25 Ways To Become A Great Leader

Whether you’re the leader of a business, a floor manager, a classroom teacher, the captain of a sports team, or the lead singer of a rock band, being a leader takes more than just the nerve to be in the spotlight. Being a leader requires both skill and patience, and the knowledge to think logically and handle situations with discipline and care. That being said, being or becoming a great leader doesn’t simply happen overnight.

To become a great leader you must first learn to think like one of your inferiors. Ask yourself, “If I could tell my boss what I wanted from him on a daily basis, what would I say?” Whatever your answer is, that is what you should utilize for the leader in you. After that, you can learn to follow these 25 rules that every person should learn to live by if your goal is to be a great leader.

1. Be an example.

The best way to lead is to lead by example. If you have certain expectations for your employees or your working environment, be sure that you are following these expectations yourself. Others will notice your attention to such details and make an effort (either consciously or subconsciously) to follow your example.

2. Listen to your team.

A good leader is able and willing to hear the concerns and opinions of his or her team members. Making decisions based on your team’s feelings or knowledge of the situation will show them that you respect and value their opinions and passion about the job.

3. Make firm decisions, and stick to them.

Listening to your team members is a great way to show respect, but occasionally you will have to make a decision yourself, based on other factors and your personal knowledge and experience. When this occasion arises, it is important that you lay down your decision but in a humble and respectful manner.

4. Be consistent.

In order to maintain the respect of your employees or team members, it is important to practice consistency. Do not make decisions based on reasoning that contradicts your logic in making decisions in the past. Make a policy, mission statement, or philosophy to live by, and always make decisions based around those parameters.

5. Have passion in your work.

Being passionate about the work you do keeps your team motivated to do their best work and take pride in having you as their leader. Stay in touch with your emotions and let your passion and pride in your work show.

6. Follow the routines/habits of your role models.

We all have role models and people we aspire to live and work like, whether you are in business, athletics, or any other form of industry. Consider what industry leaders you look up to as role models for your team or business, and set goals on how you can better your team by following their example.

7. Trust your team to get the job done.

You should interfere with your team’s working process only when it is absolutely necessary. Allowing your team members to do their individual jobs builds trust and respect, and is a great way to build team morale and produce good work.

8. Know your strengths and weaknesses.

You cannot expect to lead if you cannot appreciate your own flaws. Learning to accept help when you need it and build upon the skills and knowledge that you have already developed can help you become a involved and productive leader that your team will appreciate working for.

9. Accept unpredictable factors with patience.

John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” In other words, shit happens. How you deal with it defines who you are as a leader, and as a person. Always be patient, and approach complications with an open mind, and together with your team, you will find an appropriate solution.

10. Choose a team you can trust and depend on.

A team without trust is like a boat without a hull. It simply does not work. Being able to trust your team members is crucial to your success and productivity.

11. Don’t make excuses.

When something goes wrong, don’t just sit and mope and look for excuses. Instead, put your efforts towards finding a practical solution to the problem and make a plan for your team to solve it.

12. Forgive and forget.

Even though you may trust your team members with your life or livelihood, it is important to remember that we are all human. Everyone makes mistakes. When a team member makes a mistake, remember to be understanding and find a way to help them resolve the issue, especially if they were honest enough to come to you with their mistake. That being said, someone who constantly makes the same or new mistakes over and over should be handled accordingly. You, as the leader, will make mistakes too, and when you do it is important that you forgive yourself as well. Again, don’t mope, simply find a solution to the problem, and move on.

13. Do your research.

Before making a decision, it is important that you, as leader, know all of the factors that will affect the outcome of that decision. Conduct as much research as you can in order to best prepare yourself for what comes next.

14. Stay humbled.

Acting arrogant or big-headed will only make your team disrespect you and not want to work or follow your guidance. Remember, respect is the key to productivity.

15. Think rationally and logically.

Leaders must always try to make decisions based on rational thought and deductive reasoning. Allowing emotion and personal bias to influence your decision will only hinder your ability to make decisions that are best for the team or company.

16. Be reasonable.

Being reasonable does not mean having no expectations. That being said, it is important to be realistic about your expectations and goals. For example, someone who is in a wheelchair is not likely to set a goal to climb Mount Everest because it is simply unreasonable or unrealistic.

17. Always be willing to learn.

There is always new information that can help you improve your business, team productivity, or your leader or management skills. You should always be willing to learn as a leader, and pass on your newly acquired knowledge to your team.

18. Set goals for yourself and the team.

Having an end goal for the team is crucial in helping you to work to achieve it. You should, however, encourage your team to set their own individual goals as well. This will help them to grow both as professional individuals and as a team in general.

19. Maintain determination and perseverance.

As leader, you must always keep the team’s end goal in mind and have a strategy to help you achieve it. Conducting team-building activities is a great way to maintain morale and keep the team determined. Celebrating your accomplishments is also a great way to promote pride and perseverance, just be sure you don’t celebrate everything in order to avoid spoiling your success.

20. Be open and approachable.

Be sure that your team members feel like they can approach you with an issue or question. If your team is hesitant to approach you with a problem, then the likelihood of that problem being resolved is very low.

21. Know when it’s necessary, and be willing to change the plan.

As the leader, you must keep an eye on the progress of the whole group, as well as deal with individual issues along the way. If you find your plan of action or the team’s approach to accomplishing your goal is not working, don’t be afraid to make adjustments. As the leader, your primary function is to guide the group towards accomplishing the end goal, so you must be prepared for any obstacles you encounter along the way.

22. Learn from your mistakes.

Making mistakes is a part of growing. When you or one of your team members makes a mistake, do not jump to be the disciplinarian or stress over the issue. Instead, analyze the situation, determine the mistake that was made, and think of ways to improve your approach so that you avoid making the same mistake next time.

23. Be considerate of your team.

It is important to make sure that your team members are not becoming stressed out or distracted from their work. Always encourage them and provide positive or constructive feedback, and be involved. It’s also important to treat everyone equally, and not seek out close, personal relationships with any one person or group of people.

24. Use team-building exercises.

Getting the team together to play some team-building exercises and activities from time to time is a great way to keep up morale and productivity. You might also consider taking everyone out for dinner or drinks after work or to a football game. Anything that builds trust and comradery is a great exercise that will help your team members work better and keep their individual goals in line with the team’s goal.

25. Enjoy yourself.

If you do not enjoy what you do, you cannot convey passion and determination enough to motivate your team to accomplish the end goal. If you begin to view your work as simply work, pause and ask yourself, “Is there something else I would rather be doing.” If the answer is no, then use your newfound passion to continue working. If the answer is yes, it might be time to reevaluate your position.