Great leaders are constantly evolving, gaining additional skills and finding new ways to effectively manage and guide their teams. This active style of leadership comes with practice and self-awareness about any of your weaknesses or blind spots.
To help build these skills, nine Young Entrepreneur Council members discuss how entrepreneurs can enhance their leadership skills. Below, they share their top-recommended practices to help leaders take stock of their skills and find out where they can improve.
1. Identify patterns
View past successes and failures and identify patterns. Have you managed to lead a team with a clear goal or struggle when it was less clear? Reflect the strengths and weaknesses of your leadership. Are you good at innovative ideas, but don’t implement them? An honest self-assessment is an effective way to judge your leadership. Identify the pattern or problem and you have a solution. – Tonica Bruce, Lead Nisley, Inc.
2. Read leadership books
One way I can analyze my actions and abilities as a leader is by reading books by high-profile business leaders. In many cases, the author will misinterpret them along the way and why their decision caused a problem. You can learn and reflect on your own behavior as you read and change based on the practice that matches your resources and perspectives. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC
3. Listen to your team
I think the best way to improve as a leader is to ask for feedback. Let your team tell you how you are doing. Getting feedback from your team or colleagues does not make you a weak leader. It shows that we hold ourselves to the standards that our team holds. If I hope they learn and grow, I have to do the same. – Trivinia barber, priority VA
4. Learn from other leaders
You can talk to other leaders and learn from their experiences how you can apply their lessons in your work life. You can learn a lot from other professionals around you; All you have to do is ask their brains for insights and pick them up. – Jared Aitchison, WPForms
5. Conduct a self-assessment
Have a self-assessment or 360-degree response about your own leadership performance. To do this, ask your employees to share some thoughts about you anonymously. The more different voices you respond to, the more effective your assessment will be. Make sure you hear what they are saying. They will not only tell you what you are doing wrong, but also what you can do better. – Candice Georgias, Digital Day
6. Find a mentor
One way to take stock of your potential as a leader and find areas for improvement is to find a mentor who can offer constructive criticism to help you grow as a leader. Your mentor can play a purposeful role in helping you identify your own weaknesses and suggest ways to improve them. Also, since your relationship with them is based on trust, it is easier for you to believe what they say. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
7. Journal your daily activities
If you want to take stock of your leadership skills, it is important to journal your daily activities and the events you go through. I recommend using a tool like ROM Research to create notes. This is effective because you can connect entries with each other, but you can also use a simple notebook if you need to. Look back at your previous entries and find useful hints about areas where you can improve as a leader. – Syed Balkhi, WP Beginner
8. Find the ‘new’ key
Any good leader needs to be up-to-date with what’s new, whether it’s marketing, technology or any other important area of their industry. If you see new tools and techniques that sound strange or unfamiliar to you, it’s possible that you’ll need to dig deeper — especially if it makes you uncomfortable. Research new-word ideas and you will build your skills. – Blair Williams, Member Press
9. Be honest with yourself
Start by being honest with yourself. As an entrepreneur, you probably pulled a few rabbits out of your hat, and sometimes, we make the mistake of being able to do it. No one can do it all! Look at your superiors as the people who fill your gaps. If you’re a big picture thinker, often hear from detailed voices. If you are a person of numbers, hire at least one creative. – Tyler Bray, TK Trailer Parts