How to Be a Better Leader

How to Be a Better Leader

Posted by · on April 29, 2014 · in Leadership · with 17,721 Comments


Whether you’re managing a large team in an office or a small group on site, leadership skills are crucial to any manager, CEO or other leadership position. The only problem is, unlike the skills needed to get you through the day-to-day tasks of your chosen profession, people are traditionally not taught how to be a better leader, or even a leader for that matter.

Many people struggle with the responsibilities of being in a leadership position. Do I act nice? Should I be hard on the employees? Where do I draw the line and how do I get people to take me seriously? These are all questions new leaders question themselves on. In this article we will give you some helpful, practical tips on how to become a better leader.

1. Assess yourself.

No two leaders are exactly the same. Some use humour to resolve conflict, for example, while others may feel more comfortable being straightforward. Start out by assessing your strengths and weaknesses. This way you can use your strengths for a more authentic leadership style. At the same time you can focus on areas of weakness to become a better leader.

2. Stop focusing on your old day-to-day tasks.

One of the hardest challenges for someone who has just moved up the ranks to a leadership position is the mental shift from focusing on day-to-day tasks to a more strategic and management viewpoint. To start, make sure you have an overall goal of the direction of where you want your team to be headed. Then look at the members of your team for how they can use their skills and knowledge to help the team reach this goal. If there are areas of weakness it is your role to make good decisions and follow through with action that support of the goal, including re-directing staff, hiring and unfortunately sometimes firing staff members.

3. Get to know your team and what motivates them.

Do you have high turnover? Are your staff just barely getting the job done, or they don’t seem to really care? These are common challenges, particularly in the oil and gas industry. Often in business we think of using financial rewards to motivate our workers. While this may work some of the time, there are many studies that show it is often intrinsic motivators that actually encourage people, such as the opportunity to be independent, to be great at what they do and to be passionate about what they’re doing. For a great video about intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivators, check out this great Ted Talk by popular business author Daniel Pink.

5. Communicate.

Communication skills are an integral part of being a leader. Make it a priority to improve your communication skills by becoming a good listener, asking questions, building rapport and developing good, strong relationships with others, whether they’re employees or colleagues.

4. Take courses.

Leadership is a skill that can be taught. Many local organizations offer leadership courses as part of a membership or on a drop-in basis and educational institutions offer leadership courses for those in business. Another option is to hire a personal coach who can help you one-on-one with your leadership struggles. Self-improvement is a journey and there are many resources out there so don’t be afraid to ask for help!

5. Don’t do these things.

Most of this is common sense. Don’t cause conflict, don’t micro-manage (see independence motivators above) and don’t be abrasive.

Leadership skills are learned over time. You will most likely make mistakes as you learn to perfect your leadership style and that’s okay. But by focusing on becoming a better leader you’re already ahead of the game!

Collective Technical Recruitment has been an industry leader in the recruitment of oil and gas, construction and financial professionals since 2005.

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