Being a great leader has far less do with the things that you do in front of people and far more to do with the things that go on behind the scenes, when no one is looking. Being the go to person for a group of people means leading them by example and with integrity.
Here are five ways to be the kind of leader that you know your people deserve, and in the process to get the amazing success that you want.
1. Forgive and Forget
Everyone makes mistakes – big ones and small ones. Great leadership means learning to let go of those mistakes when others make them so that solutions can be implemented and progress can go on. Unless someone in your charge breaks a rule that will cause severe and long lasting issues, let it go.
There is no reason to hold onto mistakes within a group, it only leads to poisonous feelings that will undermine the ability of the team to work together. One mistake (or even a few) does not a bad person make. Move on, and communicate that this is your philosophy to instill integrity and a willingness to take risks.
2. Empower Others to Make Decisions
Being a leader isn’t about making every single decision. The best and most efficient leaders are those who know how to trust the people around them and to let those people make the decisions when need be. Often it’s the people who are closest to a situation who are best able to understand all of the variables and to then make the best decisions.
Let go of some of that control and trust the good people around you to make empowered choices. You’ll be rewarded with great results.
3. Allow Natural Consequences
It is not your job to prevent every possible negative event. Fantastic leadership includes allowing people to fail and to experience those consequences. People learn from failure, in fact it’s arguably the best teacher.
In order to get more out of those in your charge, let them fall down, then be there to support them as they pick themselves back up. You don’t need to pick them up, encourage them to look over their mistakes and to improve for the next time. Be careful not to make it about “I told you so’s” or shaming, but rather about empowerment and trust.
4. Offer Support Without Ego
Your job is to be there for the people who are looking to you, not to take credit for their accomplishments – no matter how much of a part you played in the process. It’s not necessary to point out the ways that you have saved the day when someone makes a mistake – they know. By staying silent and just being there to come out of the wings when there’s an issue, you’ll help everyone to feel invested in the group and to feel as though the team is there to offer the kind of support that helps to remedy situations.
5. Look At Yourself
The most amazing leaders are those who feel consistently as though they could improve themselves. You should always go home feeling as though you have more to give, more to put out there. Self confidence coupled with an understanding of what you have left to improve upon is the key to being the kind of leader that fosters success.