Leaders are an integral part of the workforce, especially mangers that work directly with your general employees. But what is a manager? Is it someone who knows how to delegate tasks? Is it someone who is a natural leader? Is it someone who is an expert in your industry? The answer is a balance of those characteristics, plus countless more. However, there are a few common traits that are crucial to successful leadership:
- Stay focused within your role. Managers often can be pulled in too many different directions, take on too many tasks, and blur their priorities. There is only so much time in the work day, and knowing how to delegate work appropriately is a key function of a manager’s role. There is nothing wrong with getting directly involved with the individual tasks of your team, in fact that’s a huge aspect of true leadership and shows dedication to your team’s success, but if that’s happening too frequently, it can become an inefficient use of a manager’s time.
- Acknowledge your mistakes. As a leader, you should be humble enough to recognize and acknowledge your mistakes. And as a manager, if you make an error, apologize for your oversight and correct yourself to set an example. It’s no secret that the employee/employer relationship can be strained at times, and when a manager admits fault, it can be a helpful reminder that everyone is on the same team and that nobody is perfect. A useful tip is to think about how you would want one of your employees to react if they made a mistake, and take cues from that behavior.
- Immerse yourself within the work life of your employees. Being a manager does not make you untouchable. Be empathetic and real with your employees. In turn, your employees will feel comfortable approaching you with issues and concerns, or approach you for advice. Communication between the employee and employer needs to remain at the highest level possible, and humanizing yourself to your team can go a long way in achieving that. This is all part of being a respected leader, not just a “boss”.
- Have confidence. Trust that you are a great leader, and that your work place runs smoothly in part because of your skills. Confidence doesn’t mean pretending to have all the answers, all the time. Your employees will see right through that. Confidence is having the courage to collaborate with your employees on issues that may not be clear, getting their input, drawing from your experiences, and making the decisions that you believe will have the most positive result.
Just like any other role in the workplace, learning how to lead your team takes time, and respect is only earned. Managers and leaders are not the end-all, be-all in a workplace. However, they are instrumental in the success of a company. By utilizing the advice above, you can be a manager that people want to work for, and you can perfect some of the traits of a successful leader.