While many people try to learn to manage others on the job, it is not a skill that comes naturally to everyone. Most managers need to reflect on their actions and decide how to conduct themselves when leading their employees.
Imroj Singh, a trucking industry entrepreneur, describes the process of becoming a quality leader, focusing on some of the traits that a leader needs to be successful.
Aspects of Becoming a Better Leader
When people are involved in a team as individual contributors, they may feel confident about their abilities to the point where they believe they would be good managers. They believe that if they can do their work well, they should lead a team doing this type of work.
However, technical and industry expertise does not make you a better leader. Leading people requires a special skill set. To lead a team, you must motivate people, connect with them, and inspire them to reach shared objectives.
Leading a team means that you must experience personal development. Unfortunately, many leaders neglect this part of their jobs in favor of easy “shortcuts” to getting to know themselves and their employees well.
Leaders need to understand how their actions, feelings, and thoughts affect their team. This is more important than going through boilerplate assessments like personality tests and other pseudoscientific approaches.
Quality leaders are introspective enough to see whether they are making mistakes when relating to their employees. In addition to introspection, they can take direction from their team in the form of honest feedback. Too frequently, employees are afraid to honestly rate their superiors because they are wary of upsetting them and making them behave harshly.
Ideally, employees should not be motivated by fear of their boss. This is similar to parenting in a way. Employees, like children, need to be inspired by their positive personal relationship with their boss and by a sincere dedication to a common goal.
To accomplish this goal, a spirit of camaraderie should be built between the supervisor and their team as well as within the team itself. When team members care for each other and want each other to succeed, they will be far more likely to cooperate than to backstab each other to curry favor continually.
Build a Culture of Openness
Even if you can’t have an “open-door policy” for your employees because you are simply too busy, it is a good idea to allow your employees to make appointments with you at any time to discuss their issues. Some issues that employees often need help with include the equitable distribution of work between team members and unproductive behavior in the office.
As a supervisor, learning to listen and give pronouncements is essential that you will not necessarily learn in business school. Being a good leader involves having some level of empathy for your employees.
Good leaders take the time to celebrate their employees’ progress. Whether this is through direct employee bonuses or retreat trips, leaders have the power to reward their employees for their hard work. When it is impossible to give a bonus or hold a special event, merely writing a letter of appreciation and putting it in an employee’s file can be a significant gesture.
Mentorship is another positive aspect of leadership. When you become a mentor to a younger or less experienced person in your field, you have the opportunity to help shape their careers.
The advantages include higher pay and faster growth in salaries, more promotions, better job satisfaction, and a greater commitment to the organization for those who are mentored. Mentors also benefit from the relationship, having better job satisfaction and a strengthened network.
Professional Support Network
Mentoring someone means that they have joined your professional support network. While they rely on you, you can also depend on them.
To be a positive mentor, it is a great idea to set realistic goals for your role. Decide what kind of support you will be providing. Establishing short-term goals can be a big help in starting your mentorship journey on the right foot.
Just as it is with leading a team, listening is a huge part of being a good mentor. Get to know them as a person, from their interests to hobbies. You should also let them know these things about yourself to foster your relationship.
Give Honest Feedback
Giving truthful feedback is another key skill when it comes to being a mentor. Sometimes mentees do things that sabotage themselves, and as a mentor, you should be honest and let them know what they need to change. If they are making positive strides, take the time to celebrate them.
Introducing your protege to your network is one of the greatest benefits they can receive. Take them to meetings and conferences and include them in networking events.
Being a Positive Leader and Mentor
These tips from Imroj Singh should help leaders reshape the way they interact with their employees. Above all, honesty, consistency, good listening skills, and fairness will help you go far as a leader. Mentors can expand on their leadership skills by taking on a one-on-one relationship with a younger or less experienced professional.