You have arrived at the new home of WillowCreek.com, FollowTheGLS.com, GLSnext.com and GLSpodcast.com

Enjoy the same free access to articles, videos, podcasts and more from world-class leadership experts — now all in one place.

close  
Powered by Willow Creek Association

3 Simple Ways to Be a Better Leader

Published November 29, 2018

Performance happens on the team level, and if you’re a team leader then you are responsible for the performance and engagement of your team.

It’s my belief that even the best team leaders can improve, so if you want to be a better leader, here are three things you can do right now:

1. Clarify your values

As a leader, you don’t have to be perfect—but you do have to be predictable. Your followers need to understand you; how you will judge their performance, what you stand for and in essence, what values you uphold. So, you need to clarify your values for them. Do you value speed and innovation? Intelligence and integrity? Authenticity and altruism?

You might think, “Sure, of course, I stand for all of that!” But you can’t stand for everything. You need to choose. People like to follow a leader who knows what is most important to him or her. When you know that, then you can start sharing it with your team, and they will be more confident following you.

 

2. Learn how to tell stories

Human beings find meaning in stories. We’re just naturally wired to love narrative, to make sense of everything as beginning, middle and end. So as a leader, you’ve got to use stories to share your values and give examples of excellence.

If you’re a team leader then you are responsible for the performance and engagement of your team.

I’m not asking you to take an improv class or become Mark Twain overnight—the way you tell the stories can be your own. It doesn’t have to be evocative or descriptive, it doesn’t have to end in applause or leave your team members with tears in their eyes. It just has to show them what is important to you, so they know what excellence looks like to you.

 

3. Check in with your people every week

Hopefully this one sounds familiar. The single most important thing you can do as a leader is to check in with your people once a week. The best leaders know that they don’t have all the information. All the intelligence from the real world, happening in real time that belongs to the team members who are out in the world, doing the work every day.

Checking in with your team will not only provide you with the insight to help them use more of their strengths every day, but on the most basic level it will give you the information you need about the work that they’re doing.

The world moves quickly, and this is the best way for you to stay in touch with how your team is engaging with the real world.

About the Author
Marcus Buckingham

Marcus Buckingham

Best-selling Author; Founder

The Marcus Buckingham Company

Marcus Buckingham, the world’s leading authority on strengths, performance and engagement, founded The Marcus Buckingham Company.following 30 years at Gallup. He is the best-selling author of multiple books, including Now, Discover Your Strengths and StandOut 2.0. As an internationally renowned thought leader and business expert, Marcus has been the subject of in-depth profiles in The New York Times, Fortune, Fast Company, Harvard Business Review, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal.

Years at GLS 2004, 2007, 2017

Please write a comment in the box
5000 characters remaining.

Discussion

“We welcome and encourage comments on this site. There may be some instances where comments will need to be edited or removed, such as:

  • Comments deemed to be spam or solely promotional in nature
  • Comments not relevant to the topic
  • Comments containing profane, offensive, or abusive language
  • Anonymous comments

If you have any questions on the commenting policy, please let us know at crc@willowcreek.org

THURSDAY-FRIDAY, AUGUST 8-9, 2019The Global Leadership Summit 2019

$189*
Let's Connect

“We welcome and encourage comments on this site. There may be some instances where comments will need to be edited or removed, such as:

If you have any questions on the commenting policy, please let us know at crc@willowcreek.org”

Select your region and country

Select your region and country