Any truly great leader can tell you that leading people requires both mind and heart.
You can always be the most intelligent person in the room, but if you do not know how to communicate with people and read their needs, complaints, or dreams, you can not be an effective leader.
After many face-to-face meetings with leaders from various fields of business, I was able to compile a list of 6 questions that every manager can ask himself and find out if he is doing well in this role.
1. Do I take others with me when I go up the career ladder?
Good leaders know how to climb the corporate ladder in companies and even in the industries in which they work. However, if they had not been skilled in this aspect of the work, they would not have reached a managerial position. However, great leaders do not climb this ladder alone – they lead their team members with them. The best leaders approach management from the point of view of serving the people who work for them and helping them become better versions of themselves.
2. Am I aware of things I don’t know and am I looking for someone else’s opinion on these topics?
Great leaders are intelligent enough to recognize their shortcomings and shortcomings and to surround themselves with people who are competent in these areas. Perhaps even more important in this case is that they are not afraid to speak freely about their weaknesses and ask questions when they do not know something. They are confident enough to allow themselves to look vulnerable. The leader is not a robot, he is a man with strengths and weaknesses, like everyone else.
3. Do I give my employees room for expression?
Great leaders value the opinions of their employees and try to make them feel an integral part of something bigger and more significant. A leader is nothing without your team, so use every opportunity to show your employees how much you value their contribution to your overall success.
4. Do I put the career development of my employees on the same level as my personal growth?
Either you do or you don’t – there is no middle ground. If the answer to this question is yes, then you can be sure that you have a stronger and deeper relationship with your employees. It is important to show your team members that you are interested in their needs and dreams and that you are willing to invest your time in something from which you will not directly benefit. If you do not know where to start, just ask your employees what they need right now and try to provide them with the necessary funds.
5. Can my voice be heard when others are quiet?
In other words, do you touch on difficult topics with senior management that your employees are afraid to talk about? The best leaders fight for the things they believe in and defend those who are unable to do it alone. Were there any cases in which you had to take the side of your employees, but you kept silent? If this has happened to you, you must be careful not to repeat this mistake if you do not want to lose the trust and respect of your team.
6. Do I present the situation and give hope for the future?
The best leaders are completely transparent in their communication with their team. They have no secrets from their employees and do not hide the bad news. At the same time, if the situation is not good, they do not leave things alone – they try to give hope. However, this is not about empty promises, but about hope based on well-thought-out strategies, concrete facts, and achievable results.