More often than not, modern-day leaders tend to care more about holding on to their titles and position and less about the quality of work and the team they are tasked with leading. Being a successful leader requires specific personality traits, none of which have anything to do with the title that appears next to someone’s name.
Effective leadership is about having a clear vision, as well as the courage and knowledge needed to accomplish a certain goal successfully.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” -Gandhi
What Leadership Means In An Organization
Leadership is the skill of influencing the behaviors, attitudes, and thoughts of others. A leader’s actions are held to an unspoken standard of what is appropriate and what is not. Followers learn about acceptable behaviors by observing the actions of their leaders. One simple example of this is the office dress code. By wearing a certain type of clothing style to work, a leader demonstrates to his or her followers in an indirect manner which attire is acceptable. Followers will then watch and imitate the way the leader dresses. This is called leading by example. Follow these four steps to learn how you too can lead your team by setting good examples.
1. Do the work that others expect you to do.
Actions speak louder than words. What you do, the steps you take, and the decisions you make have an overall impact on how others perceive you. If you are hardworking, meticulous, or dependable, your followers will strive to meet similar expectations. The same goes for the quality of your work. If you don’t do the work that is expected of you, you cannot expect other members of the organization to finish their work on time either. However, in theory, you can, but this will not make you a leader. Great leaders hold themselves up to the same standards as they would their followers or employees.
2. Be positive as often as possible.
Effective leaders should be able to provide solutions to problems their followers or employees are facing on a day-to-day basis. If your team is coming to you with problems, they expect you to solve them. In addition to being a compassionate listener, your words must be followed by concrete actions. Even if you don’t have a solution for every problem, you must be able to take ownership and work with your team to find one. Help your team come up with a solution and guide them through the process of finding alternative ways to deal with the problem.
3. Allow others to approach you anytime.
A team leader is one of the most impactful resources for team members. And if that resource isn’t accessible to the team, it wastes company money and prevents the team from flourishing. If you exude positive energy and a judgment-free attitude, your team will be much more likely to trust you with their concerns, questions or suggestions.
4. Remain consistent at all times.
Some people are put in positions of authority, but it is up to the leaders to gain the respect and trust of their followers. Followers need to see their leader doing what is right for the team; that is supporting, developing, nurturing and defending both in the good times and the bad.
How To Improve Leadership Skills Within Your Team
There are many ways to improve leadership skills within an organization. Training programs will help teams learn how to manage stress, identify the strengths and weaknesses of your team, and more.
It is also important to extend leadership activities and training to all team members, not just the team leaders. These types of programs are designed to expose people with natural leadership abilities, and you may realize you have another team member that should move into a leadership role.
7 Impactful Leadership Activities To Try At Work
1. Cultivate Team Improv Skills
Improv is a unique tool to get your team to tackle difficult subjects in a non-confrontational way. The goal of Improv programs is to train employees to perform their best when faced with uncertain and volatile conditions, which is a necessary skill set leaders must have.
2. Corporate Survivor
Corporate Survivor is a team building activity that allows everyone’s skills to shine. Teams work together to save their teammates through a variety of challenges. Each challenge requires a different skill, giving everyone a chance to showcase their strengths.
3. Team DNA
During the Team DNA exercise, team members will complete their Belbin® profile and invite other colleagues to also offer feedback. Using the compiled information, the profiles are analyzed to identify the Team Roles balances and imbalances. From there, TeamBonding delivers the appropriate program for the team to apply their Belbin® Team Roles insights. This exercise helps teams perform and maximize their work relationship and is available for virtual, hybrid, or in-person teams.
4. Professional Development Workshops
Encourage employees to seek opportunities to grow professionally and personally. These opportunities include professional development workshops, mentorship programs, attending networking events and industry conferences, job shadowing to learn about other roles, and more.
5. Implement Employee Engagement Tools (and USE THEM!)
Don’t guess how your team feels – ask them! Creating and sending out regular surveys and pulse checks help improve employee engagement and satisfaction. The feedback provided can also help the team leaders adapt to best fit the needs of their team. These employee engagement tools can also help guide your employee experience strategy which, when implemented effectively, can increase retention and improve productivity.
6. Emotional Intelligence training
In present times, it is no longer enough for a leader to have a high IQ. Team leaders must also have high emotional intelligence to connect to their team and facilitate healthy communication. Emotional Intelligence training courses and activities help leaders develop essential intrapersonal and interpersonal skills.
7. Digital Innovation Game
Spark your team’s creativity with the virtual Digital Innovation Game. The goal of the exercise is for each team to decide on their strongest innovation and give a Shark Tank style pitch. This exercise helps bond teams and also empowers hidden team leaders to show their leadership skills.