I have done this question lot of times to myself.
It is normal, we want to be great in what we do. And we have clear that is better leading than bossing.
As leaders we contribute to the team growth and development, to feed the company performance, while having a great atmosphere. While in the “boss mode”, the team feel less inspired, and as consequence all the deliveries can be worse.
When leading, we create a culture, a way of doing, a way of behaving, that make us different, that make us unique, and that gives us the legitimacy and the empowerment to achieve the Goals established, while enjoying the journey.
Here I share with you the 10 BEHAVIOURS that in my opinion are key TO BE A GOOD LEADER:
1. To have time to Lead.
You need to do your “functional job” of course: you need to be involved in the company dynamics, you have to do the bureaucratic work, to have be present in some meetings/events…, that’s clear. But overall, you must CREATE SAPCE for your role as LEADER: to support your team, to guide them, to co-create, to be available and to set up the vision.
Create a space for being a leader does not mean schedule in the agenda 1 hour per day. It means to behave as a leader 24hours a day.
Maybe, at the beginning, you will need to force yourself to have specific time to think, to guide, to co-create, etc. But be careful and don’t be lost in the “to do lists nightmare” if you want to make the difference.
2. To Communicate: openness, active listening & passion.
To listen actively to your teams will strength the communication, making visible that you care about and values them. This is a crucial factor to improve their engagement.
A second and remarkable communication factor is “to be open”. It means that as Leader, you are continuously challenging your beliefs and knowledge, considering new ideas that can generate new insights and consequently new opportunities.
Finally, the passion: if we believe in what we do, we will transmit passion (in our words, behaviour and in our leadership style). Passion is synonym of engagement.
3. To Lead by example.
When you lead, you don’t tell others what to do. You show others what to do, by setting a good example to them.
This should be the “rule” in any situation in our lives, and especially when we lead people. And as mentioned before, it should be 24 hours a day.
How to show to others this example?
Listening to them, being respectful, getting your hands dirty, delivering your work, solving conflicts, showing co-creating attitude, and so many others.
4. To Give & Receive Feedback.
Feedback is a precious gift, and we must use it in both ways.
To receive feedback is welcome whatever the source. Why? Because you become conscious on certain things, while showing a great openness.
To give feedback sometimes is not easy, especially when it is not 100% positive. But as leaders, we should always give feedback (honest, fact based & constructive), as it is the only way to acknowledge our teams of the points they must develop.
5. To Delegate.
There are some clear benefits when we delegate:
- It gives you, as leader, the time and focus on your specific tasks.
- It gives to others the ability to learn and develop new skills, while developing trust between them and you.
- It will create a more efficient environment.
6. To make choices.
Time is not infinite. And if we want to be excellent in our leader role, we need to choose our battles. For us and for our teams.
We need to make choices!
2 important tips:
- Important always first!!
- Learn to say NO (when it’s no important & no urgent).
7. To Think Strategically.
Strategy should be at the heart of the company. You as leader should have a strategic roadmap that guides you and your team.
It will give you consistency in all your activities, it will facilitate your roles and responsibilities, it will identify the areas of focus and how to measure success.
It should be the Bible that guides your path.
8. To be humble & integrous.
If you are a HUMBLE Leader, you have self-awareness, you appreciate others’ contribution, and you are open to new ideas and feedback.
If you are an INTEGROUS Leader, you are honest, trustworthy, and reliable.
Leaders who are HUMBLE and INTEGROUS have a better grasp on organizational needs and make better informed decisions about task performance, as well as they act in accordance with their words (walk the talk), and they accept their own mistakes.
“Excuses” is a forbidden word in their vocabulary.
9. Dare to fail.
Failing is a natural part of life.
Failing is part of our growth & learning process.
Accept failure means that we will use our courage to try new things, to create new opportunities, to innovate, and in summary to really make the difference.
A “no fear culture” is highly beneficial when leading a team.
10. To have Coaching Mindset.
When we talk about a Leader Coaching Mindset, it’s a mindset that is open, curious, flexible, people oriented, and goal centred.
To embody a Coaching Mindset is a way of being, a mindset that drives behaviours highly beneficial for leaders.
How deconstruct this mindset in concrete steps?
- Finding your space to think.
- Co-creating different possibilities of action (through coaching processes & tools).
- Setting a direction (goals).
- Acknowledging the team about their responsibility.
- Ongoing learning and development process.
This 10 Behaviours are crucial to be a good leader. But we should not pretend to do the “ticks” in any of them to be excellent. It’s not about ticking, it’s about living them.
Leadership, as coaching, should be a way of being!