How to Be a Better Business Leader

Exhibit more of these important traits

Are you an effective business leader? Do not automatically answer “yes” without thinking it through. After you take a closer look and apply high standards, you may find room for improvement. Here are several ways to polish your performance:

  • Become more organized. Dis­organization often leads to chaos in the office. If you are running amok, the business will not be able to operate smoothly. When you are organized, you can expect more productivity from everyone else.
  • Lead by example. It might be what you do rather than what you say that really counts. For instance, you will have less impact if you are hardly ever around the office or always work behind closed doors. Get out front and show the staff what you can do. When it is called for, roll up your sleeves and do some of the grunt work yourself.
  • Show passion for the work. How can you expect employees to be excited about coming to work if you are not? Inspire others to perform better through your own enthusiasm. That does not necessarily mean you always have to be a cheerleader, but you should demonstrate that you believe in the company’s mission and objectives.
  • Delegate. Don’t try to do everything all the time. Concentrate on what is most important to the business, and assign other tasks and responsibilities. Let employees take ownership of and run with certain projects for which they are suited.
  • Get it in writing. You cannot expect your staffers to remember all the instructions you shout out during the course of the day. When the situation calls for it, provide written guidelines they can refer to easily.
  • Practice what you preach. If you say not to do something and then you personally do it, you are sending the wrong message to your staff. Stick to your own principles.
  • Communicate. Of course, every manager knows the importance of communicating, but many merely pay lip service. Remember that employees are not mind readers. Also, part of being a good communicator is being a good listener. A leader should not do all the talking. Keeping people motivated means listening to them, asking them questions and understanding the issues.
  • Get to know your employees. Find out what makes your employees tick. What are their lives like outside work? Keep track of events such as birthdays, marriages, births and graduations, and offer workers your best wishes. This will help strengthen your relationships.

If you are not exhibiting enough of these traits, you may not be as good a leader as you initially thought. Make a conscious effort to improve, and you should see your efforts reflected in a better work environment.

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