I’ve been banging on about how we should stop trying to be perfect (it ain’t going to happen) and focus on becoming incrementally better.
If we tried, each day, to just be a little better than we were the day before, and we did it for long enough, our leadership effectiveness would skyrocket, our people would be more engaged and our businesses would be more effective. Willing to give it a go? Here’s 10 simple practical things that can help you become a better leader.
1. Tell others you are trying to be better. Don’t pretend you are perfect, that you know it all and you always get it right. They haven’t swallowed that crap before and they not going to now. Show some vulnerability, admit you need to do better and commit to trying.
2. Try to be better. Legitimately try to be better. Do a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats (SWOT) analysis of your leadership and if you are fair dinkum, ask others to participate. Work out what your priorities for improvement are and work on them first.
3. Show your people you care. Your people are everything. Treat them fairly and with respect. They’ll respond positively. If you don’t believe me, do the opposite and see what happens.
4. Make your expectations clear. Be clear, really clear about what you expect from each of your people. Sit with them. Discuss what you want and expect. Seek input. Write it down. Rinse and repeat.
5. Give honest feedback. Now they know what you expect and they have agreed to deliver, monitor their progress and give honest, prompt feedback both good and bad. Consistency is key.
6. Be honest. People have good BS detectors. Lie and your integrity flies out the window and it’s not coming back. Honesty really is the best policy. There’s no right way to do the wrong thing.
7. Do what you say you’re going to do. Don’t make promises you can’t keep or have no intention of keeping. Reliability build trust and trust builds relationships. Make every interaction a deposit in the trust bank.
8. Get in control of your time. It’s simply not possible to do everything we think we have to or should. The only way is to determine what things are essential, prioritise tasks and take action.
9. Say no more often. We say ‘yes’ for a variety of reasons. We feel we have to. We aren’t clear about our purpose. We want to please others. We aren’t realistic about what we can achieve. Saying ‘yes’ to everything is setting yourself up for failure.
10. Get help. The best athletes in the world have coaches and support teams. You can’t do it on your own. Seek advice or support from a trusted professional or reach out to someone that can mentor and guide you.
Remember, better doesn’t mean perfect, just better. What can you do today that will mean you are a better leader than you were yesterday?
Better doesn’t mean perfect, just better.
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