarity, and impact. This effective leadership workshop has been delivered to Fortune 500 companies around the world and is designed to support continued advancement and upward mobility.

Who should attend?

  • C-Suite Executives
  • Senior Leaders
  • Managers
  • Anyone who wants to improve their leadership skills

If you want to improve your leadership skills and become a great boss, contact us today!

Leadership and Executive Presence

Executive presence refers to the characteristics and personality traits that make a dynamic influential leader. A great executive inspires others to be assertive and leads by example. This entails demonstrating a humble confidence and excellent leadership skills. Executive presence can help you get your dream job, a promotion, close a deal, and more. The Center for Talent Innovation’s research makes it clear that Executive Presence has emerged as compulsory for aspiring leaders and that the “lack of Executive Presence will definitely impede your ability to get as far as you want to go.” 

How can you improve your executive presence skills?

Stop overthinking it! 

Here are five effective and proven ways you can build a strong executive presence.

Master The Use Of Body Language

Body language can have a significant impact on leadership presence. Generally, ensure you look relaxed and display confidence. 

Here are some other tips:

  • Make eye contact: Making eye contact can help you make connections while you speak and get your message across. When speaking to others, eye contact helps you appear self-assured and let other people know that you are listening to them.  Without the right amount of eye contact, people might think you’re distracted, disengaged, or even dishonest. Noticing their eye color is a good way to practice making eye contact. 
  • Mind your posture: If you keep your arms folded in front of you while giving a speech or talking to others, it can make you seem closed off, making it difficult for people to connect with you. Instead, keep your arms at your side or use your hands and arms to aid what you’re saying. If you don’t know what to do with your hands, imagine you are holding a ball in your hands.
  • Watch your facial expressions: Leaders with executive presence use facial expressions to convey their emotions. This involves smiling, laughing, nodding, and frowning. Communicating your emotions through facial expressions shows people that you’re human, helping you build better connections.

Practice Great Communication Skills

It’s not uncommon for people to speak softly during meetings in an attempt to sound relaxed and “laid back.” The problem with doing this is that you won’t grab anyone’s attention or project authority. As a result, ensure you use an energetic voice that can help you create connections and credibility. 

Fantastic communication skills are also important for conferences, team discussions, presentations, and more. To ensure you sound confident, consider using a lower tone, slow down the rate of your ideas — not the rate of your speech, and avoid word-fillers (like, um, so, etc.). Replace word fillers by becoming comfortable with pausing. Silence creates anticipation. 

Think Strategically

Thinking strategically can set you apart from the crowd and your competitors. You can lead strategically by asking the right questions and focusing on the pros and cons of every new opportunity. You should also evaluate the consequences of decisions for the future and never rush to judge a situation, person, or data. Instead, always ask questions, observe the data thoroughly, and most importantly: listen to others’ opinions. As the leader you have the final say. First consider others’ points of view and evaluate the implications. 

Make The First Move

Great leaders know how and when to make the first move. This applies to networking events, business conferences, everyday meetings, and more. Don’t wait for people to approach you and introduce themselves – take initiative and introduce yourself! You also want to try to make introductions between others at work who may have things in common, like goals, interests, and more. In other words, be the liaison to help others work together. Doing so can help you build a stronger and more engaged team. Being proactive in social and business settings also helps you build better connections and helps you become the person “who knows everyone” and whom “everybody knows,” and wants to know.

Take Leadership Courses

If you want to become a successful leader, talk to an advisor today. We offer an executive presence training program for anyone who wants to accelerate their career and transform into the team leader they aspire to become now! By signing up for this program, you’ll learn how to foster an inclusive leadership environment, connect authentically, build confidence in yourself and others and become more influential. 

Who is the program for?

  • C-Suite executives
  • Senior leaders
  • High potentials
  • Anyone in a management position

Contact us today to improve your executive presence skills today!

Dare To Lead_ Taking The Initiative To Become A Boss

A boss is the owner or manager of a business or organization. The boss is usually responsible for company goals and objectives. Among the other tasks managers are accountable for, they are also required to make crucial hiring decisions, delegate tasks to different teams, and oversee the progress of projects.

You can be a boss in most fields of work. But not everyone has  the necessary skills and expertise to become a great boss. You have to have vision, self-discipline, gravitas, emotional intelligence, and much more.

As you can see, there are certain leadership skills that bosses need to have in order to be inspiring role models and lead their teams and organization to success. 

So in addition to fantastic time-management and problem-solving skills, here are four other traits a great leader has:

Create A Network

All bosses need to build good working relationships with the people who can help complete projects and achieve business goals. The people involved in operational networks include employees, superiors, internal players who can either support or block a specific initiative, and key outside stakeholders such as customers, suppliers, and distributors. Bosses who can create an effective network can boost coordination and cooperation among all stakeholders. This also boosts trust among all interested parties and speeds up project timelines and ultimately performance. 

Inspire Your Team 

One way leaders can inspire their team is by giving back positive and constructive feedback. This way, employees know how well they are performing at work and understand what they need to improve on. You can do this by providing immediate feedback once a project is completed – explain what went well and what could have been done better. This feedback can stimulate employees to do better and keep them motivated. 

Another way you can inspire your team is to lead  by example. This means taking responsibility for your own actions and your team’s actions and leading with respect and impartiality. 

Encourage Transparent Communication

Leaders need to have strong problem solving skills and this entails encouraging teams to communicate openly. This way, everyone can express their concerns and voice their opinions without fearing that they may lose their jobs or expose someone else’s mistakes. Open communication can help teams get to the root of matters quickly, generate ideas effectively, and come up with solutions to pressing problems. To do this, leaders need to be able to facilitate constructive dialogue between employees and teams, making everyone feel safe and heard. This is crucial for employee conflicts since leaders get both sides of the story. This way, they can map-out a path toward a viable and fair solution that works for all parties involved. 

Think Like A Boss

Here’s how you can think like a boss:

  • Have a vision: A true leader has a clear and ambitious vision that can help them set relevant goals and guide their career. 
  • Be competitive: Staying competitive can help you excel at everything you do. It will also help you stand out from competitors who are equally or more skilled than you. 
  • Be persistent: The best managers are persistent and work hard in everything they do to achieve success. Determination and persistence can’t be replaced by education and expertise. 

If you want to become a successful leader, talk to an advisor today. We offer an executive presence training program for anyone who wants to accelerate their career and transform into the team leader they aspire to become now! By signing up for this program, you’ll learn how to foster an inclusive leadership environment, connect authentically, build confidence in yourself and others, and become more influential. 

Who is the program for?

  • C-Suite executives
  • Senior leaders
  • High potentials
  • Anyone in a management position

Contact us today to become a boss who leads with compassion and respect!