How To Be A Better Leader: 70 Tips

Back by popular demand...

The 70 tips below make for a good list for learning how to become a better leader when you don't have a lot of time to read books about leadership.

And, if you've been a leader for a long time, how about taking a few minutes to run through the list and scoring yourself on how well you carry out each leadership skill?

1. Don't micromanage
2. Don't be a bottleneck
3. Focus on outcomes, not minutiae
4. Build trust with your colleagues before a crisis comes
5. Assess your company's strengths and weaknesses at all times
6. Conduct annual risk reviews
7. Be courageous, quick and fair
8. Talk more about values more than rules
9. Reward how a performance is achieved and not only the performance
10. Constantly challenge your team to do better
11. Celebrate your employees' successes, not your own
12. Err on the side of taking action
13. Communicate clearly and often
14. Be visible
15. Eliminate the cause of a mistake
16. View every problem as an opportunity to grow
17. Summarize group consensus after each decision point during a meeting
18. Praise when compliments are earned
19. Be decisive
20. Say "thank you" and sincerely mean it
21. Send written thank you notes
22. Listen carefully and don't multi-task while listening
23. Teach something new to your team
24. Show respect for all team members
25. Follow through when you promise to do something
26. Allow prudent autonomy
27. Respond to questions quickly and fully
28. Return e-mails and phone calls promptly
29. Give credit where credit is due
30. Take an interest in your employees and their personal milestone events
31. Mix praise with constructive feedback for how to make improvement
32. Learn the names of your team members even if your team numbers in the hundreds
33. Foster mutual commitment
34. Admit your mistakes
35. Remove nonperformers
36. Give feedback in a timely manner and make it individualized and specific
37. Hire to complement, not to duplicate
38. Volunteer within your community and allow your employees to volunteer
39. Promote excellent customer service both internally and externally
40. Show trust
41. Encourage peer coaching
42. Encourage individualism and welcome input
43. Share third-party compliments about your employees with your employees
44. Be willing to change your decisions
45. Be a good role model
46. Be humble
47. Explain each person's relevance
48. End every meeting with a follow-up To Do list
49. Explain the process and the reason for the decisions you make
50. Read leadership books to learn
51. Set clear goals and objectives
52. Reward the doers
53. Know yourself
54. Use job descriptions
55. Encourage personal growth and promote training, mentoring and external education
56. Share bad news, not only good news
57. Start meetings on time
58. Discipline in private
59. Seek guidance when you don't have the answer
60. Tailor your motivation techniques
61. Support mentoring - both informal and formal mentoring
62. Don't interrupt
63. Ask questions to clarify
64. Don't delay tough conversations
65. Have an open door policy
66. Dig deep within your organization for ideas on how to improve processes, policies and procedures
67. Do annual written performance appraisals
68. Insist on realism
69. Explain how a change will impact employees' feelings before, during and after the change is implemented
70. Have face-to-face interaction as often as possible


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