Revealed Secrets To Becoming A Great Leader
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Efficient and effective leadership is one of the most valued abilities in the world. Leadership is key to managing everything from community leagues to entire nations, but not all leaders actually fill their role well or hold the respect of their followers. Some would argue that leadership ability is an inherited trait while others may argue that leadership is a learned skill: Nature versus nurture. While there are some inherited traits that will help an individual become a successful leader, the most successful leadership skills are learned. In fact, there are several crucial lessons that anyone can learn which have transformed the meekest souls into some of history's most noteworthy leaders.
Forget your ego
No man is an island and only the most egotistical of managers will neglect to consult their staff before introducing core changes. As a leader, you are ultimately in control, but if you remain narrow-minded and oblivious to the opinions of others, you will be a detrimental force to the group, organization or business you lead. Your team is composed of individuals too with ideas and abilities that you may not possess, so remain open to advice from them. If you have faith in certain individuals, don't be afraid to trust them with additional responsibilities. A trusted worker is liable to be a more satisfied one and will also free up your time to concentrate on more important issues.
Communication is the most important tool at your disposal. Communicating frequently and sharing information builds trust, so share your ideas. Be sure to listen patiently and be honest in your responses, even if it involves confessing a degree of ignorance, then commit to resolving issues. One of the most common complaints of disgruntled employees is that their needs are not heeded and their words fall on deaf ears. If you keep the lines of communication open in an honest and free-flowing fashion, people will be more likely to approach with you with innovative strategies and ideas.
Focus on rewards, not punishment
It is a common error among people in leadership positions to get caught up trying to motivate people by threatening them -- often times by means of financial deprivation or a harsher working environment. Although fear may work in the short-term to stimulate productivity and general good behaviour, it is likely to fail catastrophically in the long term. Fear breaks down the lines of communication, breeds resentment and, eventually, leads to insubordination and possibly retaliation. Instead of ruling with an iron fist, highly effective leaders offer incentives. By focusing on rewarding good work rather than punishing bad work you will encourage and spark creativity in those around you. Indeed, research shows that rewarding desirable behavior is more effective than punishing undesirable behavior.
Recognition and praise are the strongest motivating factors and are widely craved by human beings so let others know when they have done well and performed beyond expectations. Studies have shown that both praise and recognition motivate employees to perform at higher levels and put forth their best efforts -- praise is even found to be more motivating than money! When leaders fail to appreciate others they often come to watch performance sink and overall morale decrease. Be specific, be timely and be public with your praise; doing so will improve morale and encourage productivity.
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