What makes a good leader and how can someone develop himself or herself into a good leader if they are not one to begin with? The answer is that there are many factors that contribute to good leadership. And, whether someone is naturally a good leader or not, anyone can become a good leader.
Get To Talking
One of those factors of good leadership is communication. Communication is one of the most key elements of leadership. Good communication skills need to be learned to effectively become a good leader. When communication occurs, as a leader, you will be able to accurately convey your ideas and thoughts to those that follow you. In fact, simply being able to convey these things in the first place, much less accurately, puts you in the right direction for leadership. If people have no idea what is on your mind, your leadership is going to falter. They are not typically mind readers.
If there is a problem a certain person is experiencing, good communication can filter the problem out. You, as a leader, can dissect the problem and offer solutions in various ways.
Ideas that are given to people work both ways, as well. They can give helpful feedback and generate new ideas to you that help the company as well, when good communication is present.
Get Something Moving
Motivation is another variable that plays into good leadership. People tend to stagnate when motivation decreases and it will decrease, without proper motivation. Many leaders try to motivate the old-fashioned way through fear. (Do what I say or something bad will happen) This is not advisable, since it tends to only deliver short-term results and cause even less competent work in the long run, due to resentment resulting from the fear tactics.
Instead, try adding challenges. A fresh challenge always adds excitement and spawns creativity. Challenge your employees with tasks that may be slightly out of their range and let them at it! This increases motivation.
If they run into a snag, guide them towards a solution but don't offer the actual solution outright. Coach them into discovering the solution themselves. Once they have, their self-esteem will rise, thereby raising their motivation level.
Two Heads Are Better Than One
Teamwork is always something to consider when striving to become a good leader. This means not only teaching your employees to work together but to become part of the team yourself.
The point here is that people need to be trusted to do more. A good leader doesn't manage every single detail. Use others potential to your benefit. You will find that you have become a better leader for it.
Back to School
As always, increasing your education and knowledge is definitely a good thing when trying to improve your leadership skills, but the school that really needs to be brought to attention here is the kind of school that you don't get a degree from.
Take the time to learn as much about your position of being a leader as possible. Take advantage of leadership training material to help develop your professional skills. Do some reading at the nearest bookstore. Attend seminars, workshops, webinars and other professional development events. Watch online videos by top leadership experts. Talk to other leaders and see how they do things; exchange ideas.
The more you continually evaluate yourself and your practices and search for as much information on leadership as possible, the more you will be able to keep up with changing times and the better leader you will be for it.
Youth Leadership is a nonpartisan foundation whose primary goal is to serve as a catalyst for introducing rising political and policy professionals