5 Ways to Grow Your Leadership

Leadership is both an acquired skill and one that you’re born with. It takes instinct, vision and guts to lead well. There are many ways to grow your leadership skills and effectiveness. What follows are 5 ways to grow your leadership that brings with them remarkable results for individuals professionally and personally.

Connecting with all of your reports

1- Connecting with all of your reports can appear to be a no-brainer, but I’ve done extensive training and presenting at small to Fortune 50 organizations and I’ve seen how some of the best leaders lead. Getting to know individuals pays off massive dividends by growing trust. Post pandemic is a real eye-opener for all workers as we have redefined what work looks like and where we call our office.

There is one question, above all others that resonates with people at work. This is the key to unlocking productivity, growing retention and building successful teams. In my quest to always deliver actionable ideas that you can use in my newsletters and blogs, I’ll get right to the point.

“What can I do for you?” is the number one thing folks want to hear from their manager and leadership. It signifies a desire to help, a willingness to listen and builds understanding of where individuals are at any given point. Doing this well and having the answers to assist takes practice. It takes creativity. It may also place more on your plate if you decide to take something off of someone else’s. No biggie, because this is what great leaders do.

Admit mistakes, fix it and move on

2-Admit mistakes, fix it and move on. Most of us want our leaders in any situation to admit they messed up. It takes the awkwardness out of the room, allows for things to be corrected if possible and then we move on. That’s right. We move on, let it go and get back to work. If you don’t do this, you’re in for a beating the likes of which can include: the spreading of rumors, being ignored, not receiving valuable information, loss of respect and more. No visible bruises, however, the internal damage can last for a long time. Plus, it isn’t good for your reputation either.

DEI and generational understanding

3– DEI and generational understanding takes work, but whoever said that leadership isn’t constantly evolving. Today’s workplace demands that we understand what DEI is and that we show that we walk the talk i.e., support for all staff. The benefits of doing this are many, and our employees talk. It makes sense that giving them reason to speak positively about managers and leadership benefits everyone and adds to the bottom line of increased productivity, retention and revenue.

Consider this from a Zippa Stats.

  • 79% of employees will quit due to a lack of appreciation.
  •  83% of organizations believe it’s important to develop leaders at every level of the company, only 5% of businesses have implemented leadership development at all levels.
  • 78% of business leaders actively and regularly focus on engaging with their employees.
  • Only 48% of employees view their company’s leadership as “high quality.”

If only they would listen

4- If only they would listen is a theme that permeates conversation I have when training and Q&A. Millennials are the #1 generation in the workforce, and more and more Baby Boomers and even Gen Xers are leaving, which means the feelings of Millennials are growing in importance for companies. It’s critical that companies respond to problems that are seen in leadership by this age group and listening is near or at the top. Parents listen and still advise this generation and leadership should listen as well is a common view. Sometimes, it is venting without need of a response. Other times, it is a conversation that needs to happen, and leaders need to be available to talk.

Being There

5- Being there is essential. Leaders who are available and able to face any and all challenges are looked upon as true “leaders” by staff. We get this. We live this at our jobs too.

  • Disengaged employees had a 37% higher absentee rate, suffered 49% more accidents, and made 60% more errors at work.

A disengaged workforce cost more than most companies realize. Boosting engagement and having the right management team in place pushes companies toward successful outcomes.

  • One in two (50%) people state that they’ve left a job at some point to get away from a bad manager.

There is a huge number of people who are reporting that they’ve experienced a bad manager. It begs the question of how many employees have allowed one bad manager to force them out over the course of their career. To be blunt, we have all left jobs because our manager/leadership sucked!

Being a successful leader and bringing true leadership to your organization takes effort, training and skills that are developed over time. Doing this saves time, money, grows retention and productivity and adds to the bottom line.