Leading teams and managing people can be tough. Unfortunately, you’ll never get it right every time. Whether you are just starting out in leadership or you’ve been around for a few years, the goal should be the same. To be a better leader.
There are many managers out there who are not getting better. Many are just staying the same. But if you want to gain respect, improve your career and lead a team that is motivated and enthusiastic, you need to strive to become a better leader, every day.
Let’s look at three simple things you can start doing today, to be a better leader.
1. Focus on work with the most value:
Being busy doesn’t make you a good manager. Being busy doesn’t actually mean much. All it does mean is that you have work to do, all the time.
To focus on the work with the most value, write down all the things you do in a month. For each item, think hard about the difference it makes. Do you spend lots of timing writing reports? How much does everyone care about those reports?
Keep going through your list and cut out the items that don’t matter. If they matter, but take up too much of your time, consider delegating them to your team. Start thinking differently. Not from a mindset of trying to be busy, but from a mindset of striving to be the most effective you can be.
2. Say "No":
To be a better leader, you need to know how to say No. It doesn’t mean being unhelpful or getting angry. It means respecting your boundaries and protecting yourself and your team from being overwhelmed.
You won’t be able to refuse every piece of extra work that comes your way. But I guarantee, you should be able to push back on at least some of the things that people demand of you. This protects you and your team from being overloaded.
Good leaders understand that nobody wins when people burn out. So they put up boundaries to prevent it. Start respecting yourself and learning to say no.
3. Understand your team members:
Do you know what your team members’ goals and aspirations are? What about what they like and dislike? What are they looking to achieve in the future?
These things might not seem too important right now. You might be very busy and don’t feel like you have time for this. However, knowing what makes your team tick can be very useful information.
(Indebted to various sources)