How To Become a Better Leader (and what to avoid)
Is a good leader someone who shows their team the blueprint to success or lets them figure it out themselves?
Is a good leader the one who inspires and motivates or the one who is inspired by her employees?
The view on leadership is constantly changing as the working dynamics shift. Your team does not want to be told what to do anymore. They don’t need a shepherd, they need a support figure.
Latest research shows that business owners feel a real deficit of skilled leaders. The reason behind this trend is that the notion of being a good leader is changing.
The biggest challenge businesses face is defining what a good leader is. There are hundreds of books, training and development programs that pop up daily to make you a better leader.
Yet, in our experience the best leaders are the ones that focus on educating and developing their teams and not themselves.
The job of the leader is not to grow their own career but to develop her team and the company.
In that sense, the leader is a selfless person that focuses on others.
These statements might shock many that rely on cultural, interpersonal and leadership training to develop their leaders. Many CEOs believe that to develop leaders means to train them to be more compassionate and to communicate better. This is not completely wrong but it is just not enough.
To become a better leader one must focus on the team and not on themselves.
What does the team need?
How can I understand their drives?
What training do they need to feel empowered and confident?
What motivates and drives them?
What are they missing to show their full potential?
Those are questions that every leader needs to ask herself daily.
One of the things we find amusing is how many companies invest in leadership training instead of investing in developing the team.
Leadership training is important but it is not the main tool for becoming a great leader.
A great leader is the one who understands what training the team needs and provides them with it. A great leader focuses on the “you” and not on the “I”.
One of the biggest mistakes leaders make is that they constantly think they need to learn more and acquire more skills and competences. While the truth is just the opposite – knowing less and depending on the team for knowledge is a sign of good leadership. It means trust.
Leaders might feel vulnerable if they don’t understand everything their team does or knows.
It makes leaders dependent but that’s fine. A good leader chooses a team she can trust and then gives them all the training and tools they need to confidently move in the right direction (that the leader has set).
Many times, being a good leader doesn’t mean working on your own competences and skills. It simply means giving your team the space to develop and grow themselves.
A good leader does not focus on herself but on the development of her team. In the end, that is what being a leader stands for – leading others to their success and best self.
In a business environment where most leaders are focused on their personal growth rather than their teams’, being a good leader can simply mean shifting the focus.
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