How to become a true leader in the eyes of your team?

leadership development consulting

The project manager is first and foremost a manager who must effectively manage his team. But you want to be more than just a manager: you want to become a leader. You want to inspire your employees and motivate them to surpass themselves in order to achieve the objectives set. You want us to ask for your opinion, to follow you in your decisions and to apply your advice.

While some are born leaders, others need to develop their leadership in order to become more than just a manager.

Being a leader is not a function, nor an official title, it is a behavior, an attitude. The leader has a charisma and qualities that encourage others to listen to him and follow him, to seek his advice and approval.

“A leader knows what to do; a manager only knows how to do it.” said Ken Adelman, an American diplomat. Discover the differences between a leader and a manager in our dedicated article.

Here are 8 tips to become the leader your team will blindly follow.

1) A vision you will have

To be a good leader, you need to have a long-term vision. It is essential that you know exactly where you are going and that you stay the course no matter what happens.

2) From experience you will gain

Leaders often have a lot of experience, know what they are capable of and know their limits. They regularly go out of their comfort zone to deal with sensitive situations and know how to make difficult decisions.

3) You will never doubt

A leader never doubts himself or the decisions he makes. He is confident in his choices and has confidence in himself and his actions. If he has made a mistake, he fully assumes responsibility and the consequences of his actions. It is through this attitude that he gains the respect of others.

4) A good communicator you will be

The leader has a strong sense of communication skills. He knows how to communicate his ideas and defend his opinions. He is good at negotiation and excels at easing tensions and resolving conflicts.

5) The sense of listening you will possess

The leader listens to his interlocutors with attention and interest and waits his turn before taking the floor. He is attentive to everything that is said to him, whether it is criticism (positive or negative) of him or the problems his employees face. His ability to listen commands respect.

6) An example you will be

If you want to be a leader, avoid “do as I say, not as I do”. You must behave in an exemplary manner that inspires respect:

  • Be honest and sincere: do not hesitate to attribute a success to the employee who deserves it. Take responsibility for your actions and recognize your mistakes in order to inspire trust and loyalty.
  • Keep your promises and commitments.
  • Do you want your employees to be involved in the project? Invest as much, if not more, to set an example.
  • Never stop learning: this is how you become better and it will encourage your employees to do the same.
  • Be smiling and in a good mood: no one wants to follow someone who is sulking.

7) Your team will motivate you

Without a reliable and motivated team behind him, the best leader is nothing.

A good leader must know how to motivate and commit his troops:

  • Thank your team as often as possible: as soon as a new step is taken, when a difficult problem is solved, etc.
  • Trust them and delegate: entrust your employees with interesting tasks and responsibilities. They will go above and beyond to prove to you that they deserve your trust.
  • Be relaxed, enthusiastic and motivated: driven by your positive energy, your team will imitate you and the work environment will be pleasant and productive.
  • Celebrate every victory, big or small: it is important to celebrate successes with your team. It is an excellent way to congratulate them on the work they have done and to ease the tension after weeks or months of effort.
  • Know why your employees get up in the morning: a good leader needs to know what motivates his team members. Give your employees what they want (training, a bonus, being promoted, etc.) and they will be more involved in their work.

8) Change you will not fear

A true leader is not afraid of change, on the contrary, he embraces it because he knows that to move forward, change is inevitable.

  • Feel free to take risks: be prepared to take risks and make mistakes to achieve your goals. You will grow out of it and be ready to face new challenges. There is no success without taking risks. Step out of your comfort zone.
  • Foster creativity and innovation within your team: encourage your employees to use new working methods, think differently and develop new skills.
  • Leadership is also about encouraging others to take risks. Few projects succeed on the first try. Making mistakes is part of the process. Failure allows you to learn on your own and enjoy your success more.

Finally, a leader does not expect recognition, he looks after his appearance (especially his work clothes) and his posture (body language). He knows how to stay calm, even under pressure, he is fair, confident and self-controlled.

To conclude

“Leadership is the ability of a leader to set the course by ensuring the full commitment of his or her employees.” Alain Ducasse

A leader is a charismatic person who is appreciated for his or her true worth. We do not declare ourselves leaders, it is others who do it. Don’t become a leader who wants to, but if you want to improve your leadership, follow these 8 tips.

Published by Dave John

Decade of work experience in leadership consulting with strong focus on talent acquisition & assessment across different industries and geographies.

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