One study shows that counterproductive work behaviour is one of the most significant effects of bad leadership. In another study, researchers found that the negative effects of a toxic boss can last up to 10 years. Compare that to how a good leader can benefit your organisation: high morale, good employee retention, and sustainable long-term success. The choice seems simple: work to become a better leader.
In this video, I share with you 3 things to help you become a better leader today.
1. Remember why you are doing it and who you are doing it for
There is a stark difference between a manager and a leader. To quote Seth Godin, “Management is different from leadership. Leadership is only possible with the enrolment of the people you are leading.” This means that leadership is never about you, but always about your team.
Your role as a leader is to get everyone’s buy in, to inspire them to become better employees and better people, and to allow them to make meaningful decisions.
It’s important to avoid micromanaging your team. Simply giving them instructions won’t be enough to motivate them. Most people don’t like being told what to do and how to do it. Instead, focus on helping your team understand how they can contribute to a meaningful goal. By doing this, you will be able to align their values and personal goals with those of your organisation.
Ultimately, inspiring them to become better employees and better people will lead to a more successful team.
2. Nurture intrinsic motivation in your team
The self-determination theory explains what it takes for an individual to become intrinsically motivated, that is, to do something for the inherent satisfaction of accomplishing the task or activity. The theory explains that a person must feel autonomous, competent, and connected to be intrinsically motivated.
To get your team motivated from within means, it’s essential to give them some autonomy. Allow your employees the freedom to decide what, how, where, and when they work as long as they get the job done. Also, ensure that your team feels fully equipped to fulfill their roles and responsibilities by giving them all of the necessary information and training. Lastly, help your team members feel valued and that they are integral part of the team by recognising and appreciating their contributions to achieving the team’s goals.
3. Build and nurture a strong culture
A team’s culture is how they do things and is shaped by their identity and values. When the team has a positive and strong culture, it sets the tone for achieving goals and solving problems effectively.
As a leader, you have the crucial role of creating and nurturing your team’s culture. Simply writing it down and telling people about it is not enough—you need to lead by example.
Your team looks up to you and follows your lead. If you want a culture that values honesty and inclusivity, you must embody those values in your words and actions.
Being a leader is so much more than managing resources. It’s about aligning your values with your team, motivating them to be their best, and modelling positive attitudes and behaviours. You don’t lead from a pedestal—you are right there with your team helping them achieve their best. Work by inspiring them to be better every step of the way.