In Peter Voogd’s recent class, Lessons on Leadership, you’ll get the nitty gritty on what it takes to become a stronger, more effective leader—even if you’ve never thought of yourself as a leader before. Part of being a strong leader for your business team, whether it’s a team of 20 or two, means understanding and following through on several key concepts. Here’s a preview of what Voogd considers to be some of the most important leadership qualities that will help take your business, and your team, to the next level:
Ability to Identify Issues
Voogd says that you’ve got to attack issues the moment they arise. If you wait to confront and fix any obstacles or challenges, these issues will only continue to grow in size—in reality and in your mind—and will make you more uncomfortable and anxious. If you’re avoiding an issue or not dealing with it head on, your team is bound to notice—and that can change the way they see you as a leader.
Good at Finding Solutions
By teaching your team members to solve problems, they become problem solvers instead of “problem givers.” When others come to you for help, ask them to first come up with a couple solutions of their own and then return. This saves you the time and hassle of having to deal with—and solve–every issue that comes up in your business. As Voogd explains, the whole point of being a real leader is not to develop the most followers–“it’s about developing leaders who can create leaders.” There’s something to think about.
Integrity Matters – A Lot
Your team members are looking to you for guidance, and they will work as hard or as little as you do. If you want your team to come in early, you’ve got to come in early. That’s why you’ve got to practice what you preach, and take full responsibility in every aspect of your business. Every move you make in your business is a reflection of you and your leadership qualities. So say what you mean, follow through on your promises and keep yourself accountable for your mistakes. It’s also one of the best ways to attract and retain highly talented people to your team.
Knowing How to Delegate
It’s not realistic to take on every aspect of your business by yourself. Voogd had to overcome his “Superman Syndrome” and finally allow others to help him with certain tasks that didn’t align with his strengths. He advises that if you can find someone who will do the job at least 80 percent as well as you can, then hand it over. Letting go isn’t easy—after all, this business is your baby. But once you make a list of what you can’t do, you’ll realize that you have more time to focus on the tasks that you excel in, and that will keep you heading down a more successful path and strenghtening your leadership qualities.
Understanding Passion vs. Emotion
A real leader is passionate, yes. But to react emotionally to every issue that comes up in your business isn’t usually the most effective method—for your business or for your team. Give it 24 hours, sleep on it. This will give you a more objective view of the issue, and allow you to approach it with a more business-minded perspective. Your team needs to know that the boss can be counted on when times are tough, so keep yourself from making snap judgments, and you—and your team—will be glad you did.
Want to know how to develop your leadership qualities? Watch Peter Voogd’s full course, Lessons on Leadership on CreativeLive for more important lessons on how to set a clear path for leading your business and reducing the risk of burnout.