Leadership advice: 13 DOs and DON’Ts of Leadership

Because leadership is a form of relationship between persons, it is operated by the same natural laws and principles that…
Achinike Amadi

on January 6, 2024

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  • Feature image for leadership advise blog post. I man standing with a woman and pointing out something to her on a book,and advising her
  • Because leadership is a form of relationship between persons, it is operated by the same natural laws and principles that govern day-to-day living and interactions with people.

    These principles, though invisible, are very much real and present. You can either walk in harmony with these laws or break yourself against them; there is no breaking or cheating them.

    Here are some principle-backed leadership advice and tips that enable you to walk harmoniously with natural laws and be a better leader.

    8 ‘DO’s of good leadership

    leadership advice

    #1. Give feedback.

    Principle: Communication drives relationships

    One of the most effective tools steward leaders ought to utilize is Feedback. They are ideal for fostering improvement if properly used. On the flip side, it could be doing more harm than good if they are of ill intentions and are poorly communicated.

    When Purpose is not known, Abuse is inevitable

    Myles Munroe

    There is a right way to communicate feedback. When you give feedback, be honest yet empathic. Do it from a place of love; seeking to build and not to destroy.

    #2. Do Take Feedback.

    Principle: Communication drives relationships.

    Receiving feedback is one of the most important actions you can take as a maturing leader. As we rise in leadership, it becomes very easy to be complacent and assume we can never get it wrong. The worst still is to be surrounded by selfish yes-sayers. They don’t really care about you. They just want to enjoy the benefits they get from having a relationship with you. They would go to any length, doing or saying anything to protect their selfish interests. Because leaders in this situation have no access to real, true feedback, they fall off the leadership ladder quicker than expected.

    The ability to receive feedback is one skill that differentiates good leaders. It involves being able to receive both constructive and destructive criticism with grace, handle them accordingly, and create a conducive environment that supports its production.

    Accepting Feedback, whether positive or negative, is crucial for personal and professional growth. Not only does it help you understand how your actions and decisions impact others, but it also contributes to your journey of becoming a self-aware leader.

    Welcome Feedback. Better still, seek it.

    A pinterest image with title DOs and DONTs of leadership

    #3. Be Human.

    Principle: Natural Status by nature, honesty

    Being human allows you to connect and empathize, to feel as your subjects feel, and to act appropriately. Know when to encourage, caution, or clear pain points, doubts, or struggles.

    Once we lose touch with our humanity, we forfeit the framework for some of the most powerful leadership endowments known to man.

    Being human also means that you are imperfect and can be hurt. It is okay to be vulnerable, and to ask for help if and when needed.

    #4. Do Show Appreciation:

    principle: 5 As

    Recognize and appreciate the efforts of your team. A simple “thank you” can go a long way in boosting morale and motivation. An honest, “you made me look good out there” can build a loyal lasting relationship with someone in your care.

    As one of the 5 As of a healthy and loving relationship, appreciating those who follow you makes them feel valuable and have a sense of belonging.

    #5. Have a Compelling Vision and Communicate it

    Principle: Communication is key

    People follow people. People also follow Visions. Visions are a more lasting object of followership than people. At any time, the leaders and followers would change more often than the vision of any social group.

    You, as a leader, have to clearly communicate the vision of a future your followers want to be a part of and derive satisfaction working for. Make the majority of their task stem from this vision so they can see, for themselves, how their actions are driving The Group toward the vision.

    With explanations and discussions, help them see not only the utopian dream but also the challenges and threats facing it.

    #6. Do Lead by Example.

    Principle: Louder Actions

    Your actions speak louder than your words. Don’t just tell them about the visions you want them to buy into or the standards and values you want them to live by, let your own life showcase them as well.

    Demonstrate the behaviors and work ethic you expect from your team. Don’t just pretend, be them.

    #7. Strike a balance between people skills and competence

    Don’t be fooled into thinking having good people skills alone is enough for success. There is still room for technical knowledge and relevant experience in the respective field you lead.

    Your followers need to trust that you know the way and that know what you are doing. One good thing is that you don’t have to be bothered about showing them you are competent. If you have substance on the inside, it will eventually show forth as real situations arise.

    In all, followers should realize you know where you are going and can get to a fair distance on your own. Yet still able to see how and where they come in and contribute to the success of goals and objectives.

    #8. Have a long enough reason why

    principle: inner drive.

    The challenges of leadership can become overwhelming as time progresses. Even, just reading all the tips and advice listed can leave you demoralized by all the things to do and to get right. Of course, it would take time to have all the tips in the locker. For now, pick a few and start adopting them.

    However, a great source of motivation would be to have a long list of reasons why you’re leading. When you are downtrodden and seem to have forgotten why you are doing it again, turn to an exhaustive list of value-based motives and find self-motivation.

    The DONTs of leadership.

    #1. Dont Build Alone

    Strength in Numbers.
    

    Interdependence is also where we feel the greatest pain, the greatest frustration, the greatest roadblocks to happiness and success. – Stevey R Covey

    An issue with interpersonal relationships is the excesses of humans. In your leader-follower relationship, you’d have to deal with the weaknesses, shortcomings, limiting ideologies, and mistakes of those who follow you.

    It is a human problem that takes lots of work. Because of this, I know how it can be tempting to take on projects on your own because you know your abilities and trust your performance. However, On the flip side, it goes against the very principles of interdependence that produce greater results.

    When you make your followers a part of the building process, they become stakeholders willing and committed to the success of that endeavor.

    #2. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help:

    Seeking assistance when needed is a sign of strength, not weakness. It shows that you are committed to finding the best solutions. Being vulnerable in an honest manner like this builds the trust, love, and participation every lasting relationship requires.

    #3. Don’t stop learning:

    principle: Learning never ends.

    If Learning is Growing, then Building a reading habit is like taking steroids. For leaders, learning is not a nice to have, it is so crucial that if you stop learning, the growth of your followers could be jeopardized. Build a system and environment that promotes the distillation of knowledge from books, learning materials, acute observation, and experience.

    Encourage continuous learning and development within your team. A culture of growth leads to innovation and adaptability. Learn and let learn.

    #4. Don’t Micromanage:

    Trust your team to deliver results. If they are competent enough, there is no reason to watch every move they make toward the execution of a task. Provide clear expectations and the necessary resources to do the job, and then allow them the autonomy to choose their methods to execute the job

    And if they are not, provide the necessary training and testing requirements and be interested in their growth process. In short, foster a learning culture.

    #5. Don’t Ignore Team Welfare:

    While focusing on work is important, it’s essential to ensure that the welfare of your team members is being catered for. A healthy and motivated team is more likely to achieve success.

    It is taking care of the goose so that it can produce more golden eggs.

    Final leadership advice.

    By adopting these dos and don’ts of leadership and practicing self-leadership, you can enhance your leadership skills at any level of leadership.

    Remember, leadership is a journey, not a destination. Keep learning, growing, and adapting to become the best leader you can be.

    Achinike Amadi
    Hello, I'm Archie(not from the comics). I share lessons from experiential Christianity and curate resources that could help you practice self-leadership.
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