How to Become an Effective Leader

employees leadership management strategy Apr 30, 2021
successful leader in room with employees



To be a successful business owner, you need to be an effective leader.

The success of your team starts with you. Your employees will look to you for direction and guidance, and good or bad, you set the tone.

We all have different perspectives about the best way to run a business. Some use a command-and-control approach, while others prefer democratic decision-making. Some people say "Follow me," while others ask "What do you think?" Regardless of your style, you will find better success through good leadership.

After all, there's more to running a business than signing checks and telling people what to do. Anyone can be a boss, but only a leader knows how to get the best out of their employees and guide them towards a single goal.

Use these 10 habits to transform your team and lead them to greatness.


Be decisive

Business owners face tough decisions all the time. There's no escaping that fact. To be an effective leader, you need to be decisive and timely.

Slow decision-making costs time, productivity, and resources. 

However, there's a difference between being decisive and being rash. Be deliberate when making a decision. Focus your attention on the matter at hand, do your research, and select the best option.


Highlight the positive

There's a fine line between feedback and criticism. While it's important to coach your employees when they make mistakes, an excessive focus on the negative aspects of their performance can be demotivating for the entire team.

When giving feedback, don't forget to mention the things your employees do well. One way to do this is to use the ‘Sandwich’ method. Start with a positive comment, discuss the mistake they made, and end the conversation by reiterating something good.

Don’t forget that mistakes are part of the learning process. Take this opportunity to create an action plan to ensure it doesn’t happen again.


Praise publicly and correct privately

When giving feedback, it's always a good idea to praise in public and correct in private.

The recognition and praise of an employee's accomplishments are more meaningful when they are shared with the rest of the team. It helps set the standard for what ‘good’ looks like. Your other employees will then be motivated to emulate that behavior. 

Public praise reinforces the expectations that the company is setting. Meanwhile, addressing mistakes in private shows that you're empathic and sensitive to their feelings. 


Reward good behaviour

One of the best ways to improve team performance is to use positive reinforcement. By rewarding good behavior and performance, your employees are more likely to do better at their job.

A simple "Good job" or even a pat on the back can go a long way in improving employee morale. You could also set up a rewards system to boost team productivity. A reward system can be as simple as a $5 coffee card for achieving a set milestone.

Just make sure to be specific when giving positive feedback. You want your employee to know what they did correctly so they'll repeat it in the future.


Make use of their talents

A good leader knows when to let someone else take the reins, especially if that person possesses a talent or skill that can influence the outcome for the better.

Allowing your employees to make full use of their talents benefits the company as a whole. It leads to better workplace morale, increased productivity, and fewer mistakes. And the more they work on their abilities, the better they will be at their job.


Focus on a common goal

The best teams work toward a shared vision. A good leader recognizes that each employee holds a piece of a bigger puzzle, and it's their job to put those pieces together.

Help your team understand how their role connects to the greater goal. If everyone learns to work towards the achievement of a common goal, their actions start to take on more meaning.


Lead by example

If you want to encourage good performance in your team, then you need to lead by example. The leader's habits and actions will ripple throughout the organization. 

You set the standard for what is and isn’t acceptable in your business. Make sure your words are in sync with your actions. Saying one thing but doing the opposite makes you look ineffective and unprofessional. 

It's also an accountability issue. You want your employees to know that they can count on you to provide the guidance they need.


Give them the tools they need to succeed

Even a skilled mechanic can only do so much if they don't have the tools to do the job properly. If you notice that some employees are falling behind, ask them what they need to be more successful.

It's your job to make sure that your employees have the right tools and training to do their job. Always remember that coaching, training, and regular one-on-ones are all valuable tools in a leader's arsenal, so use them often.


Encourage openness and honesty

An effective team operates on trust, honesty, and openness. Encourage your employees to speak their minds, even if their views don't align with yours.

The only way to ensure that information flows within a team is to make everyone feel that they can talk openly, even about difficult topics. That way, any issues can be identified and dealt with immediately.


Don't be afraid to apologize

Everyone makes mistakes. However, a good leader can see the error of their ways and then learn from the experience. More importantly, they're not afraid to own up to it.

If you make a mistake that affects the team, make sure you let them know and then apologize. It’s a sure-fire way to gain their respect.


The bottom line

Leadership, just like any skill, can be learned. Embrace these 10 habits to become a more effective business leader:

  1. Be decisive
  2. Highlight the positive
  3. Praise in public, correct in private
  4. Reward accomplishments
  5. Allow employees to shine
  6. Focus on a shared goal
  7. Lead by example
  8. Empower employees to succeed
  9. Be open and honest
  10. Apologize for your mistakes


Do you want to become a more effective leader ?  Let's talk.

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