8 Ways to Become a Successful Business Leader
Broadcast industry executive Donald McGannon once said, “Leadership is an action, not a position.” Taking the actions you need to so you can become a successful business leader isn’t always easy. There are so many different leadership styles in business, and becoming overwhelmed with the advice that’s out there is almost inevitable. Luckily, there are some simple actions you can take to become a more successful leader without getting overwhelmed with advice.
- Communicate: This one seems deceptively simple, but it’s often one of the toughest skills for leaders. Communicate regularly and be honest. Create an open line of communication that every one of your team members can feel. You want to check in, and you want them to check in with you. This may mean getting to know each team member a bit better so you can customize the way you work with each of them differently, but the key is to continually work to stay on the same page. It will help build trust throughout your interactions, and that could be key to solving smaller problems before they get any bigger.
- Be Part of the Team: Your goal is to lead, but you can’t do that if you’re not willing to work along with your team. Successful leaders are those who are willing to put in the time (at least periodically) by helping the team out. Whether that means answering customers, creating content, or simply working hard with them on a late night, you’ll often need to be able to do the work on your own so that you better understand what they need from you.
- Admit You’re Not Perfect: No one person is perfect. It’s true of every one of your team members, and it’s true for you too. Your team members don’t want to work for someone who always thinks they’re better. Be ready to acknowledge mistakes, and share them with your team. You’ll also want to share the solutions you’ve created when mistakes were made, but be ready to admit that things happen, and when you work together to find solutions, you’ll be building stronger team bonds.
- Answer the “Why?”: Why are you putting this process into place? Why should your team go forward with this idea or that one? You’re going to get lots of those “why” questions. Answer them. If the answer is just “Because I think it’s right,” no one is going to listen to you. Create a culture where people are able to recognize the decisions that are going to be right for your brand. When they know what must happen, they’re going to take ownership over the direction your projects need to take. If you’re just responding to those “why” questions with “Because I said so,” you’re doing little more than barking orders. Teach them more about the decisions that need to be made so they can help you move forward.
- Grow Professionally: Your vertical isn’t going to stop changing. The moment you stop trying to learn new practices is the moment your company stops growing. Expand your perspective as often as possible by making time to continue learning. There’s always time to continue to learn and develop your current skills. Don’t just make this your priority, though. Push your team members to do the same thing. There are so many different training opportunities today – both virtual and in-person – that nearly everyone has a way to continue their professional growth. Make sure you invest the time in your own growth and that of every single team member.
- See What They See: Take a step back. What do your team members and your customers see when they work with you? You may have one perception of yourself, but they might see something completely different. Understand what they see that you don’t, and adjust your leadership style to ensure it matches your goals.
- Value Everyone’s Time: Your customers are busy. Your team members are busy. You’re busy. Respect and value everyone’s time. If you’re holding long meetings that aren’t as productive as you’d like them to be, your team members could probably be doing something else. Uncover ways to communicate and work that ensure everyone is at their most productive. The more respectful you are of everyone’s ability to get things done, the more likely it is that you’ll achieve your goals a lot faster.
- Hold Everyone, Even Yourself, to the Highest Standard: If you’re like most leaders, you probably have very high standards. Don’t be afraid of that. You want to drive your team forward, and without those high standards, the chances are good that you’re going to have disappointed customers somewhere down the line. If you have high standards, you’re going to ensure that everyone knows the goal is to accomplish as much as possible as quickly as possible. Have the conviction to protect your high standards and move forward. You’ll want to set those expectations, though, from day one. If you try to put ridiculous standards into place where there have previously been none, you may have a struggle on your hands.
Interested in improving your business leadership skills? At AMB Performance Group, we can help you refine your leadership skills so you can push your team forward. Learn more when you contact us today.