Tips to becoming a good leader

Consider these 50 things to help you be a successful leader and ensure the organization you are leading becomes stronger.

  1. Know who you are and what you are passionate about – then build your brand. Don’t drift through life.
  2. Decide early on what you want to do with your life and career and then make sure those who can help you along the way know your plans.
  3. Find a good mentor or two.
  4. Nothing beats a strong work ethic – high energy and enthusiasm will take you a long way.
  5. Continue to learn new things – read from as many sources as possible; attend conferences; go back to school; spend an hour per week learning about your competition; etc. Build a learning community.
  6. Keep things simple – don’t have too much bureaucracy.
  7. Always put values before numbers.
  8. Live a balanced life between work, family, healthy living, and fun.
  9. Make thoughtful but quick decisions – instill confidence in others.
  10. Set measurable stretch goals but never punish yourself or others for falling short if the effort was there.
  11. Learn to manage your time as best you can.
  12. Learn how to network and then build a strong network.
  13. Get good ideas from as many people as possible, not just your inner circle.
  14. Don’t over manage people but set clear vision and goals, as well as surround yourself with people capable of turning your vision into reality – find passionate people to execute your vision.
  15. Focus on quality – know your strengths and weaknesses as well as those around you and how they will impact the quality of the product or service.
  16. Understand that change is a reality – be adaptable and flexible. Think of change as an opportunity.
  17. Put first things first (focus on the important things first).
  18. Think “win-win” (how can everyone involved benefit?).
  19. Build a strong team around you but also keep in mind inclusive. Find managers/leaders who can energize themselves and those around them, who are competitive and have the ability to execute.
  20. Listen – seek first to understand others, then to be understood.
  21. Don’t just be busy but be strategic.
  22. Develop trust – people need to trust you and you need to trust others.
  23. Inspire people to want to participate – build a community.
  24. Understand the power of diversity – be tolerant of differences and manage to those differences.
  25. Develop an atmosphere that encourages creativity – hold informal brainstorming sessions.
  26. Be honest/have integrity.
  27. Be caring and genuine – you need to be likable.
  28. Be dependable – do the right things.
  29. Be predictable.
  30. Build partnerships with everyone who can help you and/or your organization succeed. Develop “ownership” in the success of your organization.
  31. Have a winning attitude and develop an atmosphere where you and your team are the “glass is half-full, not half-empty.”
  32. Persistent – both you and your team need to persistently pursue the goals and not give up at the first challenge.
  33. Keep others in mind – family, friends, employees, customers, competitors, etc.
  34. Be loyal.
  35. Be a friend.
  36. Select the right significant other/spouse.
  37. Hold yourself and others accountable
  38. Encourage innovation.
  39. Fund what people do well and then ask them to do more.
  40. Recruit the best.
  41. Control egos – yours and others.
  42. Value and reward hard work and high performance – you build unity by celebrating successes. A leader focuses on outcomes.
  43. Communicate often – have an open-door policy.
  44. Seek feedback from as many people as you can.
  45. Be high tech and high touch.
  46. Walk your talk.
  47. Create a culture of respect for everyone.
  48. Have the courage to make tough decisions – face realty by looking at things like you were an outsider.
  49. Know where you are and where you want to go as an individual and organization.
  50. Be giving of your time and financial resources – choose to make a difference!