Marketing recruiter specializing in digital and creative professionals

As a boss, you always have to lead by example.

Whether you’re the CEO of a large corporation or in startup mode, the success of your company depends on your ability to lead. The older I get the more I realize that leadership skills is one of the only things we don’t learn through degree or diploma studies.

Although the ability to be a good leader is an innate skill we all possess, it needs to be unpacked and refined with time and practice. It comes with diving in head first to jobs that may scare you and leading your team to overcoming challenges, while motivating them to work towards a common goal.

Productivity and morale are high when company heads not only are able to guide employees effectively and give direction, but when they are able to empower, instill passion and serve as a role model.

To be a boss is to have a title. To be a leader is to have impact. When setting out goals that will help you become a better leader in 2019, ask yourself the following two questions: What are my strong qualities? Where can I improve? Below are six ways that will help you refine the latter and evolve the former.

Know Yourself

Reflecting is one of the most useful tools to becoming a better leader, because it allows you to determine spots of weakness and assess how to improve them for the future. Once you know yourself and are able to be understand your leadership style, you will be able to refine your workplace environment.

It is helpful to reflect on how you come to make decisions, how much input you generally ask of others, your motivation techniques and whether or not you micromanage your employees too much. These are key indicators of your type of leadership and possibly you’ll find you need to allow for more collaboration, and in some areas, take more charge of seeing tasks through.

Encourage Collaboration

Perhaps you have the most seniority in your department or maybe you run the whole company. Regardless of your tenure, allow everyone on your team to collaborate and share their ideas.

After all, you did hire them because they’re knowledgeable in their field. Chances are, they may offer you a totally different, insightful approach to a task, or a solution to a problem you didn’t think of.

Get your hands dirty

Don’t just sit back and pass off every task to employees. Although it’s your job to delegate as a leader, doing the work with them and getting your hands dirty will afford you a new perspective. You might discover previous ways of doing things are too time consuming. You might realize you need more hands on deck for certain tasks. Whatever the circumstance may be, it allows you to lead by example and show others that no task is too small or too insignificant for you to participate in.

Stay Calm Under Pressure

A true measure of leadership is exemplified by how you react when faced with problems. No matter what the circumstance, you need to respond to issues that arise with a calm, optimistic and positive demeanour. Retaining your confidence will ensure the entire team doesn’t become disheartened go into panic mode when things get tough and stressful.

Hold Yourself Accountable

It’s easy to shift blame when things go wrong and difficult to admit when it’s your fault, especially when you’re the boss. However, you’re only human and we all make mistakes.

Shortcomings are an opportunity to receive feedback from your team about where things went wrong and how it can be avoided in the future. If you have created an environment within your company where employees feel they are able to voice their opinions freely and without repercussions, you will be able to channel unfortunate circumstances into something positive.

Be Passionate

Positive, happy and passionate people attract the like. When you are excited about upcoming projects and hitting goals, the response you will receive from your team will be the same.

Celebrating achievements and recognizing accomplishments after the fact is one way to instill passion into employees to succeed, increase productivity and maintain high morale.