We are not all natural born leaders but we all have the ability to grow into a leadership role. However, as history demonstrates being a leader is not always easy and these roles tend to have a definite expiration date attached, but this date is entirely dependent on you as a leader.
Being a bad manager is one of the biggest complaints people grumble about to colleagues and friends, and it is a large cause of workplace friction. But you can avoid becoming a poor leader or manager by using a few tips...
Failing to delegate and manage time effectively creates unnecessary stress, promotes a poor work/life balance and ultimately de-motivates employees. As a leader the company will have placed additional responsibilities on your shoulders - but you have a team for a reason. Being able to delegate tasks and manage your time effectively are some of the reasons you will have been promoted to a leadership role.
Remember that your team is there to help you and there is nothing wrong with asking someone to help or requesting that they complete a task on your behalf.
Stressing out over deadlines
Strong leaders don’t constantly run in ‘red alert’, they review their deadlines and utilize their resources appropriately. A poor leader will allow deadlines to stress them out and not delegate the work load. When you are stressed you are not functioning at your best and this can result in ineffective communication and demotivating your team. Instead of allowing the workload to build up, consider the short, medium and long-term projects your team has, think about the team members and their strengths, and then establish a plan.
Abusing leadership role
Abusing power through behaviour such as talking dismissively to staff, not listening to their needs and ideas, and failing to inspire them affects people in the workplace. So we should all be aware of the consequences of an abuse of power.
Appreciating your role as part of a wider system can help to address this, so remembering that you are a cog in the larger machine is key. You and your team are all working to achieve the same thing, a positive result, hitting targets and meeting deadlines, but if you abuse your position of power your team will be demotivated and fail to meet their targets.
And, remember, our position can be under threat if your team under performs.
Involve staff in decisions
One of the best ways to ensure your team's loyalty and motivation is to involve them when making critical decisions. This not only allows you to gain their support but you can also gather ideas. However, do not be afraid to make the tough decisions. A good leader is happy to make the final decision once listening to their team.
Above all, cultivating a flexible communication style, dealing positively with others and finding a good mentor all help to ensure long-term career success, and the longer your team flourishes the longer you will retain your leadership status.