Being a leader in your field of work is what many aspire to be, although not all who have this dream will be fortunate to achieve it. While at the same time not all who move up the ladder necessarily become good managers either.
LEAD FROM THE TOP
Whether you are in charge of one person or one hundred, the pressure that comes with the extra responsibility of leadership is not something that should be diminished, especially as a businesses success or failure is usually dependent on the orders from the top.
In the pursuit of business success having a good workforce is only half the battle, it's what you can do with your staff which is key. Get the best out of co-workers and your company will go from strength to strength.
However, on the flipside should you not got manage to unlock the true potential of your staff then it means you could be in for a rocky period ahead. One that could lead to a set of personnel cutbacks somewhere down the road.
Many have asked the question, just what makes a good leader in the workplace and it is one that in fairness does not have a definitive answer. The simple reason being is that no two sets of staff are the same.
EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT
Every group of staff that needs to be led will come from a mix of different backgrounds and will bring their own personal attributes to the table, while at the same time there are a number of different managerial styles that can be applied.
Therefore, it is all about trying to get the two components to mesh perfectly in a bid to help your business prosper and even though there are a number of different permutations in the workplace there are some central staples that can be applied across the board in regard to leadership.
Most people will have the point drilled into them that work is the most important aspect of their life, something that is not strictly true. There's no doubting that gainful employment is a key aspect especially as it allows people to live their day to day lives.
Unless the work that is being worked on is one that is more altruistic in nature such as charity or volunteer work, the chances are you are going to need some financial inducement for the job that you carry out.
FINDING THE BALANCE
At the same time though workers need to be careful they don't become a slave to a wage and make sure that they find the correct work life balance in their job. This is somewhere that good leadership skills can be displayed.
If a staff member seems deluged with work, then here is the time to step in and address the situation. Perhaps take time to chat to that member of staff and allow them to raise any concerns about the current workload.
From here you can delegate some of that load to other members of the team. It could be you have an excellent worker who cannot do their job to the best of their abilities due to them getting bogged down with the more unimportant facets that they have to deal with.
There's no question that you can push your staff to work hard, something that not only has a benefit to the business if results are delivered, but also because it means that it will allow them to develop both professionally and personally.
Driving through a big project and delivering on time may mean going the extra mile at times, but the sense of achievement that comes with it is a feeling that is very hard to replicate and brings a lot of personal pride.
However, as a leader of a team or group you need to make sure that your you don't push your staff too hard. There is a very fine balancing act that needs to be undertaken here, as you need to discover where their breaking point is.
And it is one that really you don't want to reach as that could then have serious repercussions for your business further down the line, it only takes a workplace meltdown to occur for a whole host of momentum to be lost.
It's a similar scenario to one you would find at a casino, one that comes with weighing up risk versus reward. The risk is asking too much from your staff and facing a negative backlash, while the reward is delivering your objectives on time.
GIVE SOMETHING BACK
If a big project is in progress and there is a large amount of work that needs to be done, then another key aspect of being a good leader is being able to motivate your staff during what might see like tough times.
You should be prepared to give something back, especially in regard to time. If someone is constantly working late, then why not give them a half day as an act of gratitude to say that their work is not going unnoticed.
Or why not establish Friday drinks in the final hour of the week, not only does it release the pressure of a busy few days, but it will also allow you and your team to bond on a more social level. If your team all get on with each other then they will be prepared to go the extra mile when it matters. Maybe you could allow them to play mobile slots during their lunch break or maybe have a friendly office game of Texas Hold'em poker, which is both fun and stimulating.
As a leader you can also take the team out for lunch say once a month. Again, it not only offers a more sociable element, but it also gets your staff out of the confines of the office and mixes up their working day.
That's not to say that's all about team lunches and drinks, ultimately there is still work that needs to be done. At the same time though a lot could be said for the phrase "do the job and not the hours" and the benefits that come with a more flexible approach.
If work is done by 4:30 and your staff are due to finish at 6, then why not send them home to say thanks for a job well done. An act that will boost morale and keep you in your staff's good books, showing that you can be a good person as well as a good leader.