There are no guidebooks that can help you become a good leader. Leadership is a process that never stops. Every experience teaches you something new which you then incorporate into your effort to become a better leader. However, there are a few rules that most leaders follow and these rules are applicable across industries and business verticals. By following these rules, you can shape yourself into the person that people admire, are inspired by and want to follow. Here are the 9 rules successful leaders live by.
1. Respect time (yours and everyone else’s)
Time is money when it comes to the workplace. Wasting anyone’s time is a negative, but in most cases leaders are only concerned with the time of their superiors. Consider the time and workload of those you lead as well, so that they’re not left playing catch-up after meeting with you.
2. Maintain honesty & integrity
Trust might be the most important part of any relationship, including the one between a leader and his team members. Integrity goes hand in hand with honesty and is an essential trait in an effective and trustworthy leader. By remaining true to your principles in any situation, your team knows that it can depend on you.
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3. Never lose focus
Stay committed to your work and your company to instill the same feelings in others. If a leader questions the company or the task at hand, the rest of the team might do the same thing. Leaders must be able to answer any question about the company they work for or own. Keep up with current trends and new technology to ensure that your knowledge levels don’t drop over time.
4. Do what’s right for your people
When it comes to dealing with people, there will be countless scenarios that fall into grey areas, but there will also be plenty that are black and white. When the face with the latter, let the decision always be in favor of your people. Reward the employee who’s gone above and beyond; back someone who’s made an innocent mistake; and increase freedom if deserved.
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5. Treat others with humility
People like a humble leader. They will more willingly follow someone they can relate to or someone who treats them with respect. Never disrespect or talk down to others just because you have the power to. Being concise and direct with your opinions and instructions will inspire confidence and can produce the results you require.
6. Don’t shy away from being transparent
If you don’t know something, admit it, then do your best to become knowledgeable about the subject. Make your feelings and the reasons for your decisions known so people understand company processes and are more willing to come along for the ride. Also, listen and acknowledge the work and opinions of others to let them know that their voices count.
7. Pass down knowledge that can help others succeed
No one makes it to a prominent leadership position without the help of countless others along the way. Great leaders know this and pay it back. They realize that for their organization to continue to move forward, it is critical to develop a deep roster of future leaders. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to help your team succeed as their success is directly linked to the company’s growth.
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8. Don’t care what others think
It’s normal to want to be liked and accepted at the workplace. However, this might lead you to worry too much about what others are thinking about you. This kind of excessive worrying will have a negative effect on your leadership methods, and will prevent you from taking your vision to its peak. Once you give up caring about other people’s opinions and thoughts, you’ll discover your own path and success.
9. Be a source of inspiration and positivity
Great leaders make everyone around them feel good about their involvement with their organization. They help create an environment where no one believes there in it just for themselves – but are part of a larger cause. This is a by-product of an inspired, happy team. By being a positive person and focusing on solutions rather than the problems, you inspire your followers to do the same.
The most successful leaders know that they don’t have the time or learning capacity to excel at every aspect of their company. This is why they hire people to take care of things they’re either not good at, or shouldn’t be wasting time on. Doing this will give you the time to focus on the bigger picture you have in mind for the company and drive it forward faster.