There was a time not so long ago that leadership, and who to follow, was based on a hierarchy. The idea was that you would follow whoever was in charge, regardless of their leadership skills. As time has marched on, we’ve found that that style of leadership doesn’t really work. Much like we’ve moved on from the cassette tape, we are finding more success in motivational leadership, as opposed to hierarchical leadership. Despite its losing traction, hierarchical leadership is still found in some businesses, which may lead some of us to wonder “What are the responsibilities of a leader?” We know a lot about leadership, and with that, here are what we feel are the top 5 responsibilities of leadership.
Lead By Example: There’s the old saying, “Do as I say, not as I do” and honestly, that saying is trash. Approximately 65% of the population are visual learners, meaning that they need to see things being done in order to learn or replicate it. So if you’re expecting your team to be on time day after day, then you need to present that as well. As leaders we want our teams to be good stewards of the business. For that to happen, we need to be good stewards of our team.
Build Trust: As a leader, you want to be able to trust your team. In turn, they want to trust you too. As we all know, trust is earned, not given. To build that trust, work closely with your team. Don’t overbear them, but spend time with them. Learn their skills, how they work, and how quickly they work. When assigning tasks, do it based on this information. By asking too much of your staff, you can damage the relationship, and thus the trust.
Communicate: In any relationship, whether it’s personal or professional, there needs to be communication. Without communicating effectively, we run the risk of undermining our leadership. Your team needs to know exactly what you mean. That includes not only what you say, but also how you say it. Understand how your team prefers to communicate and meet them on their playing field. If your team prefers email over meetings, then it’s time to install Grammarly and get to typing.
Understand the Business: You’ll never be expected to understand every role in your company, but having a basic understanding of key roles allows you to support your team more effectively. Knowing who does what allows you to leverage the right people to get the job done.
Encourage: “My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better.” —Steve Jobs. As a leader, part of your job is going to be recognizing your team member’s strengths and pushing them towards new opportunities. Finding their strengths, passions, and goals and helping them to develop the skills needed to capitalize on them is a sign of a great leader.
Are you ready to become a motivational leader? Do you want to move beyond and into a new plane of leadership? We’d love to help.