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Learning to lead and manage others can be challenging. If that is your career trajectory, the following post has some practical information you will appreciate, courtesy of the staff at Simply Hired.
Let’s face it ... being a manager or having direct reports in your workplace isn’t exactly an intuitive practice. Sure, people may bandy the whole “natural born leader” phrase about but in reality, leading a team to success takes time, practice, and training. Whether you’ve recently been promoted or have an eye to a senior level position on your career trajectory, being a successful “person in charge” is mission critical to growth.
While strong skills in this arena can’t be granted overnight by Santa Clause or the workplace version of the Tooth Fairy, you can start preparing and studying now to sharpen up your skill set. With that in mind, we’ve compiled three key attributes you need to succeed in a leadership role.
Lead by Example
Remember when your mom used to mutter something about “do what I say, not what I do”? Well, that works out about as well in the workplace as it did when it came to eating your vegetables. Perhaps the most fundamental quality all great leaders possess is an ability to set an example for those in your group and the rest of your company. Perhaps the greatest motivator for those in the workplace is seeing their manager work hard, if not harder than they do. Get into the fray and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty while learning everyday tasks and understanding the functions of those working for you. In the end, you’ll earn respect, admiration, and a reputation that your workforce will strive to live up to.
Know Your Limitations
This particular leadership quality could have been alternatively named “know when to delegate.” While you may want to set an example for the rest of your team, this doesn’t mean you are capable of doing every job yourself. A successful leader knows that it takes multiple roles and employees to get some of the toughest projects accomplished. Share work with other groups in your company, including reaching out for resources when needed. Also don’t be afraid to delegate tasks to those you manage, specifically if it’s within their skill set. Keeping yourself from being overburdened will help you get more done in the end and will also help you develop a reputation for strong teamwork.
The last skill that rounds out the management toolbox for successful leaders is a strong communication ability. Whether in writing or verbally, effectively communicating tasks, expectations and your short and long-term vision helps prevent confusion and sets the tone for success versus failure. This is especially important when first beginning a new position or when tasked with implementing a specific project. Psychic mind reading ability is a skill even the most talented among your team won’t possess. Communicate key issues and goals, including timelines for completion, and your team will thank you for the clarity.
Becoming a strong leader doesn’t come naturally to even the most accomplished executives and managers. Practicing the skills above will set you on the right path to success. Remember to not beat yourself up for the occasional failure or frustration and before you know it people will be admiring your “natural” leadership skills and ability to manage your team.