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There’s a long-standing myth that leaders are born and not made. This simply isn’t true. With analysis, understanding and the right actions, anyone can improve their leadership abilities and outcomes. This knowledge is especially important for newly promoted people who are used to motivating themselves but not others.


One of the most important parts of being an effective leader in the workplace is inspiring and connecting with others. The best business leaders help people buy into a collective goal that benefits everyone, not just themselves. This is real team building, making it possible for a group of employees to cohere into a group that pulls together in one direction.


Successful leaders know that their strategy must shift and evolve over time. They don’t rest on their laurels. They’re always examining the marketplace and themselves. Some bosses enjoy ordering people around and operating by fear. Others rely on personality tests or performance reports from middle managers. The most productive leaders know that it takes more to understand employees and get the most out of them.


Instead of bullying or delegating authority, the best managers make their work and their team’s performance personal. They find ways to connect their own behaviour to the goals they’re seeking to achieve at work. A top-notch leader understands that a policy means less than nothing if employees see it isn’t followed at the top. Leaders have to embody the values of an organisation if they really want people to follow them.


Sometimes, an organisation will have a robust anti-discrimination policy on paper. However, if there’s no actual diversity within the company, employees may feel like the policy is meaningless. Performance management needs to start at the top to truly be effective. Without strong leadership, the whole workforce can become frustrated.


Front-line employees and middle managers want to know there’s a person behind the system. When everything is left to forms and testing, it becomes very depersonalised. The practices of the people at the top can be more meaningful to workers and observers than anything else. An executive needs to embody the principles of their organisation if they want to be taken seriously. When leaders have clarity of intention, so will the people they’re leading.