You’re reading this because you want to be a better leader. That’s a great start! Sometimes it can be difficult to see a list of twenty things that you need to do to become a better leader. So we are going to keep it simple and just focus on five things that you can do this week to become a better leader.
You don’t have to plan a banquet or call an assembly in order to honor someone. Honor others by putting their needs above your own. Honor others by giving them the information they need to succeed – don’t assume they already have it all. Honor others by talking to them and not about them.
Embrace Hard Conversations
Our job as leaders is not to keep the peace – our job is to disrupt for the benefit of our people and our organizations. How many times have you avoided a hard conversation? Refusing to address the issue doesn’t help anyone – it stunts growth and doesn’t show honor. It creates a culture of mediocrity and secrecy. Hard conversations create trust and build unity.
Defend Your Unity
Don’t let the small things slide. Address them now so they don’t become bigger problems in the future. Again, peacekeeping is not our job. Defending our unity is – and that means calling out the tiny or huge missteps that create misalignment. When others see you defending the unity of your team, they will not only defend it themselves, but will often stop saying or doing the things that were a threat in the first place.
Give Honest Feedback
What if people expected you to never make mistakes? Do you expect that of your team? Or do you tell them what they are doing well along with where they can improve? People need to hear what they are doing right – often, privately and publicly. But just as important is telling them what they did not do well. That shows that you believe they have the capacity to improve and not stay stuck where they are.
Don’t Create Gaps
When you don’t address things, issues begin to linger. Lingering creates gaps, which are then filled with either trust or suspicion. Gaps are sometimes unavoidable (learn how to approach them here), but often they can be bypassed by being clear and intentional with your communication.
How many issues that you are facing came to mind as you read these five areas where you can improve as a leader this week? Take the principles and put them into action – and next week, you will be a better leader than you are today.