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How can we become better leaders?

"A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better." - Jim Rohn

Leaders are highly responsible for their team's performance and engagement in the workplace. As we are dealing with different types of people everyday, managing people can become a challenge. But to become a better leader, we must be aware of our own people: how they behave, work and engage.

I was invited by an organization to speak about how to become a better people manager. Part of their requests is to cover how to handle teams, setting goals, and giving recognition to employees. While thinking about it, I thought of checking the definition of management which is the process of dealing or controlling things or people. While to lead is to cause a person to go with one by holding them by the hands while moving forward.

It took me quite a while to think about it and have the courage to tell them with only 90 minutes of time, I believe leadership principles will be more helpful and will likely cover the rest of their requests. So I decided to focus on delivering mostly based on the session on How Can You Level Up As An HR Leader in 5 Ways adding in the context based on our conversation.

I started my talk with why I prefer to hold hands while moving forward rather than control people. As we lead, we have to adapt to the different personalities, communication style, situations that we will face and build trust with several people within our journey.

5 Principles That Makes Us Better Leaders:

  1. Adaptability and ability to manage change. You can find more information on this in our earlier article though I wanted to add this comment from a recent interview with Mohammad Ali Malik how interesting it is that people resist change and yet we all know that change is constant. In our lives we go through change as we grow up and move on to different activities/journeys in our lives.

  2. Continuous learning will be key in order for us to manage change, expectations and be able to lead our team confidently. As Roy T. Bennett says, “There is no more profitable investment than investing in yourself. It is the best investment you can make to improve yourself to be the best version of you and lets you be able to best serve those around you”

  3. Empowerment and employee engagement, as a leader our main purpose is to create more leaders within our team. For us to have balance, it is necessary for us to delegate work and distribute it accordingly. That can only happen, if we were to empower our team by providing them the tools, skills and other resources that will help them achieve goals. Speaking of goals, what I learned over the weekend before this talk from a masterclass I attended is, it's all about knowing what we want and being committed to getting it no matter what. Employee engagement is likely the byproduct of being able to see all these principles in the workplace.

  4. Leadership is about having interest in developing your employees, building trust and working together to create a joyful environment. It's a continuous effort of building the right culture, leveraging each other's strengths as well as differences (reason why DEI is important). As a leader, it is your priority to create a psychological safe environment for people to share their ideas, make mistakes and learn from it. All of this requires communications skills - being able to listen, give feedback and have that crucial conversations within the team

  5. Humanizing the way we work. It's high time now that we understand that people work differently. We need to put a stop to labeling people for their job titles and allowing them to living their purpose by being themselves. As leaders, we have to be more people centric. Customer centricity is not limited to external customers, the more we do things based on human design the more success we can have in any endeavor.

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