A Few Tips To Help You Become A Better Leader

Clive Lobo

Being a leader in a company often times means dealing with the needs of your staff. Unfortunately many leaders miss this point and all too often shut out their staff from the opportunity to voice their concerns (complain) and seek the advice and support of the leadership team! As a result you may be missing out on opportunities to improve your company.

Here are a few tips to help you become a better leader

  • Truly recognize that being a leader means that those you are leading will come to you when they have a problem. Your initial reaction is to dislike complainers and winers. That’s because you’re goals oriented, motivated and independent. That’s why you ended up leading a group of people afterall. Come to terms with this fact and you’re a big step closer to becoming a more effective leader!
  • You’ve gone to great lengths to hire competent people so when they come to you with a complaint, don’t second guess them. Figure out why they have not been able to handle the issue on their own. Talk to them about the issue and help them determine the appropriate course of action. Give them the advice they need to deal with the situation but don’t take over it and solve it for them. Let them take your advice and the responsibility for implementing it.
  • Recognize complaints and chatter from your team for what they are – insight into how your business is operating. Depending on the issues at hand it could be an early warning of a deficiency in your sales process, operations, standard operating procedures, products and services, accounting – just about anything. Set aside the time to really thing through all of the issues looking for a macro trend – a thread that ties them all together. You’ll give yourself the chance to find the real cause of the problems. Once you’ve done that you can get to work on rectifying the bigger issue and avoiding the problem going forward. You’re team will see that you’re listening and leading them in the right direction as result!
  • Learn to recognize bad apples on the team and deal with them swiftly. In most cases team members are great contributors who happen to run into problems they can’t solve on their own. On the other hand there are those people out there who thrive on complaining for no productive reason at all – they like the drama. No amount of coaching in my opinion can help these people. Don’t delay – do the best you can to help them as quickly as possible and come to a conclusion fast. Either you know they’ll change their habits or they won’t. If they won’t then you need to get them out of the team quickly because they can systematically destroy the productivity of your entire team in a short period of time! Don’t feel your being harsh. Often times this kind of person is not happy in their job and this is there passive way of resisting – or even getting fired to avoid having to quit. By taking action quickly you’re doing the right thing for them and your team. The next job they get into may just be the right one for them – the sooner they can do that the better!
  • Defend your teams. When your upper management starts to ask questions about your teams productivity defend them. Be honest and take responsibility for the results. If there are improvements to be made that’s up to you and your team to work out together. The worst thing you can do is turn around and reprimand your team! They won’t trust you as a result and they won’t follow you. Good luck motivating them after that!
  • My last tip is to remember that you serve your teams. You’re there to make sure they can work to their fullest potential. You’re there to take all the heat from management and your team – your there to make sure your team gets the rewards! Focus on serving your teams from your heart and you’ll be rewarded with teams that will follow you like no other!

Leading teams is very challenging at best. It’s full of the things most of us don’t naturally like doing – listening to the needs of other people, taking the blame for things that are not directly your fault, and passing on the rewards for good work to those who were ultimately responsible for the results. At the same time it’s a very satisfying role to have in that you can take personal pride in the results your teams achieve and the things your team members go on to achieve. By constantly working hard at practicing the tips I’ve provided I am convinced you’ll become a much better leader over time!

Clive Lobo

Spark’s resident boss man, Clive possesses the very nature of an entrepreneurial spirit.

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