We all know people who inspire us, who encourage us—through their actions and example—to work hard, to persevere through difficult circumstances. What’s their secret? How do they persuade others to do great things? While every circumstance is different, leaders find ways to inspire the people they lead.
Guest post by Lindsay Traiman
Leadership plays a vital role in every company. To have a successful business, it is important that every team member is prepared to step up and lead when necessary. Forbes.com defines leadership as “a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal.” By encouraging others to lead, you can more easily achieve company goals and create a nurturing, supportive work environment. Use the following strategies to encourage your team members to lead.
Educate your staff — Not everyone has innate leadership skills, but these skills can be developed. Offer guidance and leadership training to give your staff the confidence and tools they need to lead and inspire others.
Encourage shared leadership roles — Leadership does not come naturally to everyone, which can make it a difficult and scary experience for some. Ease your staff into leadership positions by first allowing them to share the role with yourself or other team members. Allowing people to co-lead projects reduces anxiety and creates a more positive leadership experience by giving team members someone to lean on for assistance.
Define the goal — Unclear goals can create huge obstacles for those attempting to lead a project. Be sure that you clearly define the task, objectives and goals when assigning a project to assist your team members in their leadership efforts.
Listen – Listening is a very important part of effective communication. Always listen to what your staff has to say. By listening, you can gain more insight into the things that motivate individual team members while also learning what goals they have for themselves.
Lead by example – As a leader, your team members look to you as a role model. There is no easier way to encourage others to lead than by leading them effectively. According to a Dale Carnegie study, 62 percent of engaged employees said their managers set a good example. By practicing what you preach in all aspects of your business, your staff will grow to trust you. Employees who trust that their managers are taking their leadership role seriously are more likely to go the extra mile to support the organization’s goals.
Value your staff – Always let your staff members know how important they are to the company. When you see your staff actually taking initiative and utilizing their leadership skills, be sure to recognize them and acknowledge their efforts. Your employees must be reassured that their hard work and leadership is vital to the company’s success. A study by Bersin and Associates states that companies that provide ample employee recognition have 31 percent lower voluntary turnover rates than companies that don’t. A little appreciation truly goes a long way.
While it may not be easy to develop leadership skills in others, it is essential to the success of your business. Encourage everyone on your team to lead in order to help your company succeed.
Lindsay Traiman writes on behalf of Dale Carnegie Training, a company founded on the principles of the famous speaker and author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” Today, the company offers leadership training and helps businesses and individuals achieve their goals. Visit Dale Carnegie Training online to learn more about leadership training.
The Product Management Perspective: Many of the strategies described here are key to successful product management. Product managers need to educate others (especially sales) about their products. They need to listen to the market and learn what makes potential buyers want to buy their products. They need to communicate effectively, both inside and outside the company. Perhaps most important, product managers need to value their coworkers and build trust with their organization.
Guest post by Lewis Edward
It’s easy to want others to follow you. The hard part is making yourself the kind of individual people would actually want to follow, and not merely feel obligated to do so. Would you follow you?
By following these five easy but key steps, you can make yourself the kind of leader you need to be in no time:
Lead by example
Don’t be a “do as I say” kind of person. Instead, adopt the “do as I say and do” approach. You can’t expect those under you to work hard consistently if you don’t work hard yourself. Sure, they may work hard at first, especially if you’re holding one threat or the other over their heads; but sooner or later, not even fear or financial motivation are going to able to cut it.
At such times, inspiration has been found more often than not, to work best. And nothing inspires more than a leader who doesn’t just “talk the talk” so to speak, but actually “walks the walk” as well.
Be enthusiastic about what you do; be passionate
If you actually love the kind of work you do, this should come easily to you. Nevertheless, even if your work happens to be less than a delight, don’t despair. Not everyone can have their dream job. You can still be passionate about what you do, or at the very least appear to be passionate about what you do, by adopting the right approach to your work.
One good way to build up enthusiasm on the job is to always focus on the brighter aspects of your work (the happy smiles of satisfied customers, for instance). Being an enthusiastic leader is important because it serves as a dependable source of motivation for the other members of your team.
Believe it or not, just like dogs can smell fear in humans, so can followers sense hesitation, uncertainty, or panic in a leader. To be a confident leader, you need a healthy dose of courage.
Now being confident or courageous doesn’t mean you have to be the kind of person that doesn’t get scared, anxious, or worried; you only have to play the part and try as much as possible to hide such demoralizing emotions from the members of your team. After all, according to Ambrose Redmoon, “courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear”. And in this instance, what is more important than fear is making sure the work gets done.
More often than not, the efficiency of your team will be nothing more than a reflection of yours. So if you’re disorganized, your team will likely be disorganized; and if you’re organized, so will your team.
Learn to delegate
The true salt of a leader doesn’t lie in being able to get things done; it lies in making others get things done. This is why a person can be such an effective and efficient worker and still end up being a lousy leader. One salient reason why some business leaders fail at being leaders is because they refuse to, or simply don’t know how to delegate.
As a leader, there is no way you can do everything on your own. That is why you need to learn to allot duties to the members of your team effectively. In this regard however, a leader must take great care not to mistake proper and effective delegation for total absolution from responsibility on his/her part.
If you do not have any of these qualities it will be hard to replicate leaders from your life and from history. There is always a big debate as to whether leaders are born or made from their learning and environment. The truth is it is probably a combination of the two interacting. You cannot separate the effect of your environment on your genes. The truth is that it is our words, actions and behaviors that will inspire and motivate other people. By learning to do the right thing, and learning to behave like a leader we can become the kind of person we would follow into any battle.
Lewis Edward is one of the owners of TheOfficeProviders. He is a real estate investor with many interests in other sectors. Lewis researches and contributes various written features for TheOfficeProviders in areas regarding real estate, including office space for rent and flexible office space, and general business and economy matters. Lewis is experienced in the inner workings of both the traditional and flexible workspace industries and has developed close links with various figures in real estate circles, as well other circles.
The Product Management Perspective: Successful product managers know that to lead their teams (and products) effectively they have to be persuasive and optimistic. They need to find ways to lead people without being the boss. The five actions discussed in this post will help you become a better product manager, and hence a better leader in your company.
Five Ways to Be Influential and Succeed with Your Team
Guest post by Tess Pajaron
At my former job, I had a boss who would consistently tell people how important it was to leave the office on time and balance work and life. Then, he would text in the evenings, brag about how late he stayed after everyone had left and go into the office each weekend. He did not lead by example and it made the workplace confusing, uncertain and ultimately stressful.
Being a leader can be difficult. You may have some employees who communicate differently than others, conflicts to overcome within your team and roadblocks that can stunt creativity. But in the end, when you lead by example, you set the tone for your team and create a culture in your department and office.
Here are five ways you can lead by example and influence your team to innovate and succeed every time:
1. Communicate Effectively
Open communication is one of the most important aspects of solid team cohesiveness. Solid communication starts by listening. When you as the leader listen to your team members, you in turn lead by example and demonstrate them the importance of listening each and every time. This skill of listening can be a challenge for some teams, but when you set the example and create a culture of listening to various opinions, ideas and feedback you give your team a forum to feel comfortable expressing their ideas. This has been shown to improve innovation among teams. When each person shares their opinion openly, ideas come together and everyone plays an important role in the outcome of the project.
2. Practice What You Preach
Great leadership is done with integrity and honesty. When you practice the same good habits that you preach to your team members, you show integrity in your actions and become more trustworthy. Walking the talk goes a long way with employees when it comes to how much they respect what you have to say. When you do the opposite of what you request of them, for example not leaving the office on time and working weekends, your employees begin to doubt your leadership and wonder if they should be doing as you say or as you do. This can create a sense of confusion and quickly drive a team apart.
3. Empower Through Delegation
You brought your team together because you, or someone else in your organization, trusted in your employee’s ability to help your organization. Delegating out tasks hands over this trust and shows your team that you believe in their capabilities. If you do everything yourself, you are not leading by example but instead you are sending a signal that their input does not matter and that it is your way or no way. To have the most success, engage your team by providing them tasks to accomplish and lead by being a resource of information to help them accomplish what they are capable of.
4. Share Responsibility
A certain sense of humility goes in to leading a team well. When you discuss openly, you may find that you are wrong. Being able to admit that you are wrong for the greater good of the project and team success is a prime case of leading by example. When you can do this, you also allow your team to feel as if it is acceptable when they are wrong on an idea making them feel more comfortable with their creativity and idea generation. These ideas help fuel innovation, so sharing responsibility and being proactive in coming up with the best solution for the project as a group is essential.
5. Set Goals
Finally, having an end goal in sight that every member of the team is working toward will help you to lead toward that goal. This will allow you lead by example as you work hard toward the end goal. When your team sees you working hard toward the end goal, they in turn will do the same.
Leading by example can be difficult but using these five tips can make you a more influential leader. This is what will make you and your team a success.
Tess Pajaron is part of the team behind Open Colleges. She graduated in Business Administration with a major in Management. When not working, she loves to travel and discover new places and cultures. She can also be found on Cerebral Hacks, where she regularly contributes articles about psychology.
The Product Management Perspective: The five ideas above are all important aspects of successful product management. One of the key ideas from my perspective is building trust. Product managers who trust the other teams to do their job, and work/act in ways that allow others to trust them, have much more success with their products.