IT Managers need to be a good leader to be successful and manage successful teams. Whether you are a project manager, a department manager or a team manager learning the some basic principles of leadership is essential to becoming a better manager
It is what you do that makes you successful. That is why these 20 leadership principles are mainly about actions. To be a successful manager you must get up out of that chair and show leadership. If you want to drive performance for the business and success for you and your team, you need to learn to be a better leader.
20 Leadership Principles for Managers
- Leaders should always lead by example. You can not expect employees to do what you say if you do not do it yourself.
- Leaders must be an active participant in the work being done. Don’t just give your employees marching orders and say “Go do it”. Get out there and help. Make sure the work is getting done the way it should.
- Leaders must establish a clear vision for the future. One that aligns the work being done to meet the needs of the business.
- Leaders must establish shared values and ethics at all levels. Leaders are trustworthy, honest, dependable, and motivational. Leaders are not uncooperative, egotistical, irritable, and demanding. Leaders must show these values and demand them from employees.
- Leaders must always consider the needs of all stakeholders. This includes customers, owners, employees, and vendors. All of these groups that have a stake must be kept informed and involved.
- Leaders must consult and delegate well. Consult with others and to make sure you are clear on the objectives. Fully inform an employee of the goal and objective and then delegate it to them. Follow-up and be sure the job is getting done.
- Leaders must create and implement a strategy to reach the goals and targets of their team. Without a plan you are like a ship without a rudder.
People Oriented Team Approach
- Leaders must inspire, encourage and recognize the accomplishments and the contributions of their employees. Every employee wants to know that their contributions are appreciated.
- Leaders must create an environment that promotes honest and open communications without the fear of retribution.
- Leaders must train and coach their employees and monitor their work so they can help the employee when needed. Invest in training your employees and you will reap the benefits of better work and more productivity.
- Leaders must set challenging goals and targets for their employees. Bored employees are not as productive as those who are not challenged.
- Leaders must build trust with their employees and eliminate the fear if employees fail to meet requirements. If they do fail leaders find our why and take action. Do they lack training? Were they unclear of the goal of objective?
- Leaders must provide employees with the resources they require and the freedom they need to get the job done. Employees then must be held accountable and responsible because they have no excuses.
- Leaders must use terminology their employees can understand. Break down complicated terms and processes so employees will have a full understanding of what they are doing or what you are talking about. Ask them for feedback so you are sure they understood.
Established Processes and Systems
- Leaders must be proactive to address issues before they become problems. Don’t be a reactionary leader. Look for issues and deal with them.
- Leaders must understand and respond to changes. Objectives and goals change, new tasks and new responsibilities always come. Change is a natural part of business and leaders must properly communicate this change and how it effects their employees.
- Leaders must demand that employees follow established procedures for getting the work done. Do not accept deviations from the process. There is only one way to do something and that is the right way. Deviations create errors and poor products.
- Processes and systems can be improved so leaders must always look for ways to do the work better. The employees are often the ones who give the best feedback on ways to improve a since they do the work. If a change improves the process, make it the established procedure and demand that it be followed.
- Leader must foster an environment of continuous improvement and eliminate waste. Reports that are not needed, complicated processes with too many steps and other wastes of time and productivity must be eliminated. Encourage employees to always look for waste and ways to improve the work being done.
- Leaders must use a defined process improvement model (PIM) such as PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act).
Plan – Establish the objective or reason for improving the process.
Do – Implement the new change to the process on a small-scale.
Check – Monitor and measure the change to see if the process has improved.
Act – Determine if the new change is improvement, then implement it or try again.
As managers we do lead. By applying basic leadership principles you can improve your team, your results for your company and yourself. Leadership is not a title it is the principles and the actions you take. There are many more good principles and skills to becoming a better manager and a better leader. Explore, search, learn and go lead.