Good leaders may have many or all of these qualities:

  • Manages conflict and crises with ease
  • Takes charge and assumes responsibility
  • Has excellent organisational skills
  • Creates a positive work environment
  • Gives constructive feedback
  • Rewards good performance

The list could go on and on …

But leadership isn’t about the leader. It’s not just a job title. Leadership is something you work at. You don’t arrive at leadership and then stop.

The key to being a better leader is putting your people first. Here are five ways to get started:

1. Focus on the development of your people

The successes of people in your team are a reflection on you as a leader. They are your biggest asset who will get you and your businesses where you need to go. Focussing on their development helps to grow them personally and professionally and you will win their respect as a leader.

2. Acknowledge and appreciate your people

Leaders often need to support underperforming staff but everybody wants to be valued. It’s important that you don’t forget to give credit where credit is due. One reason that people leave jobs is because they feel undervalued and so they look for fulfilment elsewhere. Invite recognition and reward to be part of your team culture.

3. Know your people

Getting to know what makes your people tick will help you as a leader. They will respect you and trust that you can be relied upon. Find out who they are, what’s important to them, what support they need to do their job. Knowing your people opens up a space of honest conversations so leaders can find out what is working well and what is working less well.

4. Be proud (and not jealous)

People move on to other jobs. It’s part of life. But their development and willingness to seek out new opportunities is a reflection on your strength as a leader. Support them. It’s a significant achievement that will bring its own opportunities for you and your business.

5. Give your people autonomy

Empower your people to build their confidence and keep them performing at their best. Delegate responsibilities to your top performers to reward them for their achievements. Opportunities help them to shine and if they feel fulfilled at work, they will continue to work at their top levels.