Being a team leader, or the person in charge, is so much more than just being the one calling the shots.

Your every action determines what your staff think of you, and how they see you, and your every decision has an impact on them.

Leading other people can be a daunting experience. You’ll be faced with strong-willed personalities, little to no authority, demanding bosses, under-performing team members, tight deadlines, and long hours; all of which will make you quickly realise you’ve never been trained to deal with the realities of leadership.

Anyone who has ever led a team has probably faced some self-doubt about their ability to be the one “up front.”

Most leaders get questions like: “What is this thing called leadership?”, “How do I get my point across?”, “How do I establish the best relationship with my team?”, and “What makes a great leader?”

Seven Fundamental Factors for being a Candidate and Confident Leader

  • Accountability: Be accountable for your own actions, and be able to hold someone else accountable for theirs.
  • Coaching and Developing: Be coachable by others, open to suggestions, and learn how to coach and develop others.
  • Goal Setting: Be able to set goals for yourself as the leader, as well as for your team, and be active in achieving them.
  • Planning: Plan your days, weeks, and months ahead, and discuss this with your team during meetings so they know what is required of them, and by when.
  • Time Management: Being able to manage your own time is easy for some leaders, but you need to develop the skills to manage the time of an entire team of people.
  • Relationships: Know your strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of your team, and use this knowledge to maximise your leadership efficiency.
  • Knowledge: A leader does not need to have all the information, but they do need to be aware of their team’s knowledge. By understanding your individual team members’ strengths in certain areas, you can use this to its full potential.

The fundamental knowledge many leaders lack is a thorough understanding of themselves. Find the time to learn about yourself and your interactions with others. You are going to discover that most of the people you interact with are wired differently, and you’ll learn that the most common challenges are dealing with people who have different perspectives and opinions. You’ll need to gure out what makes people tick, what motivates them, how they deal with stress, how they interact with others, what they like to do, and what they nd frustrating.

Your Leadership Philosophy

Look at your own values and work out what you expect from your team. Think about what they can expect from you.

Start developing your leadership philosophy – a written document that describes what you believe as a leader, your vision for the team, and the team’s mission. Putting together a leadership philosophy is one of the most important and valuable steps you can take to start off on the right foot with your new team, or improve your effectiveness leading the existing one.

A personal leadership philosophy is not a complicated system that you have to create from scratch. It’s simply a set of beliefs and principles you use to evaluate information and respond to people and situations. It allows anyone who hears it to understand your values, priorities, approach to decision-making, and what you expect from yourself and others.

Your team looks to you to set the example, for guidance, and for the confidence to approach situations within the workspace.

In Conclusion

Leadership is the action of leading people in an organisation towards achieving goals (their own, the team’s, and the company’s). Leaders do this by influencing employee behaviours in several ways: setting a clear vision for the organisation, motivating employees, guiding them through the work process, and building morale.

A confident leader can build strong, long-lasting, and productive relationships with team members and associates. Confident leaders are considerate, handle conflicts appropriately, and create positive work environments.

Now, go out there and be a great leader!

About the Author: Kerstin Jatho

Kerstin is the senior transformational coach and team development facilitator for 4Seeds Consulting. She is also the author of Growing Butterfly Wings, a book on applying positive psychology principles during a lengthy recovery. Her passion is to develop people-centred organisations where people thrive and achieve their potential in the workplace. You can find Kerstin on LinkedIn, Soundcloud, YouTube and Facebook.

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