Being a leader is more than a title on your business card and a bunch of staff to boss around. The key thing is to guide and motivate your staff to achieve their own goals and the goals of the business too.

So how can you be a good leader? You follow these 8 steps of course…

1: Communicate

There is a reason we have used the terminology ‘leader’ instead of the boss. A leader goes ahead and leads from the front. But you can’t inspire and lead a team to greatness without their respect. We all know that respect is not something that is freely given - you need to earn it. You can do this by communicating and connecting with your team.

2: Know Your Team

There is nothing more insulting than forgetting a team member’s name, or what they actually do for the business. Getting to know your team will open up more lines of communication, so you will continue to build respect with them. Caring for your team and making them feel valued will allow them to care for your customers in the same way.

Once you know and understand your team, you will be able to see their skills and talents. You can leverage those skills so that everyone enjoys the work they do, and you work towards achieving your business goals.

3: Encourage Creativity

Do you think all of the ideas for your business come from the CEO? Of course not. Every member of your team will have valuable ideas to contribute. But you have to give them the chance to produce those ideas. The time and space for creativity are so valuable. Brainstorming, mind mapping, throwing thoughts around and being open to suggestions can produce amazing, actionable ideas.

4: Find The Positives

Mistakes will happen and problems will arise. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects, search for the positives. If you can focus on the positive then there is more chance that people will remain calm and constructive. It is far easier to develop a workable solution with a level head.

5: Show, Don’t Tell

Instead of simply telling your team what to do, show them. Lead from the front and take part in the team activities. Demonstrate difficult aspects and muck in with the unpleasant jobs. Recognise the abilities of your employees and help them tackle their tasks in a way that compliments their learning style.

6: Be Direct

Get to the point. Come right out and say it, don’t beat around the bush. This goes for positive comments and negative ones. If there is an issue, then solve it directly with constructive comments. Avoiding it will only make it worse in the long run! You will also need to guide your team members in the right direction and ensure they stay on target with your company’s vision.

7: Ask For Feedback

Ask your team for feedback on your style and processes. Even though you might not always like what you hear, you can’t improve your skills if you don’t know what you are doing wrong. Knowing what is working and what isn’t is a great way to improve your effectiveness as a leader.

8: Be Clear On Your Motivation

Is your leadership role just a job, or is it an honour to lead your team to success? You need the right motivation to be effective. So instead of chasing the money and the prestige, focus on how you can inspire people to be their very best.