If you are looking to improve your effectiveness in the workplace, raise standards within a team that you manage, or have a plan to step into management in the future it is worth investing in improving your personal leadership skills. Taking on board leadership training is a great start, learning proven techniques that you can demonstrate when applying for external management positions or exiting your company and heading for a fresh adventure. In the meantime, there are a few things you can attempt to do with your own time in order to improve your personal leadership and your effectiveness as a manager in the workplace.
Stick to Your Convictions – The best leaders are those that are clear with their intentions and let everyone know exactly where they stand and what their principles are moving forward. This doesn’t have to mean you’re cold hearted or that you are stern and difficult to work with at all; you can also be flexible in the way you deal with each case and individual, but you should have clear principles that run through everything you do. You have to be authentic for people to respect you and work hard for you, pretending to be something you are not is never a good idea for a leader. If you need to say no to something, and have the reasons clear as day as to why you have to, stick to that decision. If you are respected, the decision will be. Those who change their minds easily won’t be an effective leader.
Understand and Grasp Your Responsibilities – It’s easy to understand when you see a failed person in leadership if they have decided not to own up and take responsibilities for their decisions and actions. The best leaders will make a decision and own it. If that decision turns out to be the wrong one, for whatever reason, they won’t throw their team under the bus, but instead admit fault, apologise if necessary, and quickly identify what went wrong and how to fix it. One of the ways in which you can make yourself responsible for your decisions is by working out which tasks are more important than others and those you should conduct yourself, rather than delegating.
Practice What You Preach – Those who are the best leaders are those individuals who are honest and forthcoming, and act in the way they are asking of their staff. If you are respected your colleagues and staff will understand the signals you give off and the direction you provide them with. To improve your personal leadership you can look for feedback in your management style from colleagues and your own manager, take on responsibility in situations that you are not directly involved with by helping to resolve conflict, be on time and always participate actively in wider group discussion, utilise the tools at the disposal of your team and speak to customers and suppliers publicly the way that you want your team to do so.
Personal leadership development is all about gaining respect to ensure that when you are ready for a management position you can be effective in the role. These personal leadership tips should help you evolve and develop to give yourself the best chance of succeeding.