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How to Become a Better Leader

June 7, 2016

The clients I work with are all good leaders, but they come to me when they want to be even better. As an Executive Coach, I have the pleasure of working with and watching fabulous leaders unfold and accomplish amazing things. But, it does take work to get from ‘good to great.’ I would like to share my Top Tips to help ‘up your game’ as a leader  to make some impactful shifts in your career and organization.

1.Great leaders need to build in time in their calendars each week to reflect and strategize. This focus helps leaders guide their teams and keep their eyes on the bigger picture.

2.Fun. Work places tend to be quite serious. Sure, you want to get lots of work done, but fun needs to be injected into workplaces regularly to energize the group. This energy can lead to more innovative thinking and better outcomes.

3.Communicate regularly and openly with their teams. Talk to them about the company’s objectives in a way that is understandable to all. Help connect the dots for the group so they understand how their performance plays a role in the bigger picture.

4.Be bold. Leaders are faced with making some hard choices and they need to be able to take a stand and make those tough decisions.  There are times these decisions won’t be popular but a good leader, like a good parent, isn’t concerned about being liked and pleasing others. Great leaders need to do what they know is right based on their past experiences and expertise.

5. Listen to their gut. Great leaders know how to tune into themselves and listen to that voice inside that is giving them direction. Then, they research this option more to understand if it is viable to execute.

6. Ability to connect. Regardless if you are an introvert or an extrovert, you are a human being and have the ability to connect with others. Put yourself out there, share more about yourself with others at the workplace and really listen to your people. Your staff will work their hardest for those they feel care about them. Learn to put business objectives aside from time-to-time to focus on truly being present with your people and connecting with them.

7. Presentation skills. Great leaders have learned how to present with meaning, clarity and charisma.  These traits are something that are available to all of us as speakers.  As the former speech writer for the CEO of General Motors and now as a keynote speaker myself, I have learned a lot about the art of public speaking. I work one-on-one with leaders in this area as well as teach leadership teams through my Present Like A Pro workshops how to leverage authentic speaking styles with power and pizzazz to make maximum impact.

8. Focus and flexibility. Great leaders have focus on their end goals, but realize that often strategies need to be shifted as the environment changes or as new information comes to light.  As leaders, we have so many things thrown at us each day that it can be easy to become scattered in our thinking, feeling like we are flinging our brains from one item to the next.

I have learned a tool, Mindfulness that I now share with others, that has been a game changer for me in the way I operate as a senior leader. Learning practical tools to stay in the present moment is powerful to help you focus your full attention on one item at a time to make the best decision. At the same time, mindfulness helps reduce your stress levels as you are not constantly feeling the weight of everything you have to do throughout the day. These tools help you take one thing at a time.



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