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How to Be a Good Leader

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Being a leader is more than just being the person in charge. Yes, you get to make the decisions, but in doing so, you have to take into consideration how your decisions affect your co-workers and how to effectively carry out your decisions. Ironically, if you're a person who craves being in control, you may not make a good leader because you lack the ability to delegate effectively and give people the freedom to do their best. If you're going to be in charge of a group of people, there are a few things to consider before you start giving out your orders.

Recognize what your role as leader is. Your job is to inspire your team members to do their best. You are there to provide them with the tools they need to get the job done and to guide them when they need assistance. Part of this assistance may include constructive criticism, but you are not there to berate them. Treat them the way you would like to be treated, with respect and consideration.

Determine your team members' strengths and weaknesses. In order to elicit the best outcome possible, you need to match people's abilities to the job they are doing. Don't force people to do a job that is not within their skill set; however, allow them to experiment when possible so that they can grow as employees. The more success your team members have, the more confidence they will gain. The more confidence they gain, the more productive they will be.

Communicate with your team members. You can't expect them to read your mind, and you need to ensure that they understand what you are saying. Try to be as succinct and clear as possible. Be aware that communication is a two-way street: You need to be willing to listen to them, as well. Listen to people's ideas, and apply plausible ones. If the idea makes the team more efficient, it doesn't matter who came up with it.

Reward a job well done. Everyone likes getting recognition, but don't be patronizing or gratuitous. Your members know when they have worked hard and deserve recognition. You simply need to validate their accomplishments.

Do not demean or humiliate your team members. Always treat them in a professional and respectful manner, even when you are correcting a mistake they've made. There will be times when a team member does something inappropriate or against company policy. Do not address this in a public venue. Talk to him privately, allow him a chance to present his story and work together to resolve the issue.

Take a genuine interest in your team members. Get to know them and what's important to them. The more you know about the issues that concern them, the better able you'll be to address them.


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