We are not born leaders but we can increase our leadership potential if we make a sincere effort to do so. When approached as an ongoing part of your management style, implementing the following suggestions will produce a high return on your investment and effort.
- Make sure your department’s goals are clear. Talk with your staff about their work and how they are doing. Show you are interested and want them to get satisfaction from what they do. By helping others feel good about themselves, you display one of the most important qualities of effective leadership.
- Let your staff know that you believe in the mission of the organization and that you will do what you can to contribute to its effectiveness and success. Your confidence will inspire others to follow your example and encourage team effort. Your staff will then become more confident themselves and find better ways of doing their work. When workers trust their leaders, they are more likely to follow their guidance and example. They will also become willing to work to achieve beyond your expectations.
- See mistakes as steps toward improvement, not as failures. Realize that leading often involves trial and error and that little progress is made without accepting the risks involved. Work toward learning from your mistakes and move forward in a thoughtful and productive manner.
- Don’t be concerned if you don’t receive constant approval and recognition from others. Instead, work at improving your skills and knowledge. Emphasize your strengths and maintain a sense of optimism. If you manage yourself well, you will naturally set a good example for your staff and enhance your effectiveness as a leader.