Leadership is not easy. There are a lot of moving parts and a great deal of responsibility. Great leaders don’t just "manage," they clarify the future for their team and customers.
To help ensure success, here are some principles all great leaders should know.
Create A Shared Vision
A leader must be clear on their vision. They need to define and clarify the direction in which they want the team to go and the process in which they will follow to achieve their vision. It is the job of the leader to communicate this vision to the team clearly and directly to make sure all parties both understand and are committed to that vision.
There are many ways to communicate your vision. You can create a mission statement, post it around the workplace, and share it in company meetings and annual conventions. To ensure maximal productivity all things (marketing, communication, culture) need to then support that vision. When the leader is not clear, it will be difficult for others to know what they are working toward.
There is a difference between having great people and having the right people. Alignment comes out of a shared vision. A strong leader knows the difference and works hard to protect the vision by choosing the right team members that will support the team vision. Jim Collins discusses this concept in his book Good to Great. He talks about getting the right people in the right seat on the right bus. A leader needs to make sure that all members not only know where they are going but also want to be along for the ride.
Create A Positive Culture
This is a very powerful and critical point. All organizations (regardless of size) have a culture. A great leader works to create one that fosters an environment of trust, high morale, low turnover and minimal drama. A strong culture will allow for purposeful brainstorming and for all parties to raise the standards of teamwork. When a leader can create a strong and positive culture, retention is easy. It becomes a place where people want to be.
Confusion can cause issues within organizations, so it is imperative for a leader to create a foundation for open and positive communication. People communicate in different styles and also prefer different modalities. A strong leader will create standards and practices for strong and clear communication.
When using written channels to communicate, often-times the meaning can get lost in the text or the tone is unclear. Strong leaders need to make sure they always communicate clearly and accurately. Consider using a productivity tool such as Rephraser.ai, which instantly edits and professionalizes your English writing. This will ensure that your text is fluent and nuanced, leaving no place for errors or confusion.
Strong leaders will also communicate often. Leaders take time to connect with their team. They may walk the office for daily face time, reach out via phone calls, and have regular meetings and events where they can cover both business topics and connect on a human level. The more we can connect, the greater and more open communication will be.
Be People-Focused And Customer-Centric
A strong leader knows that as the team supports the customer, the customer will support the bottom line. They treat all things customer-related with respect, honesty and directness. They focus on setting clear targets and providing the right support for both customers and team members to thrive.
They know their people and take time to show empathy and care for them as strong members of the team. The leader will take time and effort to know the strengths and also challenges their team faces and work to create a foundation that will support them and help them grow regularly.
Becoming a great leader is about taking time to create clarity and confidence in our teams. It's about creating connections and loyalty and helping those around us grow daily. When we can learn these lessons and show up with a mindset to serve others and give our best, everyone wins.