Ten commandments for great leadership - Business Works
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Ten commandments for great leadership

by Marielena Sabatier, CEO, Inspiring Potential There are so many articles talking about what are key qualities to make you a great leader and boss. They all cover the same language - vision, charisma, integrity, results, empathy, self-awareness. Are some people just born great leaders or can you learn and develop the qualities to become an inspirational boss? The many theories in leadership go from personality, to traits, to behaviour, to servitude. Itís a jungle of information says Marielena Sabatier, CEO at Inspiring Potential.

The easiest way to create great leadership skills is by having your own philosophy at work, based on your own core values. Throughout my corporate career, I had my own 10 commandments and they have served me well. You may notice that words like integrity, vision and empathy are not part of the commandments, but they are implied throughout. They are the foundations for being a great boss who is able to motivate, inspire and keep a team happy.

Here are my ten commandments for being a good boss and leader:

  1. Aim to be the right type of boss
    Take note of good bosses you have worked for in the past and learn from their example.

  2. Lead by example: Play hard and work hard
    The team will respect you more if you lead by example. I learned this from someone I respected in a previous job, you can play hard, but you must be the first one in, the following day, you must not let the standards slip because or your 'hard play' or because you are the boss and think you can take advantage of that position.

  3. Clear guidelines on work ethics, standards and expectations
    It's important for the team to know what you expect from them, they are not psychics. They need to know what your standards and expectations are. Often people assume the standards are obvious, but they aren't to others. Values are intrinsic, so we could call the same label different things. What does integrity mean to you? Does it mean the same for everyone? Also it's important that your team are clear on what your expectations are from them? For example: Working long hours? Going the extra mile? Loyalty? For example, show support and loyalty to them and you will get it back.

  4. Open and honest feedback
    Feedback is critical for a team to communicate effectively, for people to know when they are doing well, or when they can do better. If given with integrity and with the intention of helping and developing the individual, it can change a good performer into an excellent one. It creates an open and honest culture. It helps reduce conflict, improve communication and therefore morale. Give praise when praise is due.

  5. Allow freedom
    It is important for you, as the boss to have your finger on the pulse without micro-managing a team. Allow your team to have freedom, autonomy and responsibility and their results will be much better.

  6. The buck stops with you
    If for some reason your team failed to deliver, take responsibility. It's the bosses responsibility to enable them to succeed, therefore as the boss, you have allowed them to fail. Maybe, you hadn't supported or listened to them enough or was too busy to coach them. Regardless of the reason, it's the responsibility of the boss to remedy the situation and protect them from politics. Internally, reprimand the team for failing to deliver, but fix the problem as a team. Externally take the hit.

  7. Trust: betrayal not forgiven
    Trust your team, believe in them and always share relevant information with them. If you exhibit these values they in turn will do the same. Loyalty and trust are important to the success of a team and will culture a tight-knit team with no backstabbing.

  8. Do what is right for the people in your team, not the company or yourself
    Give good advice and be honest with members of your team. For example, sometimes the right advice might be 'take that new job, the opportunity is better than anything we can offer you. I'd hate to lose you, but your career is important'. At least you are being honest and acting in the best interests of the individual rather than making any false promises.

  9. Market them, support and develop the team
    Be there to support them. Listen to them, open doors for them and escalate issues which are important to them. Encourage a team member to go to meeting on your behalf and delegate high exposure jobs to them so they can become well known within the organisation. If you make them feel valued and appreciated, they will make you look good.

  10. Be Human - own your mistakes
    When you make a mistake, own it and rectify it as soon as possible. Don't try and blame others in the team for your error.

For more information, please visit: www.inspiring-potential.co.uk

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