According to the global analytics firm Gallup, only 1 out of 10 people are natural leaders. But if we pay close attention to what’s happening around us, we find a higher percentage of people in leadership positions. So, the question then is, how is that possible?
Well, according to data, companies don’t appoint a person with the required skill set for a managerial position 82% of the time. This means that most of the people we find in leadership roles are underqualified for their jobs.
What do these managers do to lead their teams effectively then?
Well, the answer is simple. While most of us aren’t natural-born leaders, there are some leadership best practices that we can learn and practice to become outstanding leaders.
This article lays out some of the most effective leadership practices that you can adopt. Make sure you read and implement these leadership practices to lead your teams effectively towards success.
What Are The Most Effective Leadership Practices?
We have the perfect list of leadership practices for you. Continue reading below to know what they are.
1. Understand Your Team Members
The best leaders understand their teams really well. As a leader, know the strengths and weaknesses of your team. Try to understand what sorts of challenges your team is facing, and what you can do to overcome them.
The better you understand your team, the more effectively you will lead them. There are several actions you can take to understand your employees well. You just have to figure out what works the best in your situation.
Many effective leaders take their team out from time to time. Perhaps that could be a good starting point.
2. Don’t Micromanage Them
One of the most significant leadership practices is empowering your employees so each can bring his A-game forward. It’s about hiring the right people and then having faith in them.
Let your employees make their decisions themselves. Yes, getting involved now and then is OK. But if you need to micromanage your team every time, then you aren’t doing your job the right way.
Once you trust your team and allow them to call the shots, they will soon reward you for putting your trust in them. Not micromanaging will also allow you to focus on the more important stuff. It’s a win-win, no?
3. Lead By Example
As they say, “actions speak louder than words“. If you don’t follow what you preach, you will soon lose your credibility and respect. And as a leader, that’s the last thing you want to happen.
Leaders should be an inspiration for their team, someone the team can trust when times are tough. And the best way to do that is to lead by example and fulfill what you promise.
If you believe in creating a work-life balance, you can not expect your employees to reply to your emails at midnight. If courage and out-of-the-box ideas are something you value, reward your employees when they show courage and bring new ideas to the table. Your leadership practices should inspire motivation and respect from your employees..
4. Effective Leaders Always Know How to Prioritize
More often than not, the things that need to be done will always exceed the resources to complete them. Things can get hard to handle. But prominent leaders are always good at prioritizing.
Knowing what to do first and allocating your resources to only the most important tasks is an important skill talented leaders possess.
Instead of asking your employees to do a bunch of tasks in a very limited time, train them to focus on the important things first. Leadership practices such as this one will benefit from the 80-20 rule significantly.
Focussing on one thing at a time will increase productivity and efficiency at your workplace. Ultimately resulting in better outcomes for the company.
5. Listen and Observe
With countless information flowing freely around us, it is extremely important to listen to them. But be careful about identifying what sort of stuff is worth listening to.
Listening carefully allows effective leaders to identify problems, find solutions, and resolve potential obstacles.
Observing allows a leader to notice the body language and motivation levels of his employees. If a leader feels like there’s an issue, he can always take steps to correct it.
6. Know Your Boundaries
It is always nice to have good relationships with your co-workers and employees. A friendly working environment is great for the firm. But as a leader, it is essential to always know where to draw the line.
If one of your employees is a good friend of yours, that should not change how you treat them at work. A skilled leader knows everyone is equal and treats their team accordingly.
Giving unfair benefits to someone you know over other employees is also unethical. And definitely not a practice of an effective leader!
7. Give Frequent Feedback
Most organizations have an annual employee performance review system. And while they are important, it can also be beneficial for the company if leaders give frequent and real-time feedback. This will help increase the performance of your employees significantly.
Appreciate when you see someone doing a good job. It increases their confidence and motivates them to put more effort and continue doing a good job.
Similarly, pointing out mistakes in someone’s work is also beneficial. It will save trouble and time. It will help the employee realize their mistakes and give them a chance to learn from them.
In these COVID times, when most employees are working from home, a few words of appreciation can really boost your employees’ confidence. It will also make them feel important and appreciated.
8. Think Long Term
One of the key responsibilities of a leader is to make strategic decisions for the future of the organization. They have to do so while keeping in mind the vision and the purpose of the organization.
Focussing on the future of the firm can be hard if a leader has his focus on every small everyday decision. That is why it is so essential to empower your employees to make small decisions.
This strategy allows effective leaders to think for the future of the firm and take steps that are in the company’s best interests.
9. Keep an Eye Out for New Talent
To always be on the lookout for new talent is one of the more useful leadership practices. To be successful, you must have a team of talented individuals. Influential leaders hire the right people for the right job.
Having all your positions filled does not mean you should stop looking for new people with the right skill set in the market. Staying up-to-date on new talent will help a leader hire better once they have some open positions at the company.
It is the right talent at your company that plays a major role in its success. The better the talent, the higher the chances of your company producing excellent results.
10. Spend Some Time Alone
Last but not the least, one of the best leadership practices is to spend a few hours alone every week. Doing this allows effective leaders to reflect on the progress of the company, find areas of improvement, and plan better for the future.
Being a leader can be very overwhelming. Hence, spending a few hours alone to gather your thoughts can be useful for the future.
Be a Leader Who Inspires
Leadership is a skill. And like every other skill, the more you practice it, the better you will become at it. It’s true that some people are better leaders than others. But that does not mean you can not become one.
Whenever you feel like reflecting on some of the best leadership practices, read this article and implement its teachings in your life. You will soon see a positive change in your leadership.
If you enjoyed reading this post, you might find it interesting to learn about the inspiring life of Abraham Lincoln or how transactional and transformational leaders operate. One transformational leader whose style we’ve explored is Elon Musk, a notable innovator who has a billionaire mindset.