You have probably heard the saying that “great leaders are born,” but in my opinion, “great leaders must be grown.” Many people are capable of great leadership but will not necessarily become one, unless they have the willingness to develop the qualities and skills which will make them a great leader. Listed below are some tips that, when practiced, will help you improve your leadership abilities.

Facilitate a Positive Environment

When you are in a position of authority; you set the tone within the work environment. The tone you set needs to radiate possibilities, positivity, patience, cooperation and persistence. Encourage your team to identify areas of opportunities, but then focus them on workable solutions.

Be Approachable

Communicate openly with team members regarding expectations, visions and goals. You must find a way to motivate and inspire your team through your own personal style. Leading is about owing your leadership voice with a goal of expressing it effectively to create win-win scenarios. Be accessible to anyone who has questions, problems or would like clarification on projects or tasks.

Stay Open to Change

Stay flexible and be open to fresh ideas. Your company may have processes in place that have worked in the past; however, there might be a more efficient and cost saving way to tackle this year’s problem. Stay open to innovative ideas from your team. Test-drive new methods first, before rolling to employees company-wide.

Lead Training Initiatives

Employees are more productive when they are properly trained in their functional job responsibilities. Great leaders have training programs in place for new hires, promoted employees and for on-going skill development. Before rolling out new programs; ensure everyone is properly trained. Nothing creates more stress in a work environment then when team members receive insufficient or ineffective training. Training needs to be included in the initial planning pre-development process.

Know the Competitive Landscape

In today’s ever-changing business environment, it is important that you know your competition just as well, as you know, your own company. Leadership is about making decisions based off of solid facts from the competitive environment. Staying abreast of the competitive market; project’s confidence to your team.

Own Up to Your Mistakes

Leaders do not make perfect decisions all the time. Good leadership is being able to admit when mistakes are made, explain the situation, share the learning and then redirect the team to the next course of action. Leaders who own up to mistakes gain respect and loyalty.

Move Out of the Way

Good leadership is about empowering your team to take decisive action and full responsibility. Most employees want to do well in their job when given the proper chance. They are also willing to be held accountable to the results if they were actively involved in the vision, expectations, goal setting and planning process. Leading is about providing clear directives, working together as a team to put a plan in place, and then moving out of the way. Leading your team is to direct them from the side, with follow-up discussions, recognition acknowledgements and course correction.

Some people are fortunate enough to have natural leadership abilities with little skill building effort. The majority of us have to work diligently to increase our skills to become the great leader we aspire to be.

If improving your leadership ability is important to you, then this article will undoubtedly help you. Review these leadership tips and put a strategic plan in place to grow your skills in these areas. Continue to practice skill building, and in time you will improve your leadership abilities and become the kind of leader; teams would be glad to follow.

By Chad Willis