Leadership fads come and go — entire industries are built on them — but some fundamental principles of good leadership remain constant no matter what.
The fundamental values of good leadership determine just how effective you really are as a boss. It is said that great bosses inspire their employees to perform well and be loyal to their organization. These qualities play a tremendous role in the long-term scheme of things when you are looking at achieving and maintaining success in business.
Therefore, to be a really good — perhaps even a great — leader make sure you’re doing the following seven things every day:
1. Find ways to motivate your people.
Set high standards for communication, productivity, and professionalism throughout your organization. During periods when these standards are not met, avoid assigning blame and singling out poor performance, as these responses only call attention to the problems. Don’t lower your standards, instead, partner with your employees and take on challenges as a team. Enlist your employees’ input to identify blocking issues, focus attention on possible solutions, and strive to meet and exceed expectations.
2. Communicate clearly, professionally, and often.
Employees expect their manager’s honest assessment of their performance. In order to credibly provide this feedback, excellent managers must thoroughly understand their organizations and accurately assess progress. When things are running smoothly, highlight what is working and communicate success throughout the organization. When problems arise, consider the potential impact you can have by constructively communicating your concerns. Remember that communication is a tool that can (and should) inspire and motivate your people as well as surface and resolve problems.
3. Take time to develop employees and their careers.
Set up your employees for success, not failure. Provide them with the tools and training they need to reach their full potential, and to meet and exceed the standards you have set. Encourage them to identify their strengths and what motivates them. When possible, incorporate what drives them into their daily tasks.
4. Delegate whatever you can, whenever you can.
Ensure that your employees feel engaged in their work by providing them with ample opportunities to grow both in their jobs and in their careers. Delegate tasks appropriately and look for opportunities to maximize each employee’s strengths.
5. Create partnerships with your people.
Make your employees feel like they are a part of something special and that their efforts are truly appreciated. Involve them directly in the success of the organization. Create and cultivate a sense of camaraderie, where people feel it is fun to come to work, because it is a positive and productive environment and they feel they are part of an efficient, skilled, and highly successful community.
6. Don’t forget to acknowledge good performance.
When things are going well in your organization, let people know — early and often. Publicly recognize productive employees for their contributions. Make a big deal about it. Encourage outstanding, sustained performance by showing your employees how much their efforts are appreciated. Studies show that acknowledging the great things your employees do can be more motivational than bonuses.
7. Build bridges of trust.
Learn to trust your employees. Bosses who believe employees are capable and responsible encourage autonomy while also creating a strong sense of community throughout the organization. To establish trust, create a safe, positive working environment with open, honest, two-way communication. Trust that your employees will meet or exceed organizational goals when working in a productive, safe, and supportive environment.
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