By BEN HARGROVE
You have a vision and are able to communicate it with passion. So you are probably already a good leader. But as any good leader knows, there is always room for improvement, whether you are an executive or an entrepreneur, leadership development is essential. Here is some advice from our executive coaching experts.
Continue to embrace change
Many leaders were put in charge to change the status quo. Often the previous leader was unable or unwilling to accept the need for change. But implementing your vision for change can still result in stubbornly clinging to the status quo if you do not remain open to new ideas and new perspectives.
Lead by example
If you want your staff to be willing to put in extra hours when necessary, you do not want to be the first one out the door. Executive coaching experts says that you should put in the extra hours yourself. Have a positive attitude. Offer help and encouragement. Support the members of your team the way you would have them support each other.
You may think you can do every task better than everyone else, but even if you are right, it is the wrong message to send to your staff. Micromanaging can convey to staffers that they are not trusted to do the job themselves. You want them to take ownership of their work and take pride in their skills and accomplishments. You can’t adequately evaluate individual employees unless you give them a chance to rise or fall on their own.
Some leaders like to do all of the talking. Instead, let your employees have their say. Hear them out and consider their perspective and ideas. People want to know that their concerns are being heard. You will have a better relationship with your employees, a better understanding of the issues they face and you will be in a better position to address their concerns.
When the project is finished, make sure people’s hard work is acknowledged and celebrated. Don’t hog all the credit for yourself. Show your employees that you appreciate their achievements and do not take them for granted.
When something goes wrong, a true leader can’t simply say that the staff let him or her down. Executive coaching experts say that the buck stops with you. Reassure your team that you win and lose as a team together. In the post-mortem, it will also be your responsibility to figure out what went wrong, and it may be necessary to identify issues with specific employees, but finger-pointing should not be the initial knee-jerk reaction.