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Cheat Sheet

Leadership For Dummies (UK Edition)

From Leadership For Dummies by John Marrin

You can be a great leader in your workplace by having a positive influence on the way that the people who work for and with you think, feel and act. This Cheat Sheet gives you some quick tips for improving your leadership skills.

Becoming a Great Leader Starts with Being Yourself

Being a great leader starts with leading yourself, so take a moment to get to know yourself better, and continually work on developing yourself. Follow these tips:

  • Clarify the values that are important to you.

  • Question yourself about whether you’re always authentic by acting in accord with your values.

  • Identify your leadership strengths and assess how well you’re using them.

  • Seek feedback from work colleagues about how you and your behaviour affects or impacts on them.

  • Prioritise your leadership development needs and plan how to address them.

  • Enhance your self-confidence by occasionally stepping outside of your comfort zone.

  • Be your best critical friend by reflecting on and learning from your experiences.

Being an Engaging Leader

To lead your colleagues successfully you need to build people’s enthusiasm about their tasks and targets. Become an engaging leader by following these top tips for your team:

  • Engage people to find meaning in their work: help them to understand that their work is important and worthwhile.

  • Have and show a genuine interest in each person: find out each individual’s aspirations, needs, interests, talents, concerns, and so on.

  • Appreciate that people want to contribute; engage people fully in their work to enable them to use their talents and have a sense of fulfilment.

  • Speak your mind: say what you think while always acting with good intentions.

  • Give people your total attention: listen intently and ask searching questions to improve mutual understanding in conversations about work.

  • Build commitment to achieve objectives through engaging people to take ownership of their work.

  • Strengthen your connections and relationships with everyone who works for and with you.

  • Avoid meaningless language and be aware of making assumptions about the meaning of the language others are using.

  • Ensure absolute clarity about agreed actions and deadlines for completing them.

  • Encourage and reinforce shared accountability for success.

Leading a High Performing Team

Take the lead in building your colleagues into a high performing team that continually achieves its objectives. Become a great leader of a great team by doing the following:

  • Clarify and convey your team’s purpose, and how the whole team and individual team members add value to your company or organisation.

  • Create and share your vision of how you see your team working in the future.

  • Set high standards, and encourage everyone in your team to achieve them.

  • Build people up by catching them doing things right and praising them for their contribution.

  • Promptly challenge anyone whose performance or behaviour is unacceptable, and support them to bridge the performance gap.

  • Focus team members on improving the team’s processes as well as on achieving objectives.

  • Hold regular individual and team reviews to identify good practices and continually enhance the capabilities and performance of each person and your whole team.

  • Celebrate achievements and success.

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