There’s a common misconception that leadership is a personality trait that some people possess, while others are simply followers. This concept holds some truth if you’re analyzing the situation on a fundamental level. However, like many things in life, there’s a gray area that most motivation speakers and experts tend to brush aside.
It’s possible to be a follower while still possessing the traits of a good leader. Businesses and schools are always looking for fresh new talent that’s willing to step up and rise to the occasion. Research suggests that within the next five years, 84 percent of business owners believe they are going to have a shortage of leaders. If you’re pursuing a leadership position, or just received a promotion, you’re in luck.
We are going to take a look at five tips you should keep in mind if you want to transition to a leader in your industry. These tips will help you stay focused, motivated, and organized while showing your employees that their opinion matters.
Let’s dive in!
Find a Mentor
Mentors are great at teaching new managers skills and showing them how they can effectively lead others. Your mentor will vary depending on your industry and the people around you. As a general rule, make sure you look for someone who has experience what you’re going through before, during, and after your transition to a management level position.
Positive influences are all around us; we have to reach out and show interest in what these people have learned through the years. A good mentor will give you advice about how you can avoid the same pitfalls that held them back when they were in your shoes.
Additionally, you should seek out someone willing to tell you when you’re wrong and offer you an alternative method to reach your desired outcome. You don’t need someone to tell you how great you’re doing every day; you need someone that gives you positive feedback in conjunction with areas of opportunity.
Listen to Others
When you think of entering a management position, do you imagine yourself bossing others around, or ruling with an iron fist? If so, you need to learn the first practical tip for becoming an effective leader while you’re working with employees. Leaders don’t just tell people what to do; they help their employees grow and offer them an ear when they have questions or concerns.
Not only will you build rapport with your employees by listening to them, but you can also use their opinions and ideas to grow your business or strengthen your organization. For example, if you wanted to use a new theme on one of your websites, you should ask your graphic designers and developers what they think of the changes you’ve suggested.
There’s a good chance that the people designing advertisements, social media analytics, and your website design know far more about what theme will work with your current structure.
Practice Time Management
Time management is essential to thriving in both personal and professional lives. It’s no surprise that virtually every good leader understands the importance of using their time wisely. When you’re in charge of a business, you don’t have to just think about how you’ll use your time — you’re responsible for how everyone in your department manages their time.
Before you can help others improve the resourcefulness of others, you have to tackle your bad habits like procrastination and staying up all night when you’re supposed to start work at 6 AM. Get in a pattern of carrying a pocket planner, and use it every day.
We suggest you start by creating a list of all the things you need to get done during the day and make a list of priorities. The goal is to restrict your amount of work to eight to ten hours a day, while still getting all of your time-sensitive or high-priority tasks finished early in the day.
Finding a mentor, listening to your employees, and practicing time management are three of the most effective ways to improve your leadership skills. Mentors help you learn about upcoming challenges, listening to your employees helps you solve problems faster while building rapport, and time management is essential for completing your daily tasks.
As you become more comfortable in a management position, you may find yourself in the mentor role for young future leaders. We need strong, smart, dependable, and trustworthy people to lead our businesses in schools now and for years to come. Did we describe you? If so, you’re ready to take the next step and start honing your leadership skills.