Since I was a child going through elementary, middle school, high school, and college, I have taken several leadership roles and positions in different capacities. Leadership has been a very challenging concept for me but something naturally draws me into the arena of leadership.
No matter how much I try to stay away from leadership, it ends up calling out my name. So, I realized early that it is not my quest to run away from it but to learn to understand it better so as to have a more interesting leadership experience.
If you are ever struggling to be a more efficient leader, or you are having problems leading your followers, I will be showing you some secret tips I have learned the hard way in becoming an exceptional leader from henceforth.
Leadership is one aspect of human lives that we all cannot overlook. Humans cannot do without leadership and that is why you would see a group of people gathering in one place and the next thing you’d hear is “Let’s choose a leader.”
The central idea of leadership is to be able to organize everyone to have a collective focus and goal, to avoid conflicts, and in the event of a disagreement, to stand in a neutral position to all parties involved.
Having an in-depth understanding of these basic ideas of leadership can change how you perceive leadership and revamp your leadership efficiency in the organization or group that you are leading.
Being an exceptional leader simply means your ability to lead in a way that makes your followers act in obedience to your instructions without force or fear. They simply align with you and show their allegiance to you because they have seen how inclusive your leadership style is.
In this post, I will show you how to be an exceptional leader to get the reverence of your followers and be happier and more satisfied while you lead.
Traits of an Effective Leader
Before I show you the five secret tips I have learned on how to become an exceptional leader that your followers will love to follow and work with, here are some general traits of an effective leader you need to first understand.
1. Vision and Direction
As a leader, you need to have a clear vision and set a compelling direction for your team or organization. You should deliberately learn to think ahead of those you lead. That way, they get a sense of direction working with you.
2. Communication Skills
You need to be able to communicate your plans and goals to others in a clear manner. Communication also entails actively listening to those you are leading to foster an open and transparent environment for everyone to express their feedback freely.
When I talk about the secret tips to become an exceptional leader, I will talk more about this point and how you can apply it to become effective and exceptional.
3. Inspiration and Motivation
People look to their leaders for inspiration and motivation. Your followers will continually be supportive and grateful to you if you constantly inspire them or create a positive and supportive environment that encourages every individual to put up their best efforts and reach their full potential.
Motivation also involves recognizing and rewarding deserving individuals for their work, achievements, and contributions.
4. Decision-Making and Problem-Solving
To be an exceptional leader, you need to have a problem-solving mindset. This is what distinguishes you from every other person and what will make them want to follow you.
You must learn to make sound decisions and solve problems effectively. This involves analyzing situations and looking at available options before making a decision. Problem-solving in leadership makes you see solutions even when it is not obvious to others.
It is also important to be able to communicate the plan in an easy-to-understand manner and motivate other people to carry it along, as discussed earlier.
As a leader, you don’t have to be too rigid. Being flexible and adaptable keeps you open enough to get helpful contributions from those you are leading. Effective leaders embrace change, learn from setbacks, and guide their team through challenges with resilience, instead of backing down at the slightest failure.
6. Empathy and Emotional Intelligence
There is definitely going to be some show of emotions by several members of the group you are leading. That is not the time to go about carelessly reacting to their emotions.
You need to display empathy and learn to understand and connect with the emotions of your team members. Emotional intelligence enables a leader to navigate interpersonal dynamics, build relationships among the group, and respond emphatically to the needs of others in the group.
Accountability is another trait of an effective leader you must consciously develop. You need to take responsibility for your actions and the outcomes of your decisions.
Truly effective leaders understand the importance of delegation in getting things done more efficiently. Instead of doing everything by yourself, trust your team members with responsibilities, and empower them to contribute their best to the success of the group.
Delegating tasks also helps develop the skills of team members as well as reinforce their feelings of inclusiveness and membership.
9. Integrity and Trustworthiness
Being an effective and exceptional leader requires one to have integrity and be trustworthy, as trust is a foundation for effective leadership. You need to display honesty, ethics, and consistency in your actions.
Continuous learning helps a leader to stay informed about trends and new information, which can equip the leader to adapt to new challenges when they arise. Effective leaders are committed to a life of continuous learning and development.
11. Team Building
Building a cohesive and collaborative team is a critical leadership function. Leaders foster a sense of unity and encourage teamwork while leveraging the diverse strengths and abilities of team members.
12. Strategic Thinking
Strategic thinking is the approach of considering long-term goals and implications of decisions made. Do they align with the overall strategy of the organization? Will they have any untoward implications in the long run?
6 Secret Tips To Be An Exceptional Leader
While it is possible to develop a lot of the above leadership traits, it is also still possible to encounter trouble from the people you are leading. They are not sufficient to make one an exceptional leader.
The following practical tips will show you how to become an exceptional leader who will get the full support, love, and admiration of your subjects.
1. Be humble
Humility is the number #1 way to become an exceptional leader. It comes from how you act, how you think, how you speak, and how you respond to the people you are leading.
Being humble automatically sets you apart from every other leader. It makes your subjects submit fully to your instructions. The opposite is the case when you are proud and arrogant.
2. Be gentle
People who are too rash in their dealings with other people do not make exceptional leaders. Exceptional leaders are known for being soft, gentle, and kind to their subjects. They always take a moment to wait before making decisions, offering punishments, or condemning anyone.
3. Appreciate more
Another secret way to become an exceptional leader is by appreciating your team members more. Make sure to use the words “Thank you very much” as much as possible.
When someone makes a suggestion or gives a comment, appreciate them by beginning with “Thank you very much for your beautiful suggestion”. As little as these gestures, they can go a long way to reinforce relationships within the group in ways you cannot imagine.
4. Listen and show that you are listening
It should not end at just saying “Thank you very much” to every suggestion, contribution, or comment made by members of the group. You should also be seen to listen to what they are saying.
One way to do this is by not replying in a critical way to their suggestions. That is, you want to avoid giving contrary reasons immediately. Instead, allow other members of the group to air their opinions about that matter before you make a decision.
You would find out that by the time everyone makes their suggestions, you would have gotten much more ideas from what they say. In the end, everyone feels belong and are listened to, further strengthening their allegiance to you as their leader.
5. Avoid taking sides
One common mistake many leaders make is directly or indirectly taking sides. Nothing upsets the harmony of any group more than when the leader is taking sides.
Anybody else could take sides without any problems, but when you as the leader take sides, it carries a stronger gravity and implication. Hence, you want to avoid taking sides when presented with differing opinions.
A good way to go about that is to give a general “Thank you very much” to everyone who gives an opinion. Then, look out for positives from both sides and add your ideas to it to form a more robust decision. Hardly ever will you find someone who does not have something you can pick ideas from.
If you are faced with a conflict, listen to both sides equally and first point out what both of them did right and how they could have done better. Again, in every escalated conflict, both partners always have something they could have done better.
6. Avoid ranting in public
Irrespective of what anyone says or does, do not rant or express direct disappointment in a public space as a leader. You should learn to thank your subjects for whatever thing they say or do even if they may have acted condescendingly.
It shows maturity and proves to them that you do not have anything against anyone and never will.
The list is not exhaustive, but these later practical tips can make you an exceptional leader before the eyes of those you are leading. Being an exceptional leader will make you get the full approval and loyalty of your subjects, enhancing your performance as a leader in getting things done and achieving results as a group.
I am a medical doctor, a seasoned writer and passionate blogger. Thanks to many years of trials, failure, and near successes. I am the founder of Knowseeker and our content are geared towards enlightening and making you a better and happier audience.