Updated: May 12
Staying true to yourself while working hard to identify your shortcomings leads to phenomenal progress.
It is no secret that different types of leaders have different leadership styles. Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill formed one of the great national and personal alliances in world history as they led the US and the UK against the Axis Powers in World War II. Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig led the New York Yankees to greatness in the 1920s and 30s. Steven Spielberg, Stanley Kubrick, François Truffaut, Spike Lee – they’ve all led and directed great films.
And yet all of those directors have vastly different directorial styles, including how they manage their teams. Ruth was a gregarious party animal, while Gehrig was very reserved. FDR and Churchill had their differences as well. Even so, all of those leaders found ways to lead their teams to success.
One of the first lessons in leadership, therefore, is that there are many different ways to lead effectively. These few tips are just the tip of the iceberg, touching on suggestions you may not have considered.
Before you can become a leader of men and women, you must first have mastery over yourself. From Aristotelian ideas of excellence and flourishing to Eastern concepts of mediation and self-control, this idea of self-mastery is at the core of philosophies for self-improvement around the world.
This means that before you can turn your gaze outward and start plotting the takeover of your industry, you must first look inward.
What are your strengths?
What are your weaknesses?
And how are you able to manage your thoughts and emotions?
The answers to those questions are vital prerequisites to solve to master yourself before you can start leading and inspiring others.
Help Employees Define Their Work
We all know that employees are supposed to be “engaged” and “share your vision.” But how do you help them do that, exactly? It is vital that you make employees see how they directly contribute to the larger goal, and why that larger goal matters. Define their work, yes, but also leave room for employees to define it themselves.
Create a Lively Company Culture
There’s a difference between running a tight ship and being a tyrant. There’s a reason we didn’t list Stalin alongside FDR and Churchill, after all. Strength and control alone do not make for good leadership, and an obsession with it can create the type of paranoid iron fisted-ness that dictators are made of. Instead, try to foster a company culture in which everyone feels free to and, indeed, wants to contribute.
Armed with these tips, you’ll be able to lead your team towards a brighter future.