What does it really mean to be a leader? We hear talk of leadership almost daily, and we can likely point out “leaders” in any situation. But what exactly does a leader look like?
We have come to find that what a leader looks like for one organization could be vastly different from what it should look like for your organization. Every company has different needs, especially when it comes to the type of person leading said company. And every leader has different goals, objectives, and things they desire to be.
In your own organization, it’s important to discover what kind of leader your team needs, rather than what kind of leader you desire to be.
If you’re going to lead your team well, you should at the very least master these main leadership skills.
Leadership skills most strong leaders have:
- Curiosity and constant learning
From there, it’s time to take action. It’s time to discover the type of leader you need to be for your specific organization and team.
Here are 5 things that can help you discover the type of leader your employees need:
- Listen. Actively listen to your employees. Even when they’re not expressing a concern, listen to the way they speak to you. What can you extract from your conversations with them? This will help you better understand what they need from you.
- Observe. Watching others can help you build empathy and have a much clearer understanding of the needs and habits of those around you. Observe other leaders around you. What are they doing? How are they leading? Most importantly, how is the team reacting to their leadership?
- Be specific. When you want to get to the root of an issue or if you’re giving feedback, be very specific so they’ll respond to you with the same. This is the best way to create the kind of environment you and your employees need.
- Ask questions. Your employees will appreciate your getting to know them and striving for a better understanding of their wants and needs, so you know they’ll respond well to any questions you ask them. Choose open-ended questions so they feel in control, and so you have more valuable feedback.
- Don’t be afraid of change. If you’re going to be the leader your employees need, this might require change. You may need to change the structure or process that your team has grown accustomed to, or you may need to work on something personally in order to best serve your team. Whatever change might be needed, never be afraid; a good leader stares into the face of a challenge instead of running away from it.
A good leader stares into the face of a challenge instead of running away from it.
When it comes to leading your organization, it’s important to maintain a positive attitude. It won’t be easy, but it will always be worth it.