Being in a leadership position for a company of any size comes with great responsibility. The title of “manager” is not just about the amount of work you’re responsible for, but it’s also about leading and managing a team and being responsible for their ultimate success.
I’ve had experiences with management who were great at what they do, but were not great leaders. If you’re in a leadership position (or desire to be), it’s critical to have (or develop) some key qualities that will contribute to the motivation, productivity, and happiness of the team.
1. Be an expert in your field. It’s critical that you know your job, your company, your industry, your clients, and your team inside and out. You need to be very knowledgeable and well-rounded in order to guide and direct your group in the appropriate way and relate to the necessary key players.
2. Communicate effectively and confidently. As a leader, it’s critical that you are able to convey messages to a variety of people; your direct reports, of course, but also your higher-ups, clients, media, and others. You must be able to communicate your messages clearly and effectively (regardless of which channel of communication you are using) so people understand what you need to tell them. You must also be confident when you communicate so that people believe in your ability to convey what’s necessary.
3. Know how to motivate different types of people. Being a leader means being able to motivate your team to work toward a common goal. However, not everyone responds to the same type of motivation. What works for some won’t work for others, so it’s important to be able to identify which motivational tactics work best for whom, and be able to implement those motivating forces for each member of your direct and extended team.
4. Offer feedback, both negative and positive. When you’re in charge of a team, it’s not uncommon for someone to fail to deliver the level of performance that is expected of them. However, it’s critical to be able to identify early on when things aren’t operating as efficiently as they should be. Delivering negative feedback requires confidence, a calm demeanor, and an eye on the goal. However, remember to give positive feedback when it is earned. When a team member goes above and beyond their responsibilities, hits a tough deadline, exceeds their sales projections, or makes a positive impact, it’s important to recognize them, offer praise, and let them know they are appreciated and valued. This will reward and affirm positive behavior and increase team morale.
5. Know how to delegate. You can’t do it all, and chances are you don’t want to. You have a team for a reason, so make sure that you allow others to take on some of the work and grow their skills professionally. People desire to feel like a part of the team, and they like taking on more responsibility in their roles. So let your team handle work that is within their scope, and also give them the appropriate resources and support to be challenged with more difficult projects.
6. Be a collaborative and helpful team player. Being a leader does not mean dividing all the work among your team and leaving none for yourself. As a leader, you must be dedicated and work hard on projects and tasks in order to set a positive example for their team. Additionally, great leaders are always prepared to multitask, or put their work on hold while they assist the needs of their team. Offer your ideas and solicit the ideas of your group; collaboration is important for a happy and productive team.
7. Walk the walk. Great leaders don’t just guide and support their team, they also embody the qualities and traits that they want their team to display. Maintaining integrity, knowledge, discipline, passion, and other desirable qualities is important, but as a leader, you also need to hit deadlines, communicate effectively, and take responsibility for your own work. Be a role model for your team. Conducting yourself in a way you expect of them will quickly earn you their trust and respect.
By embodying these qualities, your proactive and collaborative leadership style is sure to yield positive results for both you and your team.
To see more posts from Breanna Bremer, please view her article library here.