10 Tips to Become a Respected Leader

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Having said that, if there are any leaders out there who are willing to turn a page, and have an open ear and an open mind to learn more effective ways to lead, here are some thoughts I'd like to share with you.
No matter how many people you are leading, a team of three or a team of thousands, or in what area of business you may be in, I'm sure you'll find these few hints very helpful in these chaotic fasting changing times that we are presently experiencing.
1 - Self Development- An effective leader is always interested in his or her own continuous self-development.
No matter how good you are at any given profession, you can only really excel in your area when you spend time and effort on your personal self-development.
It makes sense that if you suffer from fear, low self esteem, insecurity or other similar negative traits you cannot possibly perform at your best and in the long term you are bound to be exposed as a weak, unjust and unprofessional leader.
Work on maximizing your strengths and minimizing your weaknesses.
Much emphasis has been given on training the individual in acquiring various skills in the area of their profession and erroneously it was not considered cool to spend time and effort on improving the personality.
You cannot separate the professional from the personal.
When you know who you are and what you are, you have more understanding and empathy with the world around you.
2 - An Open Mind- To have a vision you need an open mind.
An open mind allows you to see the whole picture rather than parts only of any picture.
As we live in a world that is constantly changing, and presently at an alarmingly fast speed, a leader needs to be flexible to go with the flow of changes.
An open mind allows you to change your views, to consider new ideas that help to solve problems without feeling threatened personally or professionally.
Cultivating an open mind also gives you more insight and the ability to approach problematic situations with greater confidence.
You're able to quickly recognize the helpful from the useless changes.
With a narrow and limited mindset you can only achieve limited results.
3 - The Art of Listening- Cultivate the art of listening.
Focus on listening to whomever you are talking to are.
Give the person your undivided attention, make eye contact, be relaxed, observe yet at the same time taking distance to avoid feeling defensive, angry or indifferent.
Hear what the person is trying to say by having an open clear mind.
Don't continue an inner dialogue and don't be impatient.
Sometimes body language and gestures speak much louder than words.
Tell the person that you hear what they are saying to you, show your feelings of empathy.
Be human show that you care, connect with people.
4 - Respect- Respect cannot be demanded it can only be earned.
If you want respect from your team then as a leader you show respect to everyone alike regardless of gender, age or status.
Treat yourself with respect and people will in turn treat you with respect.
Don't let your powerful position get to your head be humble.
Far too often leaders are too self absorbed and forget that without a team that is cooperating with them, leaders cannot really achieve anything.
A composer of an orchestra cannot produce music without the individual instrument players.
Lead by example and show inner strength and your commitment to your team.
5 - Give Credit- It has been known for leaders and managers to take credit and accept benefits for a job well done by some subordinate who is conveniently forgotten and put on the back burner.
If you want to be a good leader who is respected and liked then you need to be honest and generous to give credit where it's due.
Don't be too proud to recognize and reward other people's efforts.
Don't be miserly with your praises either.
Praise a job well done.
Be liberal when praise is earned.
This way you encourage people to be even better next time around and this in turn will enhance your business.
6 - Celebrate- Celebrate progress with your team.
This lends to a healthy team spirit.
Cooperation is better and more effective than competition.
Including and uniting the whole team is better than a team in conflict with each other.
The rules of the game of life and business have changed and it is the progressive leaders who are aware and are willing to change their outdated thoughts and mode of behavior of the past.
7 - Be prepared- A leader who is disorganized cannot lead.
When you are organized you personally and your team will be more productive.
The team will follow your example by being prepared and organized too.
So you lead by example.
Put in the extra time and effort that you need to prepare yourself for your task as a leader and do it with joy.
8 - Delegate- A good strong leader knows how to delegate recognizing the strength of each of the persons working with him or her.
A leader who is a control freak can paralyze a team.
Empower your team, give each individual space to breathe, give them independence and trust them to do their work.
The more you trust them the more they will trust you and the more productive the team will be.
9 - Communicate- Leaders need to be good communicators.
Always be precise and clear with your words and repeat yourself if necessary.
Learn how to give constructive criticism when needed.
Don't blame, tell it as it is, without putting the person down.
When you know your people well, you would know how to talk to them.
The more you know yourself, the more you know about your people individually the more you can connect with them.
10 - Be Genuine- Finally always be authentic, genuine and true to yourself.
Don't pretend to be what you are not.
People can see through a fake.
If you lack a skill learn it as good as you can and hire people who are strong in the skills that you are weak in.
You can only be genuine in your thoughts and actions when you know who you are, when you feel comfortable with yourself.
Learn to meditate, to spend a little time with yourself each single day, a time for self-reflection.
Finally good self-confident leaders are not afraid to hire good, strong, knowledgeable people who can contribute their best to a team.
Leaders with low self-esteem tend to surround themselves with weaker people.
A weak leader can fool some people for a while but can never fool every one in the long term and will ultimately be exposed.
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