You have become a business owner the moment those papers went through and the registry recognized your name. You can have a lifetime of ownership and not a day of leadership under your belt, however, unless you invest time and effort to build the right qualities and skills. Or simply put, the fact that you own and run a business doesn’t make you a leader. The first step towards that seemingly unattainable greatness in your team and in your industry requires you to recognize that you have so much to learn in order to deserve the title of a leader.
Inspiring people to follow your lead is a process, one that is as individual as it is complex. Some steps in that process are considered universal simply because they allow you and your team to tap into your skills and wisdom in a unique way. Use them to unleash your inner leader and to empower your own team to reach greatness along your side.
Encourage mistakes across the board
By encouraging, we don’t mean that you should hire people who are rude towards customers on purpose or who have zero writing skills but work as content creators nonetheless. Mistakes are a natural part of any expert’s journey to become an expert, and no one really learns everything during their lifetime, which is why your employees need to know it’s okay when they don’t know and it’s fine when they give something a go and fail.
Consider this a learning opportunity to show them how to “monetize” their failures. Show them by example how they can make the most of their mistakes to grow and overcome difficulties. If you’ve sent an email to the wrong person, share the moment of candor with them and teach them how to deal with the situation. If they’ve lost a client over a mix-up, show them how to try to win them back or gracefully bow out and implement the knowledge to prevent further losses. All in all, celebrate your mistakes.
Find ways to learn and grow
Although you’re in the role of a teacher by being your team’s leader, you also need to embrace the role of a constant learner. More often than not, you’ll recognize areas that need work in your leadership, but you will find it difficult to find ways that will help you overcome those obstacles on your own. Luckily, you can attend mindset training sessions to adapt your attitude and get the right learning resources to grow and overcome your setbacks.
Perhaps you find yourself being overly self-critical and doubting your own abilities, or you’re having trouble managing the responsibilities of your leadership role without feeling overwhelmed. In any case, you can work on your mindset and strive to apply the knowledge you collect in your business environment and hopefully transfer some of it to your team members, too, so that they can learn from your own example.
Carve the right environment for your team
Too much stress paired with competitiveness cannot be good for anyone to put their best foot forward every day. Your employees are already aware of deadlines, performance reviews, and certain expectations that each position comes with, they don’t need any extra pressure that will only hinder their performance.
It’s up to you to encourage certain types of behavior and modes of operation. If you incentivize competition, you can only expect your teams to fall apart. If you inspire and incentivize collaboration and healthy idea exchanges, then you can begin to shape the atmosphere for your team. This is by no means an easy task, so approach it with care and make sure to ask for feedback to see if you’re on the right track. Remember, acknowledge mistakes!
Respect the whole person in the employee
Employers often feel as if they deserve a medal for giving their employees perks. The simple truth is, they are not perks, but necessities for any human being to function normally, preserve their health, and deliver their work productively every day. They need to exercise, eat well, take breaks, take vacations, take mental health days off, and spend time away from their inbox. If you silently approve of them staying at the office that extra hour every day, it’s on you that they are burnt out a month into the job.
By encouraging your employees to focus on their health first and foremost, you will make them feel recognized as whole people, not just partial entities that exist to work for you. Check in with them on a regular basis to see if their needs are met, because healthy employees are happy employees.
Let honesty be the foundation of your leadership
Finally, taking risks, assessing yourself in front of your employees, acknowledging mistakes, and being flexible are all extensions of one simple premise called transparency. Only an honest leader can summon the courage to share their errors of judgment and recognize gaps in their knowledge. Only an honest leader can inspire the same in their employees, by setting the bar high enough so that each and every person under your wing knows that honesty is indeed the best policy.
Reaching greatness as a team takes a leader and a learner. Make sure that you’re ready to tackle that journey by embracing all the ups and downs that come with it, and find your own unique ways to deal with the setbacks you’re bound to face. Don’t forget to apply these essential principles of finding your inner leader, so that you and your team can aspire for greatness together.