Leaders are not just anyone who is the in-charge. Leaders are those who are admired and respected. They have worked towards it, they have earned it. It is never easy to gain respect from your team, as it is only when they feel you are worthy, they will give you the honour and respect. How can you gain respect from others?
Firstly, leaders should be a ROLE MODEL. They should be the one who do as what they have said. They should first show a good example for their people before asking them to do the tasks the leaders want them to. By seeing leaders doing work themselves, and not just “talk only, no action”, people will feel that the leaders are responsible, and give will give them the respect that earned.
Next, leaders should use More of ‘WE’ than ‘ME’. Communicate using a more inclusive language will allow your people to think of you as a good team player, rather than one who always wants his rights of way. This type of communication will allow people to be in the team and not form barriers from the leaders.
Leaders should BE IN THE TEAM. By being in the team, I mean participating and assigning work equally including the leaders. If you are willing to learn from others about things you don’t know, and guide others on the things you are more capable of, people will feel that you are one of them. You are treating them equally when you are willing to be a part of them.
Once you gained respect, you can then influence people. By influencing them, they will be much more willing to support whatever directions or goals you have set for them. You can positively motivate them to work more effectively and efficiently. You will gain their trust for work.
Leaders more than just need respect and trust. They need to be an effective leader. How can you be an effective leader?
Firstly, as leaders, you need to BE HUMBLE. Be daring to admit you mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone is courageous enough to admit it. Being a leader, you have to be the first to step up and admit your wrongdoings and not cover it up! It’s no point being an ostrich, hiding your head does not mean covering your whole body. Your people still can see what went wrong. If you don’t admit it, in future, when your people made mistakes, they will also not admit. You must show that there’s nothing wrong with admitting your mistakes and correcting them. Next, you need to BELIEVE and have CONFIDENCE. You need to believe you have the power to change whatever situation. You have gained respect and trust from your people. Surely you will have the ability to inspire people to go to greater heights and challenge themselves. Having confidence is a step to let your people know they all of you can do it, to achieve greater things for the company.
Leaders have to BE OPEN and WILLING TO TAKE RISK. Allow your people to say their ideas, critiques and plans freely. No matter how low position your people may be, everyone’s critique is important. They may have a different perspective and their feedback might be important to the company. When they are allowed to say freely, they will be able to find their passion in work, and they will always be looking at creating impact through long term sustainable growth. They will always be motivated to work harder when you trust them with their work. It doesn’t matter if their plan or ideas fail, so long as they try. You must be willing to take risk and see every opportunity. Even if no one is willing to take up the project, you can still choose to do it. You can be the first to take up the project which may lead you to have first mover advantage.
Being a leader in name is easy. But being a true leader is never easy. However, so long as one do not give up trying, they are bound to succeed!