The saying goes, some people are made to lead and some to follow. This isn’t necessarily true. Leadership is an acquired skill, not a personality trait. A good employee and a good leader will know that there are certain times to follow and certain times to lead. Knowing how to be a leader in your company is a skill your employees will need to learn by observing and participating in the company and executive culture.
As an executive, you are already looked up to as a leader, which puts you in a great position to model the type of leadership behavior you want and expect from your employees. This includes treating your employees and subordinates with respect and encouragement. Demonstrate that a leader is not always the most vocal or opinionated person in a company by leading by example. Offering private constructive criticism will go a long way to employee improvement as opposed to public harsh criticism. Listen to your employees and consider their ideas when they approach you. Giving your employees the appropriate level of respect and listening when they approach you with an idea or a problem will give them the confidence they need when it is their turn to lead a project or team within your company.
Along with treating your employees and subordinates well, you want to make sure they share your vision; for a certain project as well as for the future of the company. Get your team excited about your vision. Your shared enthusiasm will lead to more productive employees and more enthusiastic suggestions and ideas for how to reach that goal. Being open to new ideas is the best way to get great results. You have a whole team at your disposal–use that combined knowledge and insight to develop new solutions.
Take some time to review your current leadership style. Do you listen to your subordinates and offer constructive feedback on their ideas? Do you use your leadership to generate enthusiasm about your company and projects? Are you the type of leader you want your employees to emulate? Figuring out how you can use your role as a leader to develop and improve your company is an important step in increasing your company’s productivity and profitability.