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Follow My Lead
Being in a leadership position is not one of those instances where you can “fake it ‘till you make it”, those around you will sniff you out. To be a true leader, and a respected one, you need to follow these few tips:
- Understand that you cannot know everything, and admit it. You have a team to help you and you can rely on them to help you. Giving your team members an opportunity to step up and share their skills will boost their confidence and willingness to work. And you will learn a thing or too rather than pretending to know something and looking like a fool.
- Ask questions that provoke actions. Instead of telling people what to do, always ask what they suggest, or how they would tackle a problem. Inquiring always trumps demanding.
- Give everyone a clear position and clear goals. It’s difficult to dive into anything without knowing where you are supposed to emerge. Your team members or staff need a clear understanding of what is expected of them in order to do their work to their best capability.
- Let your team know what success looks like. They say motivation needs to be given daily, so establish what success means to your team, write it down, and put it up somewhere where everyone can see it. This way everyone knows what to do and where they are heading, and they can work towards it confidently and enthusiastically.
- Help your team. Sitting behind your team shouting orders will not be as effective as running in front of them clearing their way ahead. As a leader, part of your job is to plan, anticipate what may go wrong (risk analysis), and create contingency plans to deal with potential problems. This means preparing your team to handle whatever may arise in the future – don’t do it for them, and don’t leave them to handle it alone – guide them!