The Stairway to Leadership: 4 Steps Become a Better Boss

We’ve all had those bosses we hate. We’ve also had the ones we love. Which are you? 

Regardless of where you fall on the good-boss bad-boss spectrum, there is always room for improvement. And the truth of the matter is, the type of leader you are has a direct impact on your company’s success. 

Do you have what it takes to be a good boss? Find out with these four personal development steps that any head honcho can use to become a respected leader. 

1. Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Rather than focusing on weaknesses, the best approach to being a better leader is to find your strengths and maximize them. 

Take strength and weakness tests or personality tests. You can also ask friends and family members to identify five traits they see as strengths, then cross-reference for parallels.  

Next, assess your weaknesses. What bothers you or upsets you? Discover underlying causes and ways to alleviate the stress and tension they create. 

Once you discover the characteristics that make you an effective leader, find a management style that puts those traits to use and keeps your weaknesses in mind. 

2. Delegate

It’s difficult to trust someone else to finish that important project, but delegation creates stronger bonds. It shows employees you believe in them and takes unnecessary work off your shoulders, which allows you to focus on more critical tasks. 

Jesse Sostrin from the Harvard Business Review puts it eloquently: “This means shaping the thoughts and ideas of others instead of dictating their plans, having a sought-after perspective but not being a required pass-through, and seeing your own priorities come to life through the inspired actions of others.”

To delegate, Sostrin suggests explaining a task’s importance to employees and their role within it, then asking what level of involvement the team would prefer from you. 

3. Show Thanks and Foster Trust

Because mistakes are blaring red signs in the workplace, it’s important to stop yourself from focusing solely on what isn’t done correctly. Instead, emphasize what is done well. 

This demonstrates a level of respect between you and your team, inspiring better production. 

“Fostering trust and demonstrating appreciation creates a positive work environment,” explains John Stahfest, owner and CEO of Top Shelf Appliance. “That translates to happier workers, satisfied customers, and a wonderful place for business.” 

4. Accept Constructive Criticism

Perhaps one of the most difficult personal development steps involves learning to accept constructive criticism. It’s essential to understand how your employees feel and why. 

To hear feedback without pressure or negative feelings, consider placing a suggestions box in the workplace or routinely providing happiness surveys. Employees will feel valued because you care about their opinions, and it lets you see what you can do to create a better environment. 

Be the Best You

Being a leader takes practice. Use these four tips to brighten your workweek, manage your tasks, and create a space employees will love coming to every day.

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