Let’s explore leadership. What is leadership and how can you become a good leader? We all have this perception that a leader takes initiative, bosses people around and assigns certain tasks to his/her team mates; that leadership roles are only supposed to be given to those who can take charge and have strong personalities. However, stereotyping a leader to being mean and bossy isn’t right.
In this article we will be talking about the three keys to being a good leader. The first key to being a good leader is that a good leader not only leads but also follows. Yes, you need to know how to follow before you lead.
You need to let your team mates voice their opinions in a constructive way and, if you see that a certain person in your team excels in a certain aspect which is needed in your project or is needed to attain your team’s goal, then let him help you.
If you know that he/she knows what he/she is doing and talking about more than you do, then you should follow. You weren’t elected team leader because you know everything. You were elected team lead because you possibly have what it takes to keep the team intact. Another key to being a good leader is to be able to decipher the needs and wants of your team.
Let’s look at what exactly is the difference between needs and wants. Needs are things you cannot do without. They may also be plans that must be put to action. Wants are things or plans that can be set aside to be done or acquired at a later time. So let me give you a situation – you have a deadline to meet and your team needs a presentation ready by tomorrow morning.
You tell them that the whole team needs to work overtime. There are a few who complain and suggest that the team takes a break for a few hours, grab some drinks and unwind, then continue work tomorrow morning, 3 hours before the deadline. As a good leader you need to distinguish that getting drinks and unwinding is a want and that what the team needs is to finish the deadline by tonight before drinking or unwinding, because if you do allow the team to get some drinks and unwind then there would be a chance that they will be late tomorrow and you won’t be able to meet your supposed deadline.
So after you decipher what the team needs and wants, you need to be able to stand your ground. That is the third key. Being a good leader means that you need stay firm and stick to the decision you have made. No one will respect a leader whose decision can easily be altered. You need to acknowledge your goals and decipher which path would be the best and fastest way to arrive at the goal –and once who have deciphered the path, stick to it.
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