How to Become a More Successful Leader in 2018

What are your goals as a manager in 2018? Whether they involve launching new products, expanding your client portfolio, or doubling profits, you should always remember one thing: your success depends on the engagement of your team, on your relationship with them. According to Gallup research, compared to their disengaged colleagues, engaged employees:

  • Work faster - their turnover time is 59% lower
  • Are more productive - their productivity is 17% higher
  • Are more profitable - they bring 21% higher profits
  • Increase customer satisfaction - their customer rating is 10% higher
  • Work safer - they are involved in 70% fewer safety incidents
  • Have better work presence - they have 41% fewer absences
  • They are more loyal

To sum up, the most successful leaders excel at team engagement, and your success in 2018 depends on your ability to follow their footsteps. Here is what these people have in common and what strengths you need to develop in order to match their achievements and engage your team this year. 

5 Great Strengths of a Leader

1. Purpose

2017 report of the University of Sussex shows that employees are more productive and happier with their work when they have leaders with strong morals, clear vision, and commitment towards the organization and its stakeholders. Otherwise put, if you want them to be loyal and committed to your organization, you need to give them a purpose, to set an example.  

2. Confidence

2016 UTSA study concluded that confidence is the most important strength of a leader. According to the study, leaders who show confidence in their teams' creativity actually boost creativity and productivity. Those who abuse their employees and put too much pressure on them end up increasing stress levels and inhibiting creativity and productivity. You have to believe in your employees to make them believe in themselves and their leader. 

3. Empowerment

November 2017 study published in Frontiers in Psychology shows that when leaders empower their employees, trusting them to make decisions and come up with solutions, the latter become more proactive, more responsible, and more loyal. If you want your team members to reach their full potential, you have to give them more opportunities, to allow them to think for themselves. As Steve jobs advised, it doesn't make sense to hire smart people if you tell them what to do. Instead, you should sometimes let them tell you what to do, or just get out of their way for a while to see what they are capable of. 

4. Availability

Just as you expect your team members to be available whenever you need them, show them you are available when they need you. Dan Schawbel anticipated a couple of months ago that workplace human interactivity would prevail in 2018. Start interacting with your employees more, not just to discuss work projects, but to get to know them personally, to listen to their pains and troubles, to take joy in their achievements.

You need to connect with them to make them feel more connected to you, and you should use all means available to do so, from your work email accounts to more personal social networks like Facebook. Social groups help boost productivity and keep employee morale up, so don't hesitate to use them. Make yourself available for discussions and click that "Like" button every now and then The results will soon start showing.

5. Care

The welfare of your employees determines the welfare of your business. If you succeed or at least try to boost your employees' satisfaction regarding their income and workplace conditions, they will do their best to improve your satisfaction with their work. Show interest in their financial situation and help them improve it if you can. Pay attention to their health problems and try to increase workplace comfort and safety.

Perhaps you will not be able to live up to the companies that offer spa subscriptions or office massage sessions to their employees. However, a small bonus now and then, better health insurance coverage, cleaner and better-lit offices, coffee breaks in a friendlier space, or pizza and beer when working overtime are excellent initiatives. As Dan Schawbel anticipated, your employees' financial and mental wellness should be a priority in 2018. 

What You Need to Do

If you want to be successful this year, you need your team's input, and you need to motivate them to give their best. They do not need a boss to remind them what they stand to lose if they do not perform. They need a leader who will show them the path to success. They need someone to believe in them and support them to reach their full potential.

As a leader, you are only as good as your weakest member. You can stay locked in your office, sending emails, setting goals, and asking reports, firing people and hiring new ones to take their place, or you can brainstorm with your team and roll up your sleeves to get the job done. You can come in late and leave you office early, or you can show your team they can count on you when things get tough too, not just for team building and celebrations. 

A true leader takes responsibility for their team's failure and gives them credit for their achievements. A great leader sets an example for every team member to follow. Such actions bring employees together and consolidate teams. Yes, sometimes employees are not fit for a job, or they simply have different goals. However, if the rest of the team is on the same page, that employee will find themselves isolated and forced to quit or adjust. 

This year, leadership success starts with opening one's heart and office door, sharpening one's ears and negotiation skills for the benefit of the team, and working hard to motivate others work just as hard. As a team, you are in a boat lost at sea. Will you row together and bring the boat to shore, or will you fight over who rows better or faster and become shark food?

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