What if some of the best business leadership advice came from The Matrix?
In the original movie, the character of Neo struggles with the idea of living up to his destiny as “The One.” It is only by throwing himself into different challenges that he achieves his full potential. Eventually, his mentor Morpheus tells him a powerful truth: “There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.”
This is true for business leaders. You may have read books and attended seminars on leadership, but you can’t truly build your leadership skills until you begin walking the path. With that in mind, here are the easiest ways you can improve your business leadership skills.
1. Always Be Willing to Learn as a Leader
We often envision leadership as being the person who is calling all the shots. However, good leaders must be as willing to learn from others as they are to teach their employees.
Demonstrate leadership by being honest about the things you don’t know much about and learning from those who know more. By committing yourself to learn new things each day, you can make yourself a better leader one day at a time.
Additionally, your employees will respect the fact you are willing to learn from them. Respect is another cornerstone of good leadership.
2. Leaders Demonstrate Discipline
A good leader is one who leads by example. To pull this off, you need to demonstrate discipline in a few key areas.
For example, you should always arrive at work on time. Start your meetings exactly when you schedule them, and never miss your appointments. In this way, you can lead and inspire others to follow in your footsteps while maintaining a positive outlook.
Now, if you are not a naturally organized person or a morning person, it can be difficult to do these things. However, by employing self-discipline to become a better leader, you can inspire others to learn the self-discipline necessary to be better workers.
3. Collaboration and Inspiration are Key to Leadership
Good leadership is all about embracing efficiency, so it’s important to collaborate often with individual employees.
Such collaboration shows workers that you aren’t afraid to help them resolve different issues. This alone will garner respect for you that much more.
The more you collaborate with employees, the more chances you have to directly lead and inspire them. This helps your team feel more respected and valued by their boss, and they’ll be willing to go the extra mile for you.
4. Leaders Make Time for Personal Growth
So far, we have focused on how you can be a better business leader during business hours. However, one of the most effective ways of improving your business leadership skills occurs once you get home.
In short, it’s important to pencil in time for your own personal growth. Instead of just watching TV or playing games when you get home, take the time to read a few chapters from business leadership books. Instead of just watching cute cat videos on Youtube, take the time to watch a few videos from business leadership gurus instead.
This doesn’t have to take up much time each night. Putting in a little extra time toward personal growth at home can make you a much more effective business leader.
5. Take the Lead on More Projects
Earlier, we discussed the importance of “walking the path” as a business leader. To do this, you should take the lead on more projects.
The idea behind this is simple: Leadership is a skill where you learn more by doing more. While delegation is very important (more on this soon), you can’t afford to just kick back in the corner office and let everyone else handle the big issues. Instead, it’s important to take on enough projects that you are active and engaged as a leader.
With that being said, never take on more than you can handle. Showing that you are willing to pull your weight will bring out the best in your workers.
6. Leaders Learn Delegation and Empowerment
What’s the difference between a good leader and a great leader? It’s simple: The greatest business leaders leave their workers feeling empowered after a day at the office.
What does it take to make an employee feel more empowered? Typically, the best thing you can do is delegate certain tasks to the right people. Doing so helps the employees feel more valued because it demonstrates how well you understand their skill sets and that you are willing to trust them with something important.
It can be difficult to find the sweet spot between leading multiple projects yourself and delegating when necessary. Done right, though, this combination of hands-on leadership and expert delegation can help to transform your company.
7. Flexible Leaders Master Problem Solving
Our last bit of advice to become a better business leader is also our simplest. As a leader, much of your job is very goal-oriented as you focus on things like KPIs and analytics. The goal is straightforward: You want to meet all of the different metrics for success and expand as a company.
However, we recommend that you take a more flexible approach to this. While your goals and KPIs may be fixed, you should keep an open mind toward different ways you may be able to accomplish everything. This leaves room for your employees to come up with creative solutions.
At the end of the day, “innovation” is just the word we give to an “unexpected solution.” If you take a more flexible approach toward problem-solving, then you can encourage innovation on a daily basis. A little flexibility can go a long way.
Put Your Business Leadership Skills to Work Today!
Now you know how to improve as a business leader. But do you know who will value all of the skills you bring to the table?