Leadership is something we experience throughout our whole life. We see leaders emerge in classrooms, we learn about and trust world leaders, and we interact with leaders everyday in our jobs. Leaders are an important part of society, but knowing how to be a good leader is more difficult than you may think. Oftentimes people are pushed into leadership roles with little to no training or preparation and it shows in our current workforce with 38% of new leaders failing within their first 18 months.
Not everyone is born with the skills to be a leader, but it is something we can all learn to achieve. The benefits of good leadership not only help co-workers and companies, it can also be beneficial to personal growth. Good leadership can make or break the success of a company, keep reading to learn more about their importance and how to create better leaders.
What Does Good Leadership Look Like?
Good leadership can come in a variety of forms. One thing all good leaders should aim to achieve is the ability to bring a diverse group of people together in pursuit of a common goal. Highlighting strengths and encouraging coworkers are great signs of a good leader by creating a positive work environment to work together. When a group of people can complete a task without arguing or getting angry with each other in an unhealthy way, that is a sign of good leadership.
Leaders should also be value focused in what they do every day. Setting good examples that are aligned with the values of a company will bring these values to life. Acknowledging other coworkers who act with company values in mind also encourages others to act the same way. Lead by example and others will follow.
Overall, a good leader is someone who is confident in their team and trusts that they can get their job done without needing to step in often. It is the job of a leader to create positivity, establish confidence, and become a role model for their fellow coworkers in order to see good results. How these ideas get accomplished may be different from leader to leader, which is why having many different kinds of leaders is important.
Leadership versus Management
It is very common to confuse leadership with management – but they are not the same thing! While leadership is defined by a role that encourages coworkers to work and collaborate without the help of the leader, a manager is the opposite. Managers are usually in charge of operating day-to-day functions by assigning tasks to people and making sure what needs to get done gets done. While leaders motivate employees to achieve more and encourage growth, managers focus on controlling and planning objectives for employees.
An easy way to tell the difference between an employee who shows signs of leadership versus an employee showing signs of management is the kinds of questions they ask at work. Leaders are more likely to ask questions such as “what” and “why” while managers focus on the “how” and “when”. A leader may ask why a certain process is done a certain way and a manager may ask when a task needs to be completed.
Both leaders and managers are essential to all successful organizations. You cannot have one without the other. While leaders think about the bigger picture for employees and the organization, managers are there to ground the organization and ensure that the everyday processes get completed. A person can also be both a manager and a leader. Regardless of if someone is a manager or a leader, both require practice in order to be effective at it.
Why is it Important to Have Good Leaders?
The most crucial reason to have good leaders is because they create passion and inspire employees. A great leader should be able to get employees to buy into an organisation’s values and goals through their own passion for the success of the company.
When good leaders are present in an organisation, they often invest in their people. In return, the organisation will see more growth in their employees and increase retention rates. If people are passionate and feel important to the success of an organisation, it is less likely that they will leave. Commitment to coworkers and the company increases when there are leaders who show interest and care towards employees.
Finally, having good leaders at work is the foundation for building better relationships and trust between coworkers. A key component to leadership is being open and honest with coworkers, even when it may be difficult. Employees will always appreciate honesty over secrecy and it will encourage them to turn to leaders in times of need. When employees can trust their leaders and know that they have their best interest at heart, they can focus more on their job at hand.
How to Become a Better Leader
Now that it has been established that leaders are crucial to the success of a company, you may be wondering how you can become a better leader. Here are just a few examples of characteristics that make a good leader:
Ask for and provide feedback – employees will respect you more if you are able to provide constructive feedback without bringing them down. It is also important to be open to hearing feedback from employees on how to improve.
Always remember there is room for growth – you should always be trying to find ways to improve your leadership skills and search out resources such as leadership training and seminars. Studies have shown that people who participate in leadership training have increased performance by 20%.
Become a goal setter – for yourself and with employees. Help employees set long term goals that allow them to see a future for themself within the company.
Increase your creativity – often when employees come to leaders with a problem, it will require a more creative solution. It’s good to try and think more outside of the box as a leader because it is likely that the employee has already sought out all other ideas and options before coming to you.
Becoming a leader within an organisation is something to be proud of. It can often be hard work creating an inspiring and positive work environment for employees, but it is not impossible! There are ways to make leadership a bit easier such as communicating with other leaders within the company for help and guidance, and finding the proper tools to help in your decision making. This is where hug is here to help! hug is an award winning platform that focuses on the analysis of employee wellbeing through the use of surveys and recommends helpful resources to increase wellbeing. Caring about the wellbeing of employees is another way to build a better relationship and connect with coworkers. Try hug today to better your leadership skills and gain a better understanding of your employees!