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Simple Yet Effective Ways to Grow as a Leader

Whether you want to lead a team at a huge corporation , manage your own smaller pool of employees in your own business or do som...

Whether you want to lead a team at a huge corporation, manage your own smaller pool of employees in your own business or do something in between, it’s important to become the best manager possible if you’ll have people reporting to you.
The word “leader” gets thrown around a lot, but it’s not quite easy to be considered a good one, or to generate outstanding results. To excel in this kind of management role, you must continually take steps to grow as a leader. Read on for some simple yet effective ways that you can do just that.

Learn About Different Management Styles and Strategies

To begin with, it helps if you have a love of learning. When you read interviews with the world’s top leaders, you’ll notice that they usually talk about how they’re constantly learning new things. In particular, it’s important to learn about a variety of management styles, so you have plenty of tools in your leadership toolbelt when you start heading a team.
Furthermore, be open to stretching yourself by putting yourself in uncomfortable positions where you have to learn things on the fly. Say yes to opportunities that arise, even if they seem a bit challenging, and allow yourself to take some calculated risks and learn from your mistakes along the way. Growth comes from pushing yourself beyond your normal limits, after all.

When it comes to learning, it pays to enroll in a management course that will teach you about a wide variety of subjects. For instance, you could complete a specific program related to the area you want to work in, like online sports management masters’ programs or graduate certificates in educational administration. Alternatively, study a more general MBA degree or other business course.
You can also learn a lot from attending conferences, trade shows, seminars and other events; joining relevant industry and business groups and associations; and by reading books, white papers, blogs and forums.

Make Sure You Have Suitable Personal Characteristics

Of course, when it comes to being a top leader, it’s not just about the knowledge you have in your head or the amount of time you’ve spent managing a team. It’s also about you as a person. People who excel in leadership positions have honed a variety of helpful personal characteristics that make it easier for them to motivate and inspire a team and cope with the pressures of being at the top.

There are many traits you’ll want to have as a leader. Communication is one of the most vital. Leaders must be able to convey instructions, information and ideas to their employees in an effective way and also communicate well with other internal and external stakeholders such as business partners, investors, suppliers, contractors and journalists. When in a management role, you must also be good at listening attentively, using and understanding body language, presenting to groups and in one-on-ones, negotiating, resolving conflicts and communicating clearly in writing. 

The best leaders are also resilient and confident. They need to be, after all, to cope with the pressure of managing a workforce, often under trying conditions. Leaders have to have confidence in their abilities and in their employees to persevere during the difficult times. This confidence helps team members to stay positive and productive in turn.
To lead your workers to success, you must be a focused person, too. When you have multiple people, tasks and situations competing for your time on a daily basis, it’s easy to get distracted and finish the day realizing you haven’t really accomplished a lot. To get results, though, you must stay on task and be happy to delegate to your employees. Top leaders don’t micromanage; they have a laser-like focus when they’re working, and they also know how to say no when they need to.

Get Advice From Mentors

Another prime way to grow yourself as a leader is to get some guidance from someone who has been in your shoes before. That is, find an accomplished mentor. Whether you take part in an established, planned out mentoring program or find your own advisor and set up a more casual, work-it-out-as-you-go-along relationship with them, you will learn a lot. They can help you to problem-solve and avoid making as many mistakes as you would if constantly working everything out by yourself. 

Mentors who understand what it’s like to cope with the pressures of management will also be able to offer you emotional support. They can be someone to vent to when you’re frustrated, so you don’t end up taking your emotions out on your employees.

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