There are numerous posts and pieces of advice online on how to improve leadership, be a better manager and get the most from employees. While most of the advice is no doubt effective and actionable, it has led to many people trying to over-complicate their style of management, often having the opposite of the intended effect.
Often, simplifying your leadership can be surprisingly effective, forcing us to focus on what’s really important to the business. It can also make you seem more honest and genuine to employees, two crucial characteristics of a strong leader.
To help you take this approach with your own team, here are three ways you can simplify your own leadership style:
Focus on the carrot rather than the stick
While many managers will swear on the effectiveness of fear over motivation, it’s actually far more productive to focus on communication and collaboration. Team members who are afraid of management tend to focus purely on avoiding perceived consequences, rather than doing their best work. This usually leads to staff feeling stressed, pressured and unhappy at work, which in turn leads to a disengaged workforce and a potentially toxic organisational culture.
Learn from mistakes
The best leader don’t dwell on the mistakes of their team or themselves, and instead treat these mistakes as opportunities to learn, develop and grow. Whether it’s your own mistakes or those of your team, learning to forgive quickly and placing an emphasis on achievements can have a dramatic impact on how your team react to you, and how engaged they feel at work.
Create a culture of continued improvement
By focusing on creating a culture of innovation, training and improvement, you will likely find that you not only achieve goals quicker, but that you’re overseeing a happy, engaged workforce. This creates success for your business and team. Ensure team members have access to training and development resources and that they have genuine opportunities to grow and develop within the business, and you will find staff are more motivated, more productive and are more likely to report feeling valued by the company.