Anyone can try to lead. However, being a good leader is a whole different matter. To be a true leader, you need a team that looks up to you for guidance, direction and support — you need a business that relies on your expertise for success. Even more than that, you need to have the right self-image to navigate the complex waters that being a leader can take you through.
Every business leader is going to face challenges. And while many factors can influence the types of obstacles you face, it's a common truth that you'll indeed face challenges of one sort or another. Here are six roadblocks that almost all business leaders have faced or will face at some point in their careers and how you can work through them.
It can be easy to let the success of becoming a business leader go to your head. Therefore, your first goal should be to make sure you're staying humble. Understand that your business does need you, but you don't make up the whole business. Every team member — including people in the position you used to hold — is essential to the business's success.
While you must stay humble, a good leader still knows how to be confident. It may seem counterintuitive, but confidence and humility can go hand-in-hand. A good leader remembers where they came from while acknowledging their value to the company.
All leaders will experience some degree of anxiety and stress — it's a part of the job. While it may be impossible to overcome these emotions for good, you can learn how to deal with them. That's the mark of a good leader.
The employees you lead look to you to judge how they should feel in a certain situation. If they see you panicking over a recent development, they may begin to panic, too. If they see you staying calm and collected in the midst of hardship, they'll feel like they can weather the storm with you.
Though anxiety and stress may be inevitable, you can acknowledge those feelings without letting them guide your decisions or demeanor.
Motivation is another pillar of success in every workforce. Staying motivated means you care about the task at hand and want to do your best to reach your goals. As a leader, it can be easy to overwork yourself with the assumption that more work equals more output, but the opposite can actually be true. Work too much, and you can burn yourself out and become less efficient.
As a leader, you'll have to balance keeping yourself motivated with keeping your team motivated, too. It's up to you to encourage the members of your team so they know they're making a difference. If you seem burnt out, your workforce may feel less of a sense of urgency to reach their business goals.
Another challenge many leaders face is feeling like they've hit the peak of their abilities. Depending on where you are in your company's hierarchy, you may no longer have someone who's constantly investing in your personal growth and skills. Now, you feel like you're the one investing in everyone else's growth.
It's true — as a leader, you're responsible for tapping into the full potential of the people on your team. But you have to remember to keep tapping into your own potential, too. As a business leader, there's still much more for you to learn, especially when it comes to how the brain works. Learning more about the human brain can be the key that unlocks the next stage in your leadership skills, giving you insight into how to become even better in your role.
As a leader, it can be a huge obstacle to know how to process conflict in a healthy way. Before you became a leader in your business, you had more people above you to insulate the effects of conflict. Now that you're the one responsible for guiding a team of dedicated workers, it can feel like all of the conflict passes through you first.
Being a leader doesn't mean internalizing every bit of conflict. If you do so, your team will be able to tell that something is wrong, and that can affect their quality of work. This is why learning how to better deal with conflict is so important as a leader. With the right conflict skills, you can learn to defuse situations — and delegate related tasks so the burden isn't only on your shoulders.
Let's face it — communication can be a struggle. You could send an email to someone or make a public announcement and feel like you got your point across perfectly. Later, you may hear that people feel confused over what you said, and now efficiency has decreased as a result. You thought you had made yourself clear, but you ended up doing more harm than good. The same goes for verbal communication.
Developing your communication skills is crucial as a business leader. Your workers rely on your ability to convey yourself to define their tasks and goals. If you can better understand how people use their brains to think and process information, you may be better able to communicate effectively.
Understanding how the brain works is the key to continually improving your leadership abilities. The brain is a marvelous thing, even though it can seem complex at first glance. When you begin to crack its code, you can start adjusting your actions and thought process to better influence, lead and inspire your team members.
On a personal level, knowing how your own brain works in addition to your teams' can help you overcome the above challenges. You can learn how to better communicate your intentions, deal with conflict and keep everyone — including yourself — motivated. You'll be able to identify and respond to moments of stress and anxiety, and you'll be able to master the art of balancing confidence with humility.
This all will help you progress and learn how to be an effective leader in your field.
At NeuroLeadership Institute, our goal is to help you become a better leader and overcome your daily challenges by helping you learn more about how the brain works. We offer a Brain-Based Coaching Progam and a Certificate in the Foundations of NeurLeadership to help you reach your leadership goals. We offer our business leader courses throughout the year, so there's sure to be a time that fits your schedule.
We hope you'll contact us today to speak with a consultant for more information.