Many of today’s startups were developed by young entrepreneurs with entrenched invincibility. They excel in technology and innovation, but lack leadership ability.

There are many strategies to help with effectively leading an organization, but leadership starts from within. Below are some tips for increasing leadership abilities.

Scrutinize Data before Deciding

Leaders are required to make challenging decisions when hiring new employees, approving projects, devising strategies and so forth. The ability to make timely, effective decisions is a great leadership trait. It’s equally-important that the decision makes sense.

A perfect leader must announce decisions based on relevant data. Despite the self-confidence with their mental capabilities, the perfect leader needs a basis for the decisions reached. Data-driven endeavors always lead toward a definitive path of success. Gather all relevant data, analyze it and make decisions based on it. It will take time, but it’s important in becoming a successful leader.

Appreciate your Customers

Great leaders have the undeniable responsibility to ensure customers truly feel valued. Continually remind them that your business needs them to succeed.

Here are a few great ideas for showing customers your appreciation:

  • Send them a “thank you” email. Let them know that you appreciate their time and patronage.
  • Bestow relevant thank-you gifts with a written message. Develop creative ideas to instantly catch a customer’s attention.
  • Post a blog about what makes your customers special and how important they are to the success of your business.
  • Share social network pictures that you took with them and/or your product, with a pinch of praise added in.

Keep Current with Emerging Technologies

Technology innovation is important to today’s businesses. New technologies improve customer service and boost and transform the way businesses operate. To survive in today’s competitive business world, it’s important to stay current with new and emerging technologies.

As a leader, consider the following ways of staying up-to-date:

  • Analyze emerging technologies, their intent, and daily potential.
  • Recruit young talent because most innovation results from the mind of the younger generation.
  • Conduct a training program to encourage older employees to embrace new technology.
  • Consider adopting new technologies in key business areas.

Beware of Toadies

Everyone likes to surround themselves with positive-thinking people, but toadies convincingly pretend to be one. The term refers to people who behave in a respectful manner for a deceptive reason. During recruitment drives, a leader must not give into these kinds of people.

Once hired, toadies cause serious consequences to businesses because they:

  • Continually praise the ideas and decisions of superiors to keep them from identifying the negative influence.
  • Worry only about their own future with no respect for the business’ goals, thereby stagnating the business’ vision and mission.
  • Never assume responsibility; instead choosing to pass blame and point fingers.

Realize the Extent of the Risks

Leaders have the powerful privilege of making decisions and each bears its own business risk and consequences. Entrepreneurs can’t avoid taking risks less they miss out on new opportunities or avoid potential successes.

The point is, great leaders only take calculated risks. This means:

  • Analyzing and devising potential advantages to the business.
  • Knowing the negative impact risks could have on the business.
  • Maintaining a relevant backup or “Plan B,” in case the risk isn’t successful.

The bottom line is that a perfect leader must identify all aspects of a choice before taking a risk. If they don’t, the business will fail when the leader runs out of luck.

Always Accept Mistakes and Review Failed Projects

It sounds obvious, but it’s important. Mistakes are common and leaders are no exception to making them. But, how a leader deals with mistakes, makes all the difference.

Leaders can only correct mistakes that are accepted. Don’t let ego keep you from accepting your mistakes. This also means not denying your responsibilities. Once employees see their supervisors accepting responsibility, they then repeat this behavior which results in a benefit to the business.

Leaders can also learn a lot from their mistakes. Reassess failed projects to determine what went wrong and what could’ve been avoided. This will keep you from repeating the same mistakes in the future.

Make the Best of One-on-Ones (O3s)

All employees want to feel good about their job, so sharing team and individual feedback is important. This is the purpose of the O3.

Good leaders complement when employee contributions result in positive shifts for the business, which motivates employees even more. Conversely, good leaders can also identify and assist employees with issues troubling them as this also provides its own benefits, like:

  • Developing employer-employee trust and team loyalty.
  • Providing an opportunity for personal mentoring.
  • Enabling employees to overcome their barriers.

A responsible leader must explore all aspects of O3s to determine how to make the best use of the information gained from them.

As I stated initially, improving leadership qualities starts from within. Carefully follow these tips and you can build on your existing leadership capabilities. It’ll take time, effort and perseverance, but these characteristics can be incorporated into your daily routine.

And you’ve already taken the first step in that direction. Share what you’ve learned by using the comment box!

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Sawaram Suthar
Sawaram Suthar is head of marketing at Tagove, a provider of chat software and also a founder of Jagat Media. A digital marketing consultant, he has experience in all things marketing, including branding, promotions and page optimization, along with research and strategy. He has an MBA from the University of Pune. Follow @Tagove_ on Twitter and Facebook.

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