Excellent leadership has always been a valuable component of prosperity. Now more than ever, the desire to be led by an individual who intends to be successful not just for themselves but for others is in high demand. A leader who possesses sound approaches to advancement, positively influences others to perform better, and leads by example, can produce great amounts of success for everyone involved. Being a leader comes with great responsibility, and in the business world, a leader is found in various positions of a founder, CEO, executive, or manager. Each of these positions in a company owns the importance to guide its employees to greatness for the business to flourish. A company with impressive leaders usually assembles a group of hard-working individuals like themselves to build a solid company culture and a pleasant place to be employed.
One important aspect that we at VIVAHR believe is essential to building a strong company culture starts with having amazing leaders who know how to hire other amazing individuals that will support a business’s growth. It is a well-working cycle when a company has a great leader who hires other great people, then everyone all works together to produce an efficient business. A company leader that finds the right people to be an employee understands the value of obtaining a hiring process that properly attracts their ideal candidates. Leaders that use the right hiring software and crafts stunning job descriptions provide potential candidates with an initial insight into a company’s culture while drawing interest to be employed at that company. Further, in a company’s hiring process, an effective leader will also be animate about having interview questions that help narrow down the right candidate. The right questions asked in an interview adds support to the process of building a company’s culture. Once the selection of a great candidate has been made in the hiring process, the opportunity to be an outstanding leader is discovered in the instruction and formation given to every employee.
In general, leaders in a company hire and guide their employees, and those employees provide effort and time towards the viability of the business. An excellent leader has recognized their position in this process and grants the support needed to continue a company’s pursuit of achieving its goals. Many business leaders from the past and present have contributed their advice to what it takes to be a great leader. The more information that you can receive to being an exceptional leader from others can help you be exactly what your employees need. To help you become a better leader, we have asked some wonderful individuals who currently hold a leadership position to discuss what it takes to be an outstanding leader.
The number one tip to be a great leader to your team is to Hear Them Out. In my personal experience, most of my staff appreciated that we never skipped the 1-1s meeting. In each such meeting, I made it a point to explicitly poke and ask about what is not going well in the team. When they felt confident that they will be heard – then even the most submissive employee got the courage to talk about team dynamics and other concerns that would otherwise have been ignored.
To be a great leader you should hold your employees accountable for results, but not micro-manage them or the process they take to get there. It’s important to help and to see your employees accomplish goals and make progress, but when you try to over-manage and be there every step of the way that’s when you cross the line into being an over-managing leader.
Sometimes people on your team may have concerns or be dealing with issues at work that they’re not comfortable with bringing up in a group setting like a meeting. When you check in with people personally, they’re more likely to open up. I’d recommend that all individuals in a leadership position check in with your people you manage at least bi-weekly. Your team will be happier at work, and productivity will increase.
Giving clear tasks is important. List the tasks, avoid micro-managing, and be willing to praise an employee’s work ethic whenever possible. For criticisms, never target the individual (You are not good!) instead speak universally (We should make XYZ change to see a better result). This makes it seem like their failure is your failure too and you’re working together to find a solution.
One tip that has made me a great leader, in my opinion, is to give the freedom to my team members to pursue their tasks the way they want to. Of course, I do provide my input and mentorship from time to time but I’ve never been a micromanager in my four years of managing a small team. Too often, small business owners have the tendency to constantly look over someone’s shoulders and nitpick. This demotivates employees and forces them to be less productive. But when you encourage them to work on their own and try out their ideas, they become more confident and inspired to perform at their best.
One of the first things you can do when you have a team to manage is to be caring. The resources that work for you are humans and you should treat them that way. This includes situations when mistakes are made when appreciation is due. You need to be fair and humane in what you expect from your team.
Another important aspect is to build trust in your team. This is what the true value of teamwork is. This will include trusting your team to manage projects, manage timelines, and not micromanage.
The last thing I would like to point out is that as a team leader or a boss, you should encourage your team to be themselves. The more freedom they have, the more expressive and easy-going your team will be in sharing ideas and trying to do their best.
Leaders who express their life interactions reveal their flaws and encourages their staff to understand the manager’s emotional side. It not only humanizes their bond but may also act as a life coach for workers when a leader or boss discusses real-life challenges and how they process the difficulties of life. For example, if a manager shares a dispute they have with a neighbor and how the dispute is handled, it presents an additional incentive for coaching. It also provides the worker with a lens into their boss’s personal life.
I started and ran my own HR and marketing consultancy firm a few years back. From this experience, I learned that treating my employees with empathy, and supporting them at their points of need helped me become a better leader and a better person.
Bottom Line: Empathy towards your employees, and supporting them when and how they need it are some of the ways one becomes a great boss.
Being a great leader isn’t such an easy thing to do. But if you read enough books, as I have, you can certainly attempt to be one. The first thing I would say is a great boss is someone who hires talented people and then lets them do their job. I had a hard time letting the reigns go from time to time, but I think it is important to have confidence in your team and give them the space to both fail and learn from it, and to be successful. I make sure that I never miss any employee review and I make sure to reward good work and incentivize as needed. Overall, a good boss can see around the bend, and navigate their team to success by providing them with the tools they need to succeed.
As a leader of my company, I realized how crucial it is to maintain excellent communication between me and my people. However, there are barriers that you need to break to establish a good bond with them.
That said, despite having team leaders and managers, I make sure that I personally reach out to my employees to get their thoughts about the company. I believe that there are lots of things that I need to hear from them that managers are unable to communicate with me.
With this, I am not just able to gather information on the workflow, conflicts, or problems in the business, but I’m also able to promote great communication culture within the company. I believe this helps all my employees realize that they can talk to me anytime and that, despite my position, I am a leader that lends his ears and takes time to understand their situations and challenges in the workplace. Bottom line: I do this by conducting a one-on-one conference with employees once a month.
“I’m a big fan of Simon Sinek when it comes to leadership. One of his teachings is to show empathy. In my experience as running a team of 10 people, I practice empathy by showing that I care for my team members personally. Also, one of the tips that I try to implement is to inspire my team by sharing my experiences. I believe that motivation through inspiration is the best way to influence your team members positively. To be a great leader, you should be ready to accept less credit and more of the blame.”
“Three words: give a damn. Get to know your team. Get to understand each person’s strengths. Understand what they like/don’t like. Know what’s happening in their lives. Care about them beyond the work they do, because that will help them perform even better in their roles when they know that they’re heard and supported”
“Firstly, a great boss listens to the staff. Being a great listener is vital to ensure that the team is happy every day. Also, regularly asking for feedback on projects and tasks can pay off tenfold with the staff force believing that you have their best interests at heart. Also, be personable as a leader. Do not be a robot who nobody dares to speak to because they will be worried about your reaction. Instead, get onto their level at times but remember that you are the boss, therefore be firm but fair, and your employees will respect you naturally”.
“If you want to be a great leader, you have to be someone your employees and subordinates can look up to. You have to be someone who inspires them and motivates them to build a better version of themselves. Aside from this, you also must always put the welfare of your people first before your own. A great boss is someone who is selfless and who takes into consideration and into account the wellbeing of his people. You must remember that being a great boss means being a great leader, and being a great leader means being the servant of all. Everything you will be doing must not be for your own sake but for the betterment of the majority.”
“The biggest thing I’ve learned to do as a leader is to listen to employees. REALLY LISTEN. I’ve made more time to make small talk, listen to their ideas, discuss the company’s future, and give them an opportunity to air their thoughts. The positives that come out of this are very important and can be extremely helpful. I’ve learned so much from listening to employees, including how to be a better boss, what problems are happening in my company, how we can make our processes smoother, and so much more. Employees enjoy being listened to by their boss and I believe it has improved company morale and the way we communicate as a business. It is the biggest thing I’ve learned about being a better boss!”
“I hope I’m a great leader! I like to think I am, we are a tight-knit team, having dealt with a lot this year as a global company and feeling that divide breaks us, I tried extremely hard to bridge the gaps that COVID and differing government styles had created. I am proud of my diverse team and take heart in embracing different cultures and traditions in my company so that each member feels validated, valued, and important – which they are!”
“This I believe makes a good leader and boss. Someone who looks beyond the success of their business and focuses on the wellbeing of their employees, knowing that this is so intimately and holistically linked to success that it cannot be ignored. I’ve started doing something a little different – allowing a little time between us to play games online together – so that we connect on a more relaxed level too. I recognize I get the brunt of the force, but it’s good to vent steam should there be any in a lighthearted way”
“Respect All. Being a great leader demands many peculiar traits, but also, a real leader has basic principles that shape his/her original personality. A great leader always respects people and their diversity; gender, skin color, race, age, and abilities. He never forgets that all of them are human beings and never try to insult anyone of them because he truly believes that everyone on this earth deserves to be respected.”
“The title of “boss” shouldn’t be taken literally, in my opinion. A great boss, first and foremost, is a great leader. He or she can steer the team to further success. And when things go awry, he or she will share the blame and responsibility. They will not pull anybody down. Outside of being a boss and telling their employees what to do, they also provide training and guidance in order for everyone to achieve growth.”
Sign up for VIVAHR's weekly email for hiring essentials.