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Leadership At Work Is An Art Form. Here’s How To Practice It.

Source | | Kimberly B. Cummings

Throughout history – and probably in your own life – you’ve seen examples of good and bad leaders. They can lift you up or drag you down, praise a group effort or promote themselves. And at work, leaders are often the difference between a great job and a terrible one.

That’s why career development expert Kimberly B. Cummings says leadership is an “art form.” Because it’s not something everyone can or wants to do well, and it truly takes practice to “create a team atmosphere where people are happy, excited to come to work, and excited to do the work.”

Here are six tips to become a great leader, whether you’re a manager or an employee:

Practice “radical transparency”

“The higher up you go in the workplace, the more secrecy there is,” says Cummings, author of Next Move, Best Move. As a manager, you can break that cycle of secrecy by including your employees in decisions that directly affect them. Let them in on the “inner circle” of decisions by asking for feedback on proposals or sharing important news before it becomes public.

Study how your team works

Being a manager isn’t just about checking off tasks and evaluating your employees’ performance. Leaders should also make it their job to understand their teams as a whole, understand the people on their team as individuals, and understand who has been on the team before and how they were treated.

Studying the “full 360” of your team helps you develop your group as an “ecosystem,” says Cummings. You are interconnected, after all, and the success of one person drives the success of others.

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