Leadership is just as stressful as it is exciting.
I know, you imagined how cool it would be to lead a team of people back then. But now that you do, you realize how difficult it can be. Each of the people on your team depends on you to help lead them and the thought that, “am I doing enough? What if I let them down?” is something that’s always hanging over your head.
The good news is that there are countless ways you can level up your leadership ability and move your team forward. After all, you owe it to your team to give it everything you’ve got. Now, let’s talk about how to do that.
The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.
– Ray Kroc
There are countless ways to level up your leadership and optimize the way you lead your team. However, I’ve found that there are certain things which have a lot more value than others, things that can have an altogether exponential effect on not only your leadership ability but also how effectively your team performs.
Here are three of those such power-ups:
1. Get great at identifying and promoting strengths
Behind leadership is the goal to do something, typically a complicated or large something if it involves an entire group of people to accomplish it. For that reason, a huge part of leadership is figuring out how to maximize the group’s performance in the same way that you’d work to maximize your own.
And one of the best ways to do that is to identify and then promote your team’s individual strengths. It’s common to hear CEOs and business owners say something like, “focus on your strengths, hire to fill your weaknesses.” That’s essentially what we’re talking about here.
Imagine you’re building a car. Assuming you want to build the best car possible, you’d search out the best individual parts you could get. Why? Because, generally, something is the sum of its parts. So it reasons to say that the better the individual parts you get, the better the car will perform.
Get great at monitoring the performance of your individual team members. What do they do great? What do they struggle with? Has someone exhibited a strength that makes them better suited for a different role? The best way to level this up is to learn to listen and pay attention while your team is in the process of performing. Nothing is more telling than actual performance.
2. Create and execute a personal growth plan
Leadership is just as much about your own personal growth as it is about the leading and developing of your team. Without your own plan for personal and professional development, you won’t be able to do much for your team.
How many books do you read? Podcasts, courses, or blog reading? And how often? Do you have a set of personal and professional skills you’re working to develop? Whatever those are for you, you need to be constantly learning because your team will only grow to the degree that you do.
3. Become a better storyteller
Storytelling is something you don’t often hear associated with leadership, but it may very well be the most important point on this list. It’s the very lifeblood of leadership and the main mechanism you should be using to motivate your team to action.
Like any great company, you need to know your why. That is, why you’re doing what you’re doing, what you stand for, or what your primary belief is. There are a million ways to refer to it but the idea is the same: you need to know who you are as a leader.
Much of leadership is talking your team through particular moments. It’s about framing the context of experiences you go through together to help guide them, encouraging them to remain focused when things are going well and motivating them to get back up and move forward when they’re not.
Leadership may appear an elusive skill which is difficult, if not impossible, to develop. However, there are many concrete methods for leveling up your leadership ability. Use these three high-value power-ups to take your leadership to the next level.