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28 Sep

Leadership's Secret Sauce

The Recipe for a Good Leader

Leadership Tips for Current or Future Managers

In the corporate environment, there are plenty of managers, bosses and supervisors with words like “senior,” “executive” and “director” in their job titles. But what makes a person who’s in charge a true leader? What does it take to go from being just the boss to being a respected trailblazer?

For those looking to embolden their leadership abilities, we’ve grabbed some ingredients and whipped up a secret sauce of leadership tips that will help turn your management style into something distinct and exceptional.

Be Personable

Your title may put you in charge, but you’ll become a respected leader based on how you treat those working under you. Be aware of your tone in emails to employees—are they brief and polite, or could they come across as curt and demanding?

Being friendly and patient at work—even when you’re annoyed, even when you’re pressed for time—shows that you are a person who is not easily ruffled. Be a person your employees enjoy talking to, or you’ll be a person your employees enjoy talking about.

Share the Credit

A good leader knows that work accomplishments don’t usually happen by themselves. Nearly all projects involve a team, and chances are your team knows how each person contributed to a finished project. Share the credit and accolades when things go well, and people will think of you as fair and respect your willingness to recognize team members.

Set an Example

Be the change you wish to see on your team. If your employees are unaligned and you wish they had more camaraderie, schedule team-building exercises and encourage open communication on the job.

If some team members habitually stroll in late, make sure you’re consistently on time or early for work and meetings before asking them to change their habits. Model the behavior you want your team to emulate, and you’ll earn their respect as someone who walks the walk.

Set Clear Expectations

Create clear expectations and deadlines for your team, so they know exactly what you want from them—and make sure your standards are enforceable. What behaviors are unacceptable at work? Want people to stop using their phones under the table at meetings? Let your team know what does and does not fly with you, and stick to this code of behavior for everyone, including yourself.

Don't Waste Time

Your time is valuable, and so is everyone else’s. Don’t hold mandatory all-team meetings that only concern one or two members of your team. And when you have to hold meetings, be sure to keep everyone on task. Ensure speakers get to the point quickly and that meetings have a specified end time, because your team will be more inclined to stay on topic during meetings if you do.

Take all these leadership tips, stir together and enjoy the results!

Going from being a manager to a true leader takes time, patience and understanding. It often requires failing wisely or learning from your mistakes as well. Take a peek at our list of the most common mistakes new managers make.

And for those who might not yet be at the managerial level, check out our tips on how to become a manager, so you can start putting your newly found leadership skills to the test!