The do’s and don’ts of becoming a better leader at work

We all remember a time when we have worked under someone we have regarded as a great leader.  And, the chances are that there’ll be a time in your life when you’re asked to lead a team or take the reigns on a new project. While this excites some, the prospect scares others, so here are some tips for being the best leader you can.

Do

Recognise your limits

All good leaders are aware that they cannot be good at everything and that they don’t know everything.  It is important to focus on what you are good at, but you also should not pretend you can do things you can’t. Recognise your limits and learn to delegate where you can.

Control your emotions

You need to remember that you are setting an example for the rest of your team and learn to control certain emotions. Forbes has published a useful article on how to manage your emotions at work, exploring when to embrace them and when to control them.  It is important that you are passionate about what you do, but if you raise your voice and get angry, your team will not respond well.

Know the difference between confidence and arrogance

A good leader should be decisive and strong, but should not have a sense of entitlement.  You need to earn respect and not just expect it.

Be optimistic

You try to stay positive, have a good attitude and look for silver linings when things aren’t going to plan.  This way you can always encourage your team and set the example of having a good mental attitude.  Don’t dwell on situations but work out how you can improve them, not prevent them in the first place.

Set a clear vision

Always make sure your whole team is on the same page and understand how they are contributing towards achieving a common goal. Set regular goals to provide focus and motivation, and be encouraging when they are met.  Make sure to update your goals regularly to keep everyone on target and to make sure your team are all pushing themselves.

Be selfless

It is important that a leader understands how to work for the greater good.  This means being selfless and doing things that benefit everyone, rather than prioritising your agenda.

Don’t

Ignore other people’s opinions

A leader should not assume they know everything and despite having to make the final decision, they should always take everyone’s opinion into account.  Valuing others, being empathetic and being a good listener is the key to successful leadership.

Blame people

If something has not quite gone to plan, don’t immediately look for someone to blame but plan how you can rectify it, move forward and learn from it.  It is you who oversees the whole team so anything that has gone wrong, you are responsible for.  Don’t hold grudges or blame others, but acknowledge that we all make mistakes.

Don’t avoid conflict

With that being said, while you shouldn’t be looking for someone to blame, it is important to find out what went wrong and why.  You can’t always be a people pleaser, but should provide constructive criticism.  Ignoring things in the hope that problems will disappear with time is not the solution, as things will soon get out of hand.

The most important thing is to trust your instincts and to trust that you have what it takes to be a good leader.  For personal guidance, you can learn great leadership skills on one of our Leadership and Management Training Programmes here at Frosch Learning.