“Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” Mark Twain
The approach to being a better team leader at work is one of my favorite topics. From my standpoint as a small business owner and employer, who is passionate about working hard, I offer ten ideas for standing out as a leader at work. This goes for bosses as well.
A Boss Should Always Establish Good Examples of Being a Leader
I do not ask anything of my employees that I will not do myself. This is why the same people have worked for me for years now. One of the simple things a boss can do to show they are on the same page as the people in the company, is to show up for work on time and stay the course of the day. If working hours are 9 to 5, then put those hours in like everyone else.
Do Not Fall Prey to “It’s Not My Job” Syndrome
To be a team leader at work, you need to lose the “it’s not my job,” mantra. This attitude will get you nowhere fast. Over the years, I worked among so many coworkers who shifted their responsibility to someone else. Lend a hand when you see someone could use the help, but offer assistance before your boss has to guilt you into helping. However, do not let the boss or coworker take advantage of you.
Own up to Your Mistakes – It is Always Better than a Cover-up
As a boss, I am the first one to say, “I goofed and I need to fix this immediately.” Trying to cover-up a mistake or not admitting to a mistake takes far more energy to conceal than putting in place a solution right away. No sleepless nights and believe me, you will get positive recognition for your honesty. The best team leader is a person who admits to error and corrects it without complaint.
Do Not Share Entrusted Company Business
If your boss entrusts you with private company business, keep it confidential. Be a better team leader by demonstrating your ability to maintain your employer’s trust. If your boss hands over information he or she does not wish to have shared with anyone else but you, then respect that.
Leave Gossip Out of the Workplace
Gossip has no place in your working environment. I guarantee you will not make it as a team leader if you are a gossip. Gossip is harmful and turns people against each other, creating stress in the workplace. A good leader will sway fellow workers away from this useless behavior and instead promote positive dialogue among the employees.
A Team Leader is Not a Dictator
Do not let the idea of you being a team leader, go to your head. You are still an employee like everyone else. You are a team leader because your boss feels you can literally lead your coworkers in the right direction. You can be a better team leader by leaving your ego at the door.
Be a Good Listener
The worst trait I find in people is the irritating inability to listen. That goes for customers as well. If you want to be a better team leader, you have to polish your listening skills. Focus on what someone is trying to say to you and forget about what you will be doing this weekend or what you will have for dinner tonight. A good listener seems to be a dying breed these days.
Team Leaders Do Not Show Favoritism
Everyone involved in my business is an equal. A couple of my employees earn more money because they have been with us for so many years, but I do not show them favoritism over my newer workers. As their team leader, I want them to feel they are an integral part of the company and I let them know I appreciate them and all their hard work.
Stay Calm and Collected
Be a better team leader at work by staying calm and collected throughout the day. Learn to manage your stress level. A great way to get a handle on stress is meditation, which you can do right at work on break or while you are at lunch. There are tons of videos and books available on this subject, so study up. A stressed out leader is not in control and in turn, emotionally unable to do a good job of heading up the rest of the group.
Be a Leader in Making Decisions
You can be a better team leader at work if you are able to reason and make decisions without floundering over what you have to accomplish on any given day. One of the women in my small business is sharp in the decision making process. She does not hem and haw about what to do…she just makes the call and gets it done. She never leaves something up in the air while she ponders the problem for hours. Decision-making is a valued attribute in a first-rate team leader.
Small Business Owner