Leadership Basics

If you have been promoted and are now responsible for a group of people you are now a leader.  If this is your first experience with this type of position you are naturally nervous.  You may be wondering what makes a good leader.  It is going to take you a few months to grow and feel comfortable in your new leadership role.  You will not magically become a leader overnight simply because of your promotion.  The people in your group will treat you as their leader and so you need to become a good leader.

You need to determine what type leader you are going to be.  A good leader is one who can motivate his team to accomplish the tasks needed.  A good leader is a good listener.  He shows appreciation to the members of his team for their efforts.  A good leader is knowledgeable, organized, persuasive, consistent and leads by example.  He is a problem solver and able to adapt to change.  A good leader empowers other people to grow.

When you become a leader you lose some power.  When you were a worker you determined your own performance by working harder or smarter or longer to improve your position.  When you are a leader you are responsible for the performance of your group.  The group chooses whether or not to act.  Their performance is reflecting on your leadership skills and your ability to motive this group to get the job done.

As a leader your power may go down, but, your influence goes up.  The people working for you will pay attention to what you say and do and they will adjust their own behavior accordingly.  It is up to you to use your behavior to influence the people who work for you to achieve a defined objective.

It is not always easy for a leader to be understanding and human.  There are some leaders who prefer a harsh leadership style which includes being harsh, angry, short tempered, punitive, controlling or ruthless.  If you want your team to be productive and willing to go the extra mile to accomplish the necessary tasks, then you do not want to display such harsh leadership methods.  It is not always easy to follow the human side of leadership.  The harsh style of leadership is often followed by those who lack the skills or strength to apply the human side of leadership.

You and your company will not have long term success without the willing cooperation of all members of the team.  You may be able to achieve short term success, but unless you care for your team members long term success will not be achieved.

You can consider yourself a good leader if, at the end of the day, you and  your team have accomplished whatever task you set out to do.  And, you are a good leader if you can say the members of your group are better off today than they were yesterday.  Employees want leaders who treat them with respect and courtesy and help them to grow and become more successful.