Have you ever wondered what it takes to be an exceptional leader? And how you can develop even greater respect, trust and support from your colleagues, business partners or team members? Do you ever get frustrated by your team’s behaviour and performance? Would you like to unlock the leadership potential in yourself and your people so that you can exceed your business targets and goals?
A leader is someone who guides others to excellence. Whether you are in a team of one or more, whether you work alone or with many employees, colleagues or business partners, you will at some stage need to lead others to produce a specific outcome or result. Before you can successfully lead others, first you need to be able to successfully lead yourself.
Here are 3 success strategies you can implement to become an exceptional leader of yourself and, therefore, of others.
Strategy 1 - Develop a great relationship with yourself!
The best way to successfully lead yourself is to have a great relationship with yourself. The extent to which you have a great relationship with yourself will be reflected in the relationship you have with others, including your team. Like attracts like. If your relationship with yourself is negative and if you beat up on yourself instead of acknowledging your successes, you will find that you will attract people in your team who are also negative. If you question or doubt your own decisions, instead of trusting yourself to make decisions, others will doubt your decisions too. The people in your team are your feedback as to the quality of the relationship you have with yourself.
The better quality relationship you have with yourself, the better will be your ability to lead yourself and others to success. Therefore, it is important to be free of your own fears, self doubts and negative self talk. To the extent that these are there, they will impact on your ability to make decisions, to value and respect yourself and your time, to have clear boundaries and to lead a team.
For example, if a leader is uncomfortable with themselves as a person and questions their own ability, wants to be liked and accepted by their team, this may result in the team behaving in ways that are not appropriate (eg. making excuses or blaming others for not taking action, etc). A leader’s fears and self doubts can encourage inappropriate behaviour and, therefore, the level of respect and performance the leader receives from the team. It may even result in frustration and conflict within the team.
Strategy 2 - Develop the key traits of a leader!
Exceptional leaders are “people” people and know how to build great relationships. Regardless of the business you are in, we are all in the business of selling relationships – with our customers, prospects, employees, investors, partners and anyone! So knowing how to build rapport and trust quickly is critical to a leader’s ability to motivate a team into action. Exceptional leaders are also great communicators and influencers and have the flexibility to communicate their message to anyone, regardless of their personality differences and communication and processing styles.
Exceptional leaders are great visionaries, who focus on the vision, objectives and goals and know how to mobilise their team and other resources in the most effective way to achieve the best result possible. They focus on the big picture, know how to inspire others with their vision and how to enlist their support. They also have the ability to be objective (to be empathetic while being free of emotional attachment) and are, therefore, better able to identify the underlying issues and problems and nip them in the bud quickly. They think laterally and outside the box and trust themselves to take risks.
They focus on results and utilising resources effectively and efficiently to achieve desired objectives and results and they embrace innovative strategies and look for better ways to achieve outcomes. They understand the individuals in the team so well that they know which individual is best suited for which role and how to get the best performance from that individual in that role. Also they know how to identify and reward excellence in a team and how to replicate that excellence across the other individuals in the team – that is true empowerment!
Strategy 3 - Learn exceptional leadership skills!
Regardless of whether you have a team of one or team of hundreds, your team will test your leadership skills. The law of reciprocity states that how you treat your team is how they will treat you as a leader in return. Treat yourself and them with respect and they will treat you with respect – you will earn their respect.
Exceptional leaders have the ability to influence, motivate and inspire others into action and they understand exactly what drives each member of their team so they can bring out their potential and empower them to achieve exceptional performance. They have the ability to transcend roles and enable individuals to find real meaning and purpose in their work.
By empowering your team, you will excite, energise and enlist their support in working harmoniously towards your business goals and objectives. Empower means brining out the “power” and resources within others. Remember that everyone has all the resources they need to success – your role as a leader is to assist your team to tap into those resources so that they can transform their performance to excellence and together you can create win-win outcomes.
So if you want to become an exceptional leader, first invest in developing a great relationship with yourself, then develop your leadership traits and skills. This will unlock your leadership potential so that you too can easily empower yourself and your team to produce exceptional results!