Whether you are a seasoned veteran or a rookie, all leaders share common elements. Here are 3 quick tips from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of Central Ohio that you can put into practice immediately to become a more respected and effective leader and to help you share the common elements that all great leaders embody.
1. Be prepared to do what you ask of others — If you want to be a positive leader in your organization, you need to lead by setting an example. In other words, do not expect your people to be too happy about working overtime if you leave work early everyday. Another example: Do not book yourself a first-class seat and a four star hotel on business trips, but expect your employees to fly economy and bunk-up in some low-end motel. Somehow and somewhere, it will always come back and haunt you.
Remember, your actions, the way you dress and the way you talk will set the tone in your organization. If you do not care, your employees will not either. On the other hand, if you set the tone of being proactive in handling client problems, your employees will, too.
2. Practice your listening skills — When it comes to a leader’s vision, it pays to listen with both ears to your peers, employees, suppliers and clients. Remember, there is plenty of value when talking with key people if you focus on learning something from them. Secondly, you will never learn if you are always drowning people out by constantly talking or dictating how to do their jobs.
Think carefully when you are meeting with someone. Do not forget to ask them questions, and listen to their answers. You should also walk around in troubled areas of your business and ask others for their opinions. What you hear may surprise you.
3. Roll with the changes or become extinct — In today’s complex and competitive market, any organization must change to survive. Although it is nice to see calm seas throughout the day, nothing stays the same—if it did, you and your business could be replaced at a moment’s notice. For a great example of this take a look at Apple Computer, Wal-Mart and Geico—three companies who entered a crowded marketplace and are now leaders in their respected field.
Although some industries change faster than others, you do need to keep an eye on the future. If not, your competition may come up from behind and pass you.
Great leaders embody these three common elements. They practice what they preach and hold themselves to the same expectations that they insist of their employees. They actively listen to others and do not overstep their boundaries into areas where they have no expertise. And, finally, they lead their organizations through change, always keeping them current with marketplace trends. These three simple characteristics will help you, too, to become a great leader.
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