Many people, who might be employed by either big or small companies, complain that good leaders are hard to find.
Is this true? Do we need to look for good leaders who were born that way, or can they be taught?
While I agree that some people are natural born leaders, I believe that most arrive as a leader through learning and experiencing what works and even more importantly, what does not.
There are many things a leader must do, but let us focus on three specific things that you can do to be a better leader. In order to do a good job, any leader must be able to guide, motivate, and help his or her people.
A leader guides people by providing an example of how things should be done. To guide effectively, a leader should be working alongside his or her employees, in the trenches so to speak. The leader is not necessarily doing the same work but is working alongside them.
A leader does not just tell someone to do something; that is what a boss does. Leaders demonstrate what they want their people to do. Do you want your employees to be punctual and work hard? Then do not come in late, take long lunches, and leave early.
A quality leader motivates others. There are many ways to motivate, but a common thread among great leaders is to listen to what their people have to say and respect them and the job they do.
As a leader, your team members are important. They have a huge wealth of experience and knowledge about the integral workings of their job that you probably do not have, unless you worked your way up the ranks. Look inside yourself and think about what motivates you - a bonus, extra time off? Those are nice, but actually, the biggest motivator is recognition and a big pat on the back for a job well done.
Good leaders provide help to their team members to do their job. What do your employees need from you to get their job done quickly and efficiently? What tools can you provide them to help them do their job better?
If you are not sure what help your people need, simply ask them what they need. Could you demand an employee type and email a 97-page report when he does not have a computer? Of course, not, he is not equipped. Help also can be provided in the form of additional training for the employee to do the job correctly, or coaching and feedback that improves performance.
So, are you a good leader?
Most people in leadership positions must learn how to be good leaders. If you focus on guiding, helping, and motivating others, you will be well on your way to becoming a leader anyone would be proud to follow.