Five tips to help you become a brilliant leader

Do you find the idea of managing people daunting? Read five tips to help you become a brilliant leader.

Being a great leader doesn’t always feel like an easy task. You need to need keep everyone happy – your own managers, your customers, clients and the people you lead.

For some lucky few, being a leader can come naturally. They rise seemingly effortlessly to the demands of leading a team, knowing just what to say and do to inspire and empower, and bring out the best in people.

But for others, assuming leadership – whether it’s managing a team at work, running your own business, or even chairing your school PTA – is more daunting.

Five tips to help you become a brilliant leader

To help you navigate the pitfalls of managing people (and avoid becoming the dreaded toxic boss!) we share five tips to becoming a brilliant leader.

1) Surround yourself with the right people

You can’t be an effective leader if your team aren’t behind you. So make sure you surround yourself with people who have a shared vision of what you are aiming to achieve.

Your company culture comes from you and filters down through to your staff, so you need to be really clear about your brand yourself, and make sure your colleagues share this awareness too.

As leadership is essentially about team work, its also important to ensure you hire the right people in the first place. Partnering with an executive search company is an efficient way to help you find and approach the best candidates who fit your brand vision, both in their values and skills.

2) Excite and challenge your team

As a leader, you’ll be expected to lead inspiring team meetings and one-on-ones, and possibly even workshops, seminars or talks. So you need to know how to inspire and enthuse your staff.

You need to create the right balance of challenge and excitement to stretch and occupy your team, and enable them to grow within their roles while feeling empowered and capable of any challenges you set them. They also need to feel they’re part of something they admire and are proud of – and want to do their best.

A team that feels valued, recognised, and part of something that matches their values and ambitions is motivated, loyal and every leader’s dream!

3) Be prepared for any potential problems

Even the best laid, seemingly brilliant plans can go completely wrong sometimes, so it always pays to have a plan B in mind as a leader (and be good at thinking on your feet).

Some of this can be managed with careful planning and common sense foresight; and the stress of an unexpected problem can be mitigated with a brilliant team. But at the end of the day, the buck stops with you as leader, so make sure you’re prepared for any eventuality.

4) Hone your communication skills

How good are your communication skills? You may make brilliant plans and have assembled a crack team, but if you can’t tell people what you want from them (and get the best out of them) then your plans probably won’t amount to much.

Your team needs to understand what you want to achieve, and what you need from each of them to do it. They need the right balance of motivation and praise – and for it to be explained constructively when they need to up their game.

If you’re concerned your communication skills need work, you’ll find some helpful tips here. And you can learn how to successfully delegate here.

5) Uncover your team’s hidden talents

As a leader your secret weapon is your team. Between them they boast a complimentary array of talents and experience – some known but many probably yet uncovered.

So make sure you really know how brilliant your team members are. Find out what they’re interested in, what they’re good at, and what motivates them. Conduct regular reviews to ensure they’re happy and stretched in their work, and if not what more they can offer or want.

And take the time to really get to know them. What are their dreams? Their passions? Their hobbies? You never know when you’ll uncover an amazing side to someone that can contribute significantly to  your team’s success. And a happy, fulfilled team player is the best asset you have.

Being a great leader is easy(ish)

It’s not that hard to be a great leader – but it’s easy to get horribly wrong. (Most people have had the misfortune of working for a poor leader at some point in their life!)

If you lead a team of people, remember these five tips and you’ll be at least part the way there to leading an inspired and loyal group of people who, together, can achieve amazing things.