What kind of impact are you making on the people within your organization? It doesn’t matter if you’re in charge of an entire team or heading up a single project; you can always improve your environment through your actions. But what makes a “good” leader? What qualities need to be present to lift up those around you and achieve your goals?
Many people in management positions tend to flex their authority to get their subordinates to produce—and while that can be effective in the short term, it’s a surefire way to erode any relationship you have with the people working for you. That’s why it’s crucial you learn how to develop leadership qualities, rather than just relying on your position to do all the work for you. In this blog, we’ll talk about the core leadership qualities you need to focus on and how you can use them to empower your teammates.
Awareness Is Everything
Have you ever noticed the difference in your productivity when you’re checked out versus when you’re fully engaged? It’s like anything else in life—from managing relationships with people you love to driving a car, you’ll always get better results when you’re actively trying to focus. The same principle applies to effective leadership. When it comes to effective, high-quality management, being aware is absolutely essential. Awareness plays into three qualities of a leader you need to know: organizational awareness, awareness of others, and self-awareness. Let’s break those down so you can have a better understanding of how they can boost your leadership skills.
How well do you know your company? While your industry competitors might have a similar approach and sell a similar product, what makes you unique? What does your culture look like? What kind of processes do you have in place that everyone has to adhere to? You need to lead the team you’ve been assigned to lead. Think about how the people working for you would function best within the framework of your unique company.
Think about how your productivity today can affect your long-term goals. Think about how what you’re doing is actively improving your company’s future.
Awareness of Others
Are you putting your team members in a position to succeed? One guiding principal that’s commonly used in basketball is KYP: Know Your Personnel. Picture this: You have the ball, and you’re looking to find a teammate to pass to so you can ultimately score. One player on the court is better when he receives the ball with his back to the basket; another player isn’t the best shooter, but excels when he’s closer to the rim. How, where, and when you distribute the ball dictates how likely your team is to score. If you simply throw the ball to someone else, you might not be putting them in a position to succeed.
Apply that principal to leading your team: Which coworker thrives with constructive criticism? Who does better with a slightly more hands-off approach? Once you understand the way your team functions, the easier it is to lead them successfully.
It’s not enough just to focus on your own team members’ strengths and weaknesses. Recognizing your own shortcomings and where you’re most likely to excel is crucial. It’s like applying an oxygen mask on an airplane—start by putting on your own first and then help others secure their masks. We all have bad habits and mistakes we make time and time again; as long as you can recognize them and learn to slowly stamp them out of your daily behavior, you stand a much better chance at becoming a successful leader.
To err is human; to avoid reflecting on those errors and not work to correct them is lazy. Make sure you’re doing what you can to cut out negative behavior in your approach.
Are You Leading Effectively?
If you’re not sure about the answer to that question, it’s time to start your collaboration with Envision Global Leadership. Our Leadership Development programs are designed to emphasize the positives in your approach and build up your personal toolbox of effective leadership skills. For more information, reach out to Envision Global Leadership today.