10 Smart Tips to Improve Your Leadership Skills

Tonnie Elumelu African Leader

Ask any performance coaches out there in the world and they will tell you the one golden rule of leadership:

The Best Managers Are Those Who Help Their Teams Succeed!

Jeff Haden – Editor at Inc.com

Leadership is about communication, feedback, coaching, teamwork, respect, and consideration. Here are some insights on how to improve your leadership skills:

1. Feedback is critical
Give actionable feedback that helps people improve their performance.

2. Do not micromanage
Empower your team and avoid getting involved in details that should be handled at other levels

3. Treat your people, like people
Show consideration for them. Be “accessible” and coach your team members using problems as teaching moments

4. Sometimes you have to agree to disagree
Learn to value other people’s perspective, even if their perspective is different from yours

5. Keep the team focused on the big picture
Always remember to keep the team focused on results – the Wildly Important Goals (WIGs). You can identify your WIG by asking this question. “If all factors remaining constant, what one achievement would make everything else seem secondary?”

6. Information is Power
Always keep the relevant information flowing both up and down the chain. This is critical in managing expectations so as to deliver results. Communication, especially around the goals, needs to be clear and concise. Take tough decisions where necessary and make sure everyone understands the reasons behind those decisions

7. Take the time to know your people
Always take time to have meaningful discussions with each team member about their career development. Preferably every six months

8. Get into the habit of measuring what needs to be managed
Agree on a result-oriented evaluation framework with each team member and how this ties to their performance bonus and career development

9. No favouritism, no discrimination, just leadership
Reward those who perform and discipline those who fail to perform with equal conviction and without discrimination. The evaluation framework is supposed to track whether someone is on the path to reward or discipline. Check on it regularly and see how to make corrections as you go along

10. Harness the power of fear
Cultivate a healthy fear that will not only keep you going but will also help you focus on your goals. Leverage this fear into vision and strategy to remain one step ahead of your competition

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