How to Become a Strong Leader (With Qualities and Benefits)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated December 8, 2022
Published May 9, 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Leadership is an important skill that can benefit organizations, workplaces, and individuals. Strong leadership provides guidance and improves overall engagement and performance to help ensure everyone is productive and that the overall organization is successful. Learning more about how to become a strong leader can help you increase the efficiency of a workplace and make you a more competitive candidate in the job market. In this article, we define strong leadership, learn how to become a strong leader, discuss the qualities of a strong leader, and explore the benefits of strong leadership in the workplace.
What is strong leadership?
Strong leadership is when an individual can successfully guide, motivate, encourage, and listen to their team members. Leadership in a workplace environment is the ability for a person to understand the organization's vision, set challenging goals that align with the vision, and support a group of people in achieving those goals. A leader also makes quick and strategic decisions to help the organization be successful and stay competitive. Team members may find it easier to follow a leader's vision if they agree with their goals and actions and believe that the leader has the qualities and expertise to guide them towards those goals.
Strong leaders tend to lead by example. Through their actions and behaviour, they can show their expectations and provide guidance for team members. The goal is for team members to be motivated by a leader's actions. It can create a sense of trust and acceptance among coworkers, which may make them want to follow the leader's vision and work towards the same goals. Effective leaders may also exhibit good ethics, honesty, and integrity to demonstrate they are responsible for their team members and the success of the company.
How to become a strong leader
If you are thinking about applying for project management or supervisor roles, you might want to know how to become a strong leader. There are many ways an individual can become a strong leader. You can become one regardless of the job and responsibilities you currently have. While some people might find that leadership comes easily for them, most individuals learn strong leadership skills through experience and learning. Here's a list of steps you can take if you are interested in learning the way to become a strong leader:
1. Engage in open communication
While learning to be transparent when communicating can be challenging at first, it is an essential leadership skill. For instance, it is a team leader's responsibility to ensure their team has the resources and support they need. This might mean gathering feedback and requirements from stakeholders, presenting feedback to team members, brainstorming solutions, motivating the team, and improving workflows. Whether you want to establish an open-door policy or organize more formal check-ins, it's important for a team to feel comfortable approaching you for help.
2. Practise active listening
A large part of effective communication and leadership involves listening to the feedback and concerns of your team. Listening helps you better support and resolve the challenges that your team faces and also informs you how you can improve. Being an active listener means empathizing with your team, asking questions to help ensure you understand them correctly, observing the body language of your team members when you speak with them, and being engaged when communicating. This can help you build positive and trusting relationships with your team to foster a healthy work environment.
3. Encourage and recognize your team
By encouraging and recognizing the efforts of your team, you may create a supportive environment that boosts morale. This helps your team know you are aware of their accomplishments and appreciate the hard work they put into their job. Encouragement and recognition also help others gain the confidence to pursue new skills and improve their career within the organization.
In a leadership role, it's important to show that you appreciate what your team has accomplished. For example, you can formally recognize your team in a meeting for the successful delivery of a project and relay any positive feedback you have received from stakeholders. You can also provide encouragement and resources for your employees to attend training sessions and apply for promotions. The more encouragement you provide, the more confident and trusting your team may be in your leadership skills.
Qualities of a strong leader
Strong leaders have many qualities that make them trustworthy, confident, and skilled to guide and motivate employees. Here are a few of the qualities an effective leader may possess:
Self-awareness and self-discipline
Active listening and communicating
Responsibility and dependability
Strategic and critical thinking
Benefits of strong leadership in the workplace
There are many benefits to strong leadership in the workplace. It helps ensure employees are working productively towards common goals and the overall success of the company. It can also help employees feel more motivated in their roles. When an organization has many strong leaders, they are more competitive in their industry, produce better quality work for stakeholders, and have a more efficient workflow, which saves money and resources. Here are some of the specific benefits of strong leadership in the workplace:
Increases employee and company morale
Employees are a company's greatest and most powerful asset. Companies spend a lot of time building a positive work culture and environment where employees feel safe and encouraged to perform at their best. Strong leaders help companies create a positive workplace by providing support to employees, organizing social events, recognizing employee accomplishments, running training sessions, and providing consistent feedback for team members so they can improve.
Once employees have the tools and resources they need to do their job efficiently and confidently, they are often happier to work and willing to do their job well every day. A strong leader makes employees feel appreciated and helps them achieve productivity targets and deliverable quotas. As a result, employees are more likely to stay loyal to the company and grow with it to advance their careers.
Helps employees upskill and become more productive
Organizations and teams value upskilling because it typically enhances the overall quality of work for employees. Leaders are often vital in identifying where talent gaps exist and developing training modules or organizing training events that help reduce those gaps. For example, if a team lacks knowledge on new software that was implemented within the organization, the leadership team might organize a series of training sessions to educate employees on using the software. Upskilling is important to maintain the competitiveness of the company and to improve the overall abilities and knowledge of the employees.
Upskilling also helps increase the level of productivity within the organization. Once employees have the updated tools and resources to perform their job, they can complete tasks more efficiently and effectively. Increased productivity improves the quality of employee performance and also reduces the time it takes for them to accomplish a task. As a result, they have more time to work on their other responsibilities and take on more tasks, which reduces delays and increases cost savings for the organization.
Ensures effective communication within the organization
Organizations rely on effective communication to help ensure all employees are aware of current and future company initiatives and projects. When the upper management team makes a decision, such as a new company strategy or change management initiative, it's important that everyone knows of the decision and understands it. Misunderstandings can impact the reputation of the organization and create unnecessary productivity delays and expenses.
A strong leader helps ensure that effective communication reaches everyone within the organization. They might deliver the information through staff meetings, e-mails, or other types of announcements. For example, a team leader might organize a staff meeting for all managers and supervisors within their department to relay the new information, answer any questions, and help ensure that managers and supervisors have the right tools to communicate the message within their respective teams. The managers and supervisors in the department are then responsible for delivering the information to their team members so that everyone is updated as quickly and accurately as possible.
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