Books and books and more books have been written about how to develop successful leaders. But the best advice we have found comes from those in the trenches…those who are learning as they go, those in the midst of action learning for leadership development. Here are their tips:
- Show that you care. Develop personal relationships with your team. Spend the one-on-one time to get a complete picture of what motivates them and what they like to do.
- Give timely, specific feedback. Even if the news is bad, it is better to be truthful than unclear. If the feedback is fuzzy, the employee does not understand what is going wrong and how to improve.
- Solicit feedback on your own performance. The best leaders are continuous learners. Ask for what you can do better and then follow through. This is the way to lead by example.
- Do not make decisions in a vacuum. Ask your team what they think as you near a decision. Listen well, consider options and then decide and provide clear direction.
- Tailor your leadership style to the individual. Some need challenges; others need recognition and support. Know what works and adapt to their needs and the situation.