An old adage says that before you take care of anyone else, you have to take care of yourself. Ask any mom how she handles kids, a home, and an exhausted husband at the end of a long day. You’ll hear everything from a bath, a good book, a cup of coffee, or a long massage. All of these things are FOR HER and gets her ready for the next round.
It’s no different in business. To be an effective leader, you need to take care of yourself personally, but also professionally, before focusing on your team. Manage yourself, check your attitude, and be ready. One way to increase your chance of success is to make sure you are accessible to your team. A surefire way to do this is to keep an open-door policy. This tells your team you are there for them. Be open to hearing their feedback, even when they disagree with you. You should never be afraid to admit you made a mistake, and you are open to other suggestions. Your will earn the respect of your team this way and they will take more pride in their work. There is always room for improvement in your performance, as well as your team’s.
Knowledge is Power
The more knowledge you can pass on to your team, the more powerful they will be. Keep striving to master your skills, demonstrating to your team that you are always seeking to improve. This will help you continue to succeed and set a good example for your team. Win, win.
Communication is key, and simplification is equally important. If you can’t explain it simply, you probably don’t know it well enough yourself. Do not try to impress your team with your knowledge. You are here to instruct them and build their knowledge. That is what will impress them in the end.
What’s Next, Boss?
Keep your team informed and let them know their interests are part of your plans. Even if what you are involved in doesn’t directly involve them, keep them apprised of your projects. Let them see how you set up for success. Be willing to mentor them so they can understand how you do your job. They don’t have to be able to do it, but they should have an understanding of it. Conversely, you should have an understanding of their jobs. You don’t have to know how to specifically perform their tasks, but you should have a clear overview of them. This is yet another way to earn your teams respect.
You should always be firm, but fair. Treat everyone the same. Allow for flexibility on your part, and always look for feedback. Your team needs to know they matter and that you appreciate their efforts. Tell them you value them as a team member. Give them tasks on a regular basis. This gives them a feeling of value. Delegating not only frees you up to handle the more important tasks, it allows your employees to feel like part of the team. Not only does this give value to your team, it also keeps you from spreading yourself to thin.