A 'we' leader recognises the efforts of their team members and does not back out from giving due credit, whether in the form of compliments or rewards, for good initiatives and ideas.
What makes for a great leader?
It’s all about learning the difference between ‘I’ and ‘We’.
There are bosses or CEOs, who use their position to further their own vision and goals.
While there is nothing wrong with that, it is important to make the switch from ‘I’ to ‘We’ to ensure exponential growth, that not only takes your goals into account but also helps people around you grow and achieve their full potential.
So what can you do to go from an ‘I’ leader to a ‘we’ leader?
Here are five qualities you can inculcate in your management tactics to become a successful ‘we’ leader-
1. A ‘we’ leader focuses on the growth and development of the people around them.
Such leaders who empower others and bring out the best in their employees are known as ‘servant leaders’.
According to Robert Greenleaf, who is known as the father of servant leadership, 'A servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first, and helps people develop and perform.'
2. Respect the ideas and inputs of your team and don’t shut them out.
‘I’ leaders believe in ‘I can do it on my own’ or are persuasive and don’t let the ideas of people around them flourish.
This in turn ends up discouraging employees from expressing their views and hence limits their full potential from being exercised.
3. Give credit where it is due.
A ‘we’ leader recognises the efforts of their team members and does not back out from giving due credit, whether in the form of compliments or rewards, for good initiatives and ideas.
As opposed to a ‘We’ leader, an ‘I’ leader cares about hoarding credits, openly ridiculing employees for failure and never appreciating them.
Transforming into a ‘we’ leader requires self-introspection and a change in your tactics.
It is important to ask yourself: 'Do I turn into an ‘I’ leader under pressure?'
4. Lead, not preach.
Leading by example is by far the most fundamental value of leadership. It can’t be expected from your employees to follow idealistic values, when you yourself do not.
Transforming into a ‘we’ leader will ensure that you groom future leaders and become a ‘leader of leaders’. This will ultimately help hone better employees who are committed to work, are loyal, and satisfied with their jobs.
Becoming a ‘we’ leader basically means you are investing in people, your most vital resource to run your business.
In the long term, this will also help in increasing your employee retention rate and increasing productivity, since your employees will feel appreciated for their efforts.
5. Don’t micromanage. Believe in your employees.
An ‘I’ leader, who just focuses on their personal goals and growth, carries with themselves ‘I can do it myself’ attitude. This results in micromanagement, where a boss or a manager will keep interfering with the flow of work and get it done in their own way, disallowing any possible ways that an employee can learn and grow on his own.
A ‘we’ leader believes in their employees, gives feedback in a healthy manner, and tries to uplift and empower them.
A ‘we’ leader knows you have to give trust to earn trust.
That's the secret to ensuring goodwill with your employees and honing the leaders of the future. The key is to try and constantly evolve yourself, while also focussing on the growth of your employees.
'I can only take a few steps. But WE can run and grow a company together.'
Deepmala is CEO and founder of The Visual House, an integrated communication services company. Deepmala can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.