Being a leader of any kind is an extremely demanding task. It requires the wisdom of Solomon, the patience of a saint, and the determination of today’s most successful CEOs. Leaders have to make tough calls daily, often with little to no information to go off of.
In addition to being a challenging task, being a leader can also be a thankless one. That doesn’t mean, however, that it is entirely without reward. Watching a team come together to accomplish important feats can be one of the greatest joys of many people’s lives. Here are 3 tips to navigating the dynamics of a leadership position.
- Develop strong relationships
People don’t follow titles, they follow people. Many times, leaders feel they have to maintain a distance from their team lest their team sees them as too genuine for a professional setting. All this generally does is keep them from getting to know their team. To truly lead a team effectively, you have to understand how they think, tick, and operate. You will also get far more from your team if they know the same things about you.
- Seek diverse perspectives
Leaders have to make tough decisions, and the responsibility for those outcomes ultimately falls back on them. As a result, many leaders seem to feel the less conflicting information they have, the more equipped they will be to make a decision. In reality, the opposite is true. The more lenses you are able to view a problem through, the more likely you are to get a sense of the bigger picture, which can, in turn, help you find a better solution.
- Know when to disagree and proceed
Very few decisions are ever going to have unanimous group consent. While leaders theoretically have the authority to make a decision that goes against the wisdom of their team, leaders who do so too often quickly learn that their employees also have a great deal of power to hinder their plans or make them work.
In order for a leader to lead effectively, they have to obtain a certain level of buy-in from their team. Employees don’t always need to agree to an entire plan, however, to get buy-in. There is something to be said for acknowledging people’s doubts or hesitations, but asking if they can at least tentatively get on board up to a point to see how things may go fosters inclusion and openness.