Leadership is all about getting people to listen, trust and believe in you, your ideas, and the future you will help them build. Great leaders are people that others look up to, that they admire and wish they could emulate in one way or another. Essentially, “leader” is just another word for a role model.
Currently, you will find many articles online dedicated to entrepreneurship and starting a business. Most of them focus on how to create a company, grow it, market its products and start earning money from it. However, very few leadership lessons are being shared with aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners. We at Camberlion want to change that.
That’s why this article will be dedicated to what makes a leader a role model and how you can become that person in your company.
Are You a Role Model in Your Company?
There’s a great saying that goes along the lines of “Be the change you want to see in the world.” The same applies to your company – if you want something to change, you should be the first to lead the way, especially as the owner. That’s why the first thing you should consider is your behavior within the organization.
Do you often criticize your managers in front of their staff? Do you talk behind people’s backs? Do you promise something during one meeting and forget about it during the next one?
People like to say that “Actions are louder than words,” and that’s why you should consider every move you make in your company. It likely has more impact than you believe it does. As the leader, you’re the person who’s setting the standard as to what is acceptable within your organization. If you come to work late every day, your employees will start doing the same. If you don’t take responsibility for your decisions, your staff will follow your example.
The first step to becoming a great leader is considering your weaknesses and working on improving upon them. If you come late to work, challenge yourself to stop immediately. If you often gossip around the office, it’s time for you to end that practice. Leadership is all about taking the lead, the responsibility, and carrying it, regardless of how difficult it becomes. Being a leader is essentially serving as a role model to everyone around you, and if you don’t think you’re a good one, then it’s time to get to work.
How to Become a Great Role Model
If you want to motivate your employees, you first have to believe that you can be their role model and that it’s your job to set an example for them. The first step to becoming a good role model is setting high accountability standards for yourself and your own behavior. To motivate others, you have to motivate yourself first.
However, that’s all easier said than done. Holding yourself accountable and always doing what’s right sounds simple enough. Still, in reality, when faced with challenging situations and when difficult decisions need to be made, doing what’s right becomes an increasingly complex effort to do, day in and day out. With that said, it’s not a mission impossible, and there are still things you can do to ensure that you’re the best possible role model for your employee. Let’s take a look at what they are.
Do Self-Reflection Weekly
If we have to be honest, we’d say, “do self-reflection daily’, but unfortunately, for some busy entrepreneurs, that’s not possible. However, taking half an hour to an hour once a week to reflect on your decisions and actions is vital for any leader. Analyzing what you did and finding mistakes is essential for self-improvement and will give you insight into what you can do better in the future.
Remind yourself that you’re not the person who knows everything and is constantly making the right moves. Be open to learning and to giving way to new ideas. Always consider that you can learn from the members of your team and that it might be the case that you’re not the smartest person in the room at all times.
Empathy is a criminally underrated leadership skill, and it’s such a crucial one. Treating people like human beings first and as employees second is what will help you build strong leaders, create an organizational culture, and nurture long-lasting working relationships. Be approachable to your employees, admit your mistakes, and be ready and willing to hear them out when they want to talk to you. All of those things matter more than you think as people always remember the good things you did for them.
Show Courage, Vision, and Integrity
There’s a thin line between courage and recklessness. Being brave means being willing to take the more challenging road in order to achieve better results. Being reckless is assuming you always know what’s best and making decisions on a whim. The same applies to vision and wishful thinking. Having a vision for the future means knowing what you want to achieve and setting clear and precise goals. Wishful thinking is dreaming about results that are either completely out of reach or altogether impossible to be realized. The line between the foolish and inspirational dream is paper-thin and you have to walk on it. On the one hand, every great visionary was a bit mad; on the other hand, there are plenty of wild daydreamers who never achieve anything of real value.
Along with that, keeping your integrity intact is extremely important. Employees will respect a leader who truly values the business and makes decisions solely for the purpose of improving it and not only in an effort to make more money. Showing that you generally care and giving credit when it’s due will show your subordinates that they have a true leader amongst them and not just another person who started a company in an effort to get rich.
Be Supportive and Encouraging
As an entrepreneur or a small business owner, it’s a must for you to get to know your employees: what they like, what their hobbies are, what inspires them, and what they want to achieve. When you’re managing just a few people, it won’t be that hard to do, but it will have a high payoff in the future. If your employees know that you care about them as human beings, they will be more willing to put the extra work in to give you more of their time and their efforts.
Along with that, by knowing their goals and dreams, you can be more supportive and encouraging. You can help them get to where they want to go by providing them with opportunities and inspiring them to push on further. Offering support is a vital component of a healthy workplace environment, along with taking the time to understand any problems or issues that your employees might be having.
A True Leader – Just Another Word for a Role Model
If you manage to combine all of the traits listed above, then you will truly become a role model leader that all your employees will be proud to look up to. Then again, it’s important to remember that you cannot become a superhuman who’s perfect and exhibits all of these amazing qualities at all times. What’s vital is your willingness to admit your mistakes and to constantly work on becoming better every single day. After all, your company is a reflection of you – your values, your morals, your desires. Whatever you put in it is what will come out in the end.
On your journey to becoming the best version of yourself, we at Camberlion are ready to help you out with a variety of beneficial articles on our blog, as well as tons of amazing content on our social media pages.