3 Tips to develop your personal leadership
Are you thinking of moving into a manager role or would you like to improve your leadership skills? Learn how to develop your strengths and work on your weaknesses. These guidelines can help you to become the best manager you can be. Read on…
Tips 1 Courage: stand behind your opinions and decisions
Most people appreciate clear leadership where employees know where they stand and what they have to relate to. Better with a clear “yes” or “no” than an evasive “maybe” or “we’ll see”. Some employees may not like the answers they get, but at least they know what the answer is and can relate to it.
It is important that your leadership builds on your own values and the person you are. Then you will appear as clear and “authentic” to other people. You also become predictable and therefore perceived as consistent. Unclear leadership is often based on fears of various kinds, but if you are selfsecure and have “landed” in yourself, it makes it easier for you to handle these fears effectively.
Think about what your core values are. Examples of values might be honesty, to do your best, keep you promises, to deliver high quality, punctuality and being fair. Think about your personal basic characteristics. You can, for example, be structured, caring, engaging, direct, forward-thinking, wise and compassionate. Based on your values and characteristics you design your own leadership characteristics.
Three guiding principles are enough and are also easy to remember for your employees. It’s about things that you think are important and that you can and want to be known for. Communicate your values regularly to your employees so that they know where you stand. Hereafter it is all about you living and acting in accordance with your guiding principles, a signal that you have the courage to be who you are. If you find yourself confused, you can always ask yourself the following question: ‘How would a person ‘X’ with these guiding principles act in this situation?’ and act accordingly.
Tips 2 Take full responsibility!
A leader always dares to take full responsibility. It may sound simple and obvious, but too often we see examples in the media of how leaders avoid taking full responsibility or acting in a way that contradicts the overarching values. Taking one hundred percent responsibility could be one of your guiding principles in section 1 above, but it is also a way of being and way of approaching things.
It could involve;
- Taking full responsibility for your results, decisions and choices.
- Not blaming anyone or anything, not accusing anyone of anything or making excuses.
- Not waiting for or depending on someone else to do it for you.
- Doing the things you promised to yourself and others – the big and the small things. It could be about day-to-day things such as being on time or answering emails and phone calls effectively.
- Keeping focus on the results that are important to achieve, rather than focusing on being constantly active. Ask yourself, from time to time: “Will this contribute to the desired result, or is it just me being busy?”
Tips 3 Be a good role model
The symbolic value of leadership is powerful. The strength of the signals you send out are multiplied when you are in a leadership position and much of what you do and say is noted, interpreted and discussed.
There are many areas where you can be a good role model. On top of living your values, you can:
- Give and receive feedback with your own manager, your colleagues and your employees.
- Manage conflicts that you are involved in and not avoid the responsibility by passing it on to someone else.
- Be on time for meetings, actively participate and be well prepared.
- Share knowledge and information.
- Be cost conscious.
- Treat customers in the same way that you want your sales representatives or customer service team to treat them.
- Act in accordance with established decisions and rules.
- Learn – and use – the systems and tools that you have agreed to use in the organisation.
- Respect others; regard all people as equally important.
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