The following text came from a post entitled, “5 Ways to Become a Better Leader” on According to Greta (which is now defunct).
“Power isn’t control at all – power is strength, and giving that strength to others. A leader isn’t someone who forces others to make him stronger; a leader is someone willing to give his strength to others that they may have the strength to stand on their own.” –Beth Revis
There is generally a misconstrued view of what it means to be a leader. The majority of individuals in leadership positions believe that force, power and authority is what makes a good leader. Yes, you can achieve certain goals using these methods, but there is a goal that will be far from your reach – loyalty.
Being a good leader is about serving others and not about being served. A good leader leads the team from the back because they know that the team is only as strong as its weakest member.
Here are a few tips to assist you to improve your leadership skills:
Being a good leader means being present with the team, not wandering about the whole week attending to other matters and then requesting updates when deadlines arise. Your team will get frustrated when their leader is not present to assist with difficult tasks. Being present does not mean sitting with your team the entire day, but it means being readily available to attend to their requests.
Be Honest and Authentic
Being a good leader means being honest and authentic in your interactions with staff, stakeholders and people who you don’t have an interest in. Your team will appreciate a leader who admits that they make mistakes more than a leader who claims to know it all.
Being a good leader means being in tune with your team’s emotions. Yes there are team members who are overly emotional, but your role is to be sympathetic when real situations occur.
I once witnessed an incident where a colleague asked for leave because she got news that her father passed away; this poor girl had to fly back to the United States to be with her family and all the Manager could think of was who would take up her duties while she was gone. Understand that you are working with other human beings, not robots.
Communicate with Your Team
Being a good leader means being able to effectively listen to your team. Effective communication is a skill that most of us still need to master. Mastering this skill comes best through practice. Try to repeat (in your mind) what the other person said in your own words-that’s the best test of your listening skills.
Being a good leader means being able to delegate tasks as equally as possible. Don’t hand more tasks to somebody because you trust them better to deliver, but rather share tasks equally and support the weaker team members.
Do Not Show Favouritism
Being a good leader means being able to be impartial. I do not dispute that we can have team members that we appreciate more than others, but it is important not to show it to the other team members. Favouritism fosters animosity between team members which later causes a lack of unity.
Motivate Your Team
Being a good leader means being able to inspire those around you. We all feel demotivated at times and it is your job as a leader to lift the spirits of your team. You can motivate them by giving rewards, sending inspirational messages and acknowledging good work.
This post really resonated with me because I think about leadership constantly, especially now.
What I Didn’t Like Seeing Early On
As a child, I had a limited amount of experience in the way of leadership … but I had ideas about what I wanted to see in a leader.
I can’t say which trait is most important, but from my experience, I hated favoritism and the unfair delegation of tasks. There were times when I felt that some teammates were receiving preferential treatment. It’s never good to be on the outside looking in. And the worst part is how that translated to receiving tasks.
Also, there were times when the self-appointed leader did not trust the rest of the team. That made us feel inadequate, but also sapped all the fun out of certain projects.
That reminds me: trust is another important component to leadership. Without it, they will be no fair delegation of tasks or any significant progress.
How I See Leadership Today
Now, as a leader, I think these three things are most important for me to be effective: communication, the delegation of tasks, and transparency.
Everyone needs to have good communication. We need to know how things should be done and who should do it. We should also be available to help each other, respond to questions, and get things done in a timely matter.
I want everyone to receive a fair amount of work. That way, everyone can fulfill their duties and we can make the most progress.
As a leader, I need to be transparent. Teammates need to know what’s going on, how it affects them, and how each process works. People also need to be made aware of any changes to processes.
And there’s another caveat to transparency. As I was recently told, leaders need to let their subordinates know enough about the leader’s job that will help the team in case of emergency or departures. There will come a time when leadership duties are to be handed off, so there should be a smooth transition.
Also: If the leader does a good enough job, two good things can happen. First, the next person will be able to seamlessly pick up where the former leader left off. Second, the leader might just be promoted.
That’s something to think about, isn’t it?
Regarding the story about the manager: I know how that could be have been handled better.
Sympathy comes first and foremost. When you’re a leader and one of your subordinates has an emergency, you need to make it about them first. Ask them how they’re doing and how much time they think they need and say some comforting words.
Of course, there is a job to do, and you can’t let one worker go MIA. There are tactful ways of saying this along with letting the worker know about their options. Just never say or imply that their concerns are insignificant, especially when it’s a personal or family emergency.
2 thoughts on “5 Ways to Become a Better Leader”
I have rarely experienced the purity of such leadership. If a leader does not “pay their dues” to lead, I suspect a humbug.
Could you elaborate?