9 Tips for Becoming a Better Leader A Smart girl's guide

Learning how to lead people will make you more effective at your work as it will make the people you are leading more productive. Doing it right will gain you respect that can last for a long time.

1. Listen to Your Team

It’s not necessary for leaders to know everything. They will need to get input from the team. Teams are usually made up of people with varying skills and even intelligence. Always ask your team for input and listen to what they have to say. You may still be required to make any final decisions, but when you get the team involved, they'll feel connected.

2. Don’t Be Afraid to Make Tough Decisions

Your team may not like every decision you make. That can often scare leaders into not making the right decisions, or worse, making no decisions at all. As long as you have reasons for making your decisions, you can use that to back them up when people challenge your decisions.

3. Delegate to Team Members

Leaders make the mistake of trying to manage everything. Sometimes it’s best to find a few members of your team who you can trust to carry out some of your functions. You may have to give up some power, but you can hold those members accountable in exchange.

4. Admit When You’re Wrong

Everyone makes mistakes. Leaders are no different. When you make a mistake, be up front with your team about it. They will respect this more than were you to try and cover up those mistakes. The key is to try and get everyone on the team to learn from those mistakes.

5. Show Appreciation

When your team members do good work, make sure you let them know about it. Appreciation goes a long way, and they'll appreciate you back for it. When you gain their respect, they'll do more for you after you give them kudos.

6. Be Willing to Jump In

Just because you're the leader doesn't mean you can’t lend a hand and pitch in. Sometimes the team may need some extra help, and you should be ready to offer that to them. This doesn't mean that you have to do their work for them. Having you as the backup can help the team succeed.

7. Be a Mentor to Team Members

If you can help your members to become more successful, the whole team will benefit. Act in a mentor capacity to help them achieve the objectives of the team.

8. Participate in Team Activities

When the team meets up after work for a gathering, be willing to participate in at least some of those extra-office activities. Your team will want to get to know you outside of the office and will want you to get to know them as well. When possible, try to get the company to pick up the tab on occasion.

9. Keep Meetings as Short as Possible

If you have to have meetings, make sure you keep them as short as you can. Your team is trying to get their work done, and they don’t need to be bogged down in long meetings.


1. Attend the next after-work gathering of your team or schedule one yourself. Try to attend at least one per month.

2. Recognize members of your team that have been excelling at their jobs and show appreciation for them. It can be as simple as thanking them for doing a great job.

3. Commit to having your next meeting last no more than ½ hour to 45 minutes. Have an agenda and stick to it. Announce to the team of your intention of holding the meetings short.


1. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership:

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2. Leadership: Theory and Practice:

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3. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action:

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4. Mindful Leadership:

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5. The Leadership Challenge:

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Created By
Annie Harrison

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