A lot goes into being a good leader, and it doesn’t always come naturally. How can you earn the respect and trust of your employees while empowering them at the same time? How can you maintain order and authority while still being likable and creating a great work environment? These are questions even the most experienced leaders struggle with. Luckily for you, we have four great tips from Robert Herjavec to help you be the best leader you can be.
Turn mistakes into learning opportunities
When you’re invested in your business and success, it’s only natural that you’ll get frustrated when your employees make mistakes or things go wrong. However, focusing on the negative can do more harm than good. If you’re constantly pointing out what your employees are doing wrong, they’ll most likely become discouraged and maybe even resentful. On the other hand, if you encourage them, you’ll keep their morale up, motivate them to keep working hard, and increase their respect for you as a leader. Just remember that a good leader doesn’t completely ignore the bad – You should know how to turn mistakes into learning opportunities instead. “There’s not much point in dwelling on what went wrong and why it did if you’re not going to offer how that doesn’t happen in the future,” says Robert. “Teach your employees and encourage them now so you can get better results tomorrow.”
Regardless of how intelligent, experienced, and prepared you may be, you and your business will experience tough times or failures. As a leader, you have to not only accept this, but handle the problems that come your way with transparency. The first step to doing this is to make a habit out of openly communicating with your employees. “The goal is the build respect and trust in you and the values of your company, not to build your own ego,” says Robert. “Even when the failure or decision had nothing to do with you directly, don’t shovel the bad news onto someone else’s shoulders.” This won’t always be easy or pleasant, but you need to remember that being honest makes you a better leader and better boss. “Being prepared to handle the dark days as well as the sunny ones comes with the job,” says Robert.
Be a good listener
When someone is speaking to you, are you really listening to what they’re saying? Or are you just waiting for them to stop talking so you can have your turn to speak? Just because you’re in charge, you don’t always have to be the one doing all of the talking. “I had to learn the value of remaining silent as a means of communicating well,” says Robert. One way to practice being a good listener and leader is to avoid being the first person to make a comment in a discussion. “I’ve learned that the fourth or fifth person to speak often has more to contribute,” admits Robert. “After listening carefully to the first three or four speakers, you have both knowledge of the context of the discussion and an opportunity to tailor your comments according to the situation.”
Life isn’t always fair, but a good leader always tries their best to be. Avoid picking favorites or placing unrealistic expectations on your employees. “Never ask someone to do something you’re not prepared to do yourself,” says Robert. “If you call a strategy meeting at 6:00 AM, you must be there at 5:30 AM. If I told my sales staff that they would each have to sell $100,000 worth of business in the next month, I would make sure that I sold at least $110,000,” he says. Being fair in what you ask your employees to do goes a long way. Just because you’re the leader doesn’t mean you should ever be unreasonable or one-sided.