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Google ‘How to be a better leader’ and in less than 0,35 of a second, 135 million results are offered to you.
Fortunately there aren’t 135 million ways to be a better leader; there are actually some finite fundamentals you need to exercise daily. Here, we’ve condensed the leadership traits that the world’s most successful leaders embody.
Related: Developing leadership ability
If they don’t come naturally to you, that’s okay, because with a little self-awareness you can bring them into your business today.
1. Don’t micro-manage
Empower the people below you, then leave them alone. A good part of leadership is stepping back. A good leader leads from front and back.
2. When people err, don’t destroy them
But make sure they learn whatever lessons there are to be learnt from their mistakes.
3. Get rid of poor managers
“Of the 60 top executives at Continental Airlines, I probably replaced 40 who were not team players,” says retired airline CEO Gordon Bethune. “Don’t tolerate factionalism, backstabbing or prima donnas. Everyone wins, or no one wins.”
4. Be laser-focused
Stick to one goal at a time. Leaders often choose too many development goals. Give yourself the greatest chance for victory by developing one thing at a time. It’s far better to make progress in one area than to make little or none in five.
5. Show compassion
Develop strong interpersonal relationships at work, so employees have some meaning attached to the work they are doing.
6. Know yourself
Just like you can’t start a weight-loss programme without getting on a scale, you must begin your journey by learning the truth about yourself. We’re often the worst evaluators of our behaviour.
One of the biggest problems is a real lack of self-awareness. Executives often aren’t aware of who they are as people and the impact they have on others.
Related: What leadership style are you and will it get results?
7. Encourage employees to disagree with you
Companies get into trouble when everyone is afraid to speak truth to power. If all you hear is how great you’re doing, that should be a danger sign.
8. Practice leadership skills daily
The amount of deliberate practice you choose will be proportionate to your improvement. It’s like learning a violin concerto. You have to learn the concepts, then you practice every day to create beautiful music.
9. Vow to be constantly learning and curious
Ask yourself, ‘What is it that I don’t know that I should know? How do I learn it and test it out in situations that are not necessarily safe?’
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