Q: What is one simple best practice I can adopt to become a better leader this year?
Learn from successful leaders. “There are many different leadership styles, so while it’s not one-size-fits-all, you can take pieces from certain inspiring leaders and create your own leadership style. Find examples of leaders at similar stages in their companies’ life cycle to your own and discover how they overcame obstacles in order to move to the next stage.” Michael Rheaume, SnapKnot Inc.
Enable your employees. “Employees are not machines. They have desires and goals just like you do. Ask your employees what their goals are, and find a way to get them closer to these goals over time. This will inspire them and create an unparalleled loyalty toward you and your business, as your goals will be aligned.” Tim Grassin, Candy Banners
Stop setting SMART goals. “SMART goal criteria are widely accepted as a goal setting best-practice, and I’m not sure why. As a leader, setting Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic and Timely goals encourages you to think only about what you know you can achieve, not what you can learn or how you can get outside your comfort zone. Setting big goals, rather than SMART ones, can help you become a better leader.” Melissa Roberts, Free State Strategy Group LLC
Listen more. “People often think leaders are dictators or delegators. Effective leading is indeed about action, but it requires an accurate understanding of your team. The best way to learn about your team is to listen more. Listen to their ideas and grievances, learn their strengths and weaknesses, and you will be better equipped to make leadership decisions that your team can effectively execute.” Mike Sheffer, First Dynamic
Inspire a vision. “We want everyone to feel personally invested in the growth of the company. We all can succeed working together toward a common goal. So, with task delegation, employees have the confidence to express themselves to suggest better ways of doing things. This is just as important as actually accomplishing the task.” Jessica Baker, Aligned Signs
Focus on your strengths. “To become a better leader, you must focus on your strengths and what you are best at. Too often, we see entrepreneurs trying to be the ‘Jack of all trades,’ and quickly becoming the master of none. Delegate out what you aren’t the best at, and demonstrate your leadership by doing what you are best at. This will allow you to focus on not only your strengths, but also what matters most in life and business.” Zac Johnson, Blogging.org