The Leader’s Checklist: 4 Core Principles

It is quite well-known globally that it is one thing to be a boss and a manager, but it is a totally different thing to be a leader. Not only do leaders set the direction that the team should move in, but they also set the motion of the movement and help direct the team by setting an example themselves.

Leaders need to create inspiring visions for their teams; they need to create an example and motivate their teams using the right tools and skill sets. Leaders build and coach their teams and spend time getting to know every part of their team individually to get to know their unique strengths and weaknesses.

So, if you want to become an effective leader, what should you be doing? What are the core principles that you should have in place? We took a look at a basic checklist for you to become the most effective leader you can be.

1. Heighten Your Leadership Skills Set

One of the first things that we recommend to anyone wanting to move up the career ladder is to keep updating their skills. There are thousands of courses, training, modules and academies for you to choose from to heighten your skills.

Although considered a soft skill, the right academy will help you hone your skills in team and people management and teach you how to bring the most out of people. Business leadership development courses help you improve collaboration between teams, assist you in effectively streamlining and prioritizing tasks, and even focus on soft skills like communication and emotional intelligence.

2. Work on Your Communication Skills

One of the most important things about being a leader is being able to speak to your teams and staff in a way that will get the most out of them. Staff retention mostly comes down to the manager’s way of communicating and interacting with their teams. In a company with a high staff turnover, you will most likely find managers with poor interpersonal skills.

Communication, especially in the corporate environment, is not just about speaking to your staff, it is also about listening to them, and this is where the great divide comes between leaders and managers. Managers who are effective allow their staff to communicate with them and take on board their needs and opinions.

The right communicator will also know how to manage areas of conflict and challenge effectively. One of the most difficult things about a working environment is the fact that there will ultimately be clashes. A good manager will be able to handle it and tackle the problem head-on.

3. Encourage Personal and Professional Growth

A good manager will know that their staff needs to have a set career path in front of them with plenty of opportunities for growth to be motivated. However, in saying this, they will also want to know that they have room for work/life balance and to be in a position to grow in their personal lives.

On the professional side, we highly encourage companies to send their staff through training and skill-building courses. Not only does the investment from the company show them that they are a valuable part of the team, but it helps them become more proficient at their jobs, which is highly encouraging for them.

But, their personal interests and lives need to be considered in the same breath. If staff member has a comfortable personal life, where their needs are being met and developed, they are going to be generally more satisfied and productive. Encourage work-life balance as well as a healthy lifestyle throughout your staff.

4. Acknowledge and Appreciate Your Staff

Statistics have shown that staff that is regularly shown appreciation and recognition in their jobs stay in their jobs longer. As much as a monthly income encourages them to come back to work each day, if you want to get the most out of your employee, actually take the time out to recognize their hard work and reward them for what they are achieving.

Things like month-end awards, days off, vouchers, bonuses, and simple company-wide letters of recognition and thanks are a great way to make your employee feel appreciated for their hard work.

In many cases, companies fail to recognize employees who work overtime or who put in an extra few hours of work every month on a project or to keep a client happy. Consider giving them a day or afternoon off as thanks.

The Bottom Line

Many managers simply don’t take on the simple mantra; “treat people how you want to be treated.” The more you focus on communication, appreciation, work-life balance, and recognition, the more productive and satisfied your employees will be.

Milica Brborović