Developing leadership skills should be a continuous process, no matter what stage you are in your career.
Dynamic, positive, assertive, adaptable, and empathetic leaders can have a real impact on an organisation, increasing engagement and driving forward change, all leading to greater organisational success.
Learn how to become an effective leader with these top tips for successful leadership:
Have a vision for your organisation
If you don’t set goals for your team or organisation, then it can be hard to lead a team to success. Being clear on what you want to achieve and sharing it throughout the whole team or organisation, will enable you to fulfil those goals.
Leaders that can see the bigger picture are more likely to add value to an organisation and affect change. Having a solid strategy and being able to communicate it will create a sense of purpose and motivation within an organisation. Good leaders will also encourage feedback from within the team to help shape a strategy, as well as identify any risks.
Taking risks is the sign of a strong leader. Making tough decisions also requires a certain level of confidence and creativity. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Believe in yourself and your team will believe in you. It’s also important to embrace ideas and creativity from within your team and when things go well, ensuring you recognise achievements not just of the team, but of individuals too.
Understand your leadership style
All leaders are different and will have their own leadership style, so it’s important to better understand yours. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to leadership, however there are certain qualities you should have if you are to become an effective leader. Leaders should also have more than one style and the ability to use the right style in the right context. To find out why self-awareness in leadership is important, check out this blog.
Lead by example
People look up to leaders for inspiration and direction, so aim to be a role model within your team or organisation. If you want your team to work together, then make sure you are part of that team and embrace their thoughts and values. For a team to be productive their leaders need to be too. Leading by example will gain you respect and loyalty.
As a leader you should develop an open line of communication within your organisation and teams. Don’t just think saying it once is enough. Be honest, transparent and straightforward at all times. Team members will have also different communications styles, so tailoring how you communicate will ensure you get the best out of your team. Communication is also two-way, so try to be a good listener and embrace new ideas and feedback.
Motivate and inspire
Being an authentic, open and positive leader will help motivate and inspire your teams, as well as create a sense of trust and understanding. Build a real connection within your teams and get to know what motivates them, what their strengths and weaknesses are and create ways to build on them. Engaging with your team in an environment where it’s safe to make mistakes will also help build confidence and inspire teams to achieve goals, not only within an organisation but as individuals.
Invest in a mentor or a coach
One thing that many leaders find true value in to support leadership development, is having a mentor or coach that supports and challenges decisions and instils confidence to make them.
Jacqui Gedman, CEO of Kirklees Council, has had support from a coach throughout her career, “All through my career I have had the support of a coach. It is the single most valuable thing I took away from my leadership development training. No-one ever stops learning. It enables me to take time out from daily challenges, reflect, and work with somebody to work through those challenges. For me it is time very well spent.”
Whether you’re an assertive or empathetic leader, having the right tools in your armoury to be able to switch and adapt how you lead will enable you to become a successful leader.
CMI accredited leadership development programmes are available in September 2022 at the Sir George Buckley Leadership Centre. For more information about its Management & Leadership and Strategic Leadership programmes, click here.