Most good or at least effective leaders have offered the people what they wanted and by and large provided it. Regardless of what history tells us about Hitler, he was able to get the German people on board because he offered them a way out of the hard life they had. He was eloquent and seemed sincere which is why so many people trusted him. He had reeled them in and made them think he was their savior and by the time they found out the truth it was too late.
There are many different types of leader and they will not all have the same impact on history as Hitler but they can play an important part in the lives of the people they lead. There are some similarities and it would be hard to argue with Barack Obama when he says that vision for the future is the most important attribute needed to lead. Others would suggest experience while there could also be the ability to know everything that goes on but never being seen. Whichever view you hold, if you are going to be asked to lead a team there are things you should consider.
Leading a Team
Whether it is a sports team or a team within a company that needs a leader, the ability to lead and motivate is the same. It may be a compliment to be asked to lead but there should be a real desire to succeed and help others succeed. While you may be the leader you may not have a say in who is put into the team. It is important that you treat them all the same and offer the same degree of help to anyone who struggles.
In the Workplace
When leading a team in a workplace make sure that your team know you are there for them. SO often managers tell their group that their door is always open and while that may be the case the office is often empty. You can’t be in two places at once, but if you need to be away let them know and try to get someone to cover for you. Make the most of the potential you see in each person. They may not have had the chance to develop but there is no harm in starting to train at any age.
A good leader will never be too busy to join in the good times. If it is someone’s birthday sit in the main office and eat cake with them or invite them into yours. After a good or bad day go for a drink. There is no need to stay all night, and at first they may be glad if you don’t but once you are established you will be welcome and your willingness to get involved will be appreciated.
Keep the team on their toes. They may know the job but could become complacent. It would be understandable if someone did the same job day in and day out suddenly found they were a bit stale. They could miss out on a promotion of they are not regularly motivated and this could lead to dissent in the office. Review their work and be kind but honest about the outcomes. Praise heavily and thank them if the results are good but make it clear if they are bad. There does not have to be threats but encouragement for the good you could find the promise of help to make the improvements.
Dealing With the Workload
A good leader will share out the work fairly and not keep the best bits back for themselves. By delegating some of the most important aspects – as long as you are not setting someone up to fail – staff will feel good about the trust you have in them and the chance to do something different. Stretch them with the promise of help if they struggle as if you don’t you risk some members of your team sitting back and relying on colleagues. They will not thank you if that happens.
Just because the last leader did not do this you can change it and this goes for any other outdated practices. Always ask what the team thinks before you do and they will feel that they are part of the decision making process.
Dealing With Issues
If you think you may need to discipline staff it is important to make sure you are not being a hypocrite. How can you call a person into your office to chastise them regarding their timekeeping if you are always strolling in late? Check on yourself from time to time by discussing the running of the department with someone else that has the same sort of role to you. You may find they are doing things better and yet it would be so easy for you to change and do the same. If the staff are not happy with any of the sudden changes make sure you listen. It may be that their arguments are valid and you agree to do what they want, but if you need to go ahead make sure you can prove you have listened to them and are able to explain why their way is not possible.
Learned Leadership vs Instinct
Some people learn all they need to know in order to be able to lead, but some people just seem to have the ability by instinct. Confidence is important and it is hard to learn. Learning to fake sincerity is one thing but confidence is much harder. Enthusiasm is also needed and this is hard to achieve if you really do not feel it. It may be that a good leader has been lucky in as much as they have chosen to work in a field they are enthusiastic about. If you have no interest in the area you had better learn to smile and discuss it as favorably as possible as quickly as you can.
A good leader will have a good reputation and they will take it with them wherever they go. It will ensure people trust and respect them, but it must be remembered that the slightest misdemeanor can cause the reputation to be lost.
For a politician this is true more than in many other careers. Their reputation can be lost for the simplest of mistakes and it will be so hard to win back. They need to be fully aware of all the issues and be able to put in the time to make sure things are carried out correctly as this will give the public the confidence that this person will be a good leader and not just a mouth piece for the people who are really doing the work.
Leading the Team on the Pitch
Regardless of the sporting ability of a person it does not mean that they will be able to captain or inspire team mates. Often they are so busy making sure they do the right thing they forget that there are others around them. The leader needs to be able to read the game and see where colleagues should be while being in a position to tell them. They can’t hide when things go wrong and should be the first to hold their hands up and accept a share of the blame when things are going downhill.
There are a lot of benefits to be gained from being a leader but there is also a lot of responsibility.