Leaders are highly driven and have a real desire to achieve success personally and for the organisations that they lead. At the same time despite their best efforts success is not guaranteed. So what 5 tips would I offer to those who are committed to achieving more success as a leader?
Tip 1: Communicate More With Those That You Lead
Ask just about anyone in an organization what they appreciate most in a leader and chances are that communication will come up high on the list. Those that you are leading want to know the direction of travel for the organization as whole, the departments which they work in and teams that they are part of. They also want to have the opportunity to contribute their ideas and thoughts to achieving success. How effectively are you communicating and what could you do to improve what you currently do?
Tip 2: Ask more questions
We all know the power of questions when it comes to generating ideas, solving problems, making decisions, getting clarity and removing ambiguity to mention just a few. Yet leaders can often fall into the trap of giving out orders without exploring all of the knowledge and information that is available. Simple questions like the following can help you use this information to your advantage:
• What’s working?
• What’s not working?
• What could we do better?
• How are we making a difference?
Tip 3: Listen more
We were given two ears and one mouth. You would think that we would listen twice as much as we speak. The reality is very different. Leaders often are great at talking offering their ideas and contributions but neglect listening. As a result they miss out on the range of different perspectives on challenges. If you need proof, next time you are in a meeting do a simple analysis of how much time you and others spend listening compared to speaking.
Tip 4: Stop assuming you know everything
Good leaders are what is best described as being T shaped. What this means is that they have a real depth of knowledge and expertise in their specialism but a broad range of knowledge in other areas. For example, if you are an accountant, you will have a depth of knowledge on financial matters but broad knowledge of areas like human resources, production, marketing, customer services, etc. Recognise your own unique contributions and the unique contributions of others.
Tip 5: Don’t assume you know what others want
You might have some ideas what your clients, customers, employees, suppliers and other stakeholders want. Your assumptions might be right or wrong. What matters most is that you don’t assume, simply ask and get feedback. Not only will you get valuable insights but you will take actions that greatly increase your chances of success.
Leadership success in the long term does not happen by chance. So what actions could you take to increase your chances of leadership success?
Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements (G&A) works with individuals, teams and organisations to develop their management and leadership capability.
With 25 years business experience in a range of sectors, he understands first hand the real challenges of managing and leading in the demanding business world.
You can learn more about Duncan, Goals and Achievements services and programmes and sign up for his free e-course and newsletter at http://www.goalsandachievements.co.uk/