How do you lead people?
A question many have asked, if only it were that simple. Leadership is not something you can just pick up and go with. its something unique to each individual. Your own leadership style, mentality, attitude, and many other things go into how you are as a leader. But there are fundamental pillars to leadership which everyone needs to have.
These fundamentals don’t just apply to the CEO of a business or a General in an army. Any man or woman, or even teenager can apply these fundamentals to be a leader in any activity they participate in.
- Be Proficient
- Make sound and quick decisions
This almost goes without saying right? You have to know about the job in order to lead people in that job right?
I cannot count how many leaders i have had within the Marine Corps who had next to no idea of how the job worked. For instance, i worked as a Field MP (Military Police). Our job had a large influence on Room Clearing. Yet how many Staff Sergeants i had over me who didn’t have a clue on how to clear a room was staggering.
If you don’t know the job you supervise, there are more implications than you originally think. The people under you will not trust your decisions. This obviously has problems because as a leader, your team needs to trust fully in your decisions. Learn your job first and lead afterwards.
Now while you cant be a expert in every single field (If so why do you need anyone to lead?) you need to have a good understand of what everyone’s job is and how it applies to the bigger picture. You as a leader are the fundamental piece that leads the team to the end state of the project.
Make sound and quick decisions
There are times for quick, on the spot decisions. There are times for slow deliberate decisions where you get the most qualified people in your team into a meeting and decide.
A lot of times, and for most practical leaders, this isn’t the case.
While if you’re not in the Military, you probably aren’t expected to make the fast pace decisions that are life changing. But a lot of times people under you will be expecting you to make small decisions on the fly. If you have to sit and think about every small choice, the people under you will start to not only become annoyed that they have to wait for every question or guidance they ask of you. But their trust in your abilities will start to erode. they may think “Why is this basic question taking him/her so long to figure out?”
Not all decisions are the absolute 100% best decisions you can make, in fact, few are. there’s a saying I’ve always liked: “A decent decision now is better than a great decision later” If you ponder over everything for too long, your workload will increase. People wont get their answers, and your employees will become irritated.
Now there’s something to be said about what decisions to ponder over, and which you should just make. But decision making is an entire post in of itself. (There are entire books on this) We will discuss decision making another day.
This is a pretty simple concept most people should understand. Your team members need to trust you. How to gain trust ties into a lot of different leadership traits and principles. It is something gained over time through good decisions.
But there is a way to at leader gain a bit of trust off the bat
Stick to your word. When somebody asks you something, get them the answer. Be a nice person. Be fair to everyone in your team. Be active in meeting everyone. Learn about the individuals. And much more. Lots of basic little things that make people like you. And if people like you, they will trust you.
After that, slowly gain peoples trust by continually making the best decisions you can make. If you make what turns out to be a bad decision, own up to it. people respect that.
Essential for completing any task, and since completing is the main goal of your job as a leader, this is pretty important.
There’s a lot of ways to foster communication; Meetings, individual discussions, walking the floor of the factory you manage, asking people what could be done better. Many many ways.
Be approachable, be nice, listen to people. When someone from your team approaches you, they shouldn’t be nervous. It should be very comfortable for them to do so. Coming up to you with a complaint, a suggestion, maybe even a problem they are having, should be a natural and easy thing to do
If members of your team arent coming to you with problems or just coming to talk, then go to them. be proactive. This will go miles in establishing yourself as a leader who cares about his people.
- Know all the facets of the job
- Make the best decisions you can quickly
- Foster trust within your team
- Make a active effort to communicate with your team.
I hope this has helped you all and given you some basic ideas on how to either start as a leader, become a leader, or better yourself. And thank you to coming to my blog! I have never written before in my life so this is all new to me. and i appreciate you taking the time out of your day to read my very first blog post. Hope you have a wonderful day!