Leadership isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes grit, hard work and passion, plus a lot of people skills. And it’s not about money or control, which is what way too many bosses get wrong in corporate America. In fact, it’s not even about the title—some of the best leaders aren’t in management. So, how can you learn how to be a good leader? Here is a list of ways you can be a good leader at your company.
1. Show Affection to Your Team
Your team members aren’t sales numbers or cogs in a machine. They’re people who have hopes, dreams, fears and struggles. Every single person deserves to be treated with respect, dignity and kindness. By doing this, you will create an incredible company culture where people care about each other and look forward to coming to work.
2. Provide Praise
Start making a habit of catching people doing something right—and let them know about it. A sincere compliment or acknowledgement of their hard work will go a long way to boost their morale.
A recommendation to get in the habit of this is each week, walk around your company and find a team member doing something great. Or take a few minutes and handwrite a personal note to someone on your team who’s been killing it week after week. While you’re at it, why not recognize them in front of their peers? It’ll make their day.
3. Be A Leader, Not A Boss
A boss has an iron grip on the team, expecting every team member to immediately jump at their command. Workers know the boss holds all the cards and will make sure mandates are followed. Disobey and you could be gone in an instant.
But where a good leader goes, people follow—not out of obligation, but out of genuine desire. Don’t boss people around or try to scare them by making threats. Instead, be transparent and explain why you do what you do. When people know the why behind your decisions, they’re more likely to understand and follow your example.
4. A Good Leader Trusts and is Trustworthy
Leaders should have the full trust of their team—but in order to get it, you need to behave in a trustworthy way too. You want your team to know you have their back and will support them no matter what. So follow through on your promises and mean what you say. Be a trustworthy leader they can count on. And if you feel like you can’t trust someone, don’t hire them to be on your team to begin with. Only hire team members you know will get the work done with honesty and integrity.
Another way to build trust is by being authentic. Don’t be afraid to be a genuine person—one who’s transparent about their strengths and weaknesses. Having regular one-on-one meetings with your team members and talking openly and honestly with them is a great way to create a strong, trusting connection.