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5 Tips to Becoming an Even Better Leader

August 7, 2013

By: Carletta Clyatt

Whether you worry that your leadership skills are a bit shaky or maybe you already feel like Super Manager (cape and all), some self-reflection could be just the thing to help you succeed and get the most out of your team.  (you might want to take a minute and consider how you would rate your own managerial feed back)

Did you know, 31% of employees looking to leave their jobs blame poor management, according to a recent Forbes.

Feel free to take a moment to let your power go to your head.

Face it, a manager has the ability to make employees’ jobs fun, engaging and fulfilling or just plain terrible. Assuming it is not your goal to make people miserable, here are some pointers to help you train yourself to be an even better leader.

5 Tips to Becoming an Even Better Leader:

1. Know yourself.  Apart from Chuck Norris, nobody’s perfect. Be honest with yourself about your strengths AND your weaknesses.Capitalize on strengths: Figure out what you are good at, and do more of it (within reason). Chances are, the parts of management you like best are the ones you are good at. If you are a great motivator or coach, find more ways to incorporate that into your daily plans. If you are an awesome strategist, expand your strategies to people management, budgeting, etc. If lunch is where you shine… maybe this job isn’t for you.Outsmart your weaknesses: Don’t like employee conflict?  A bit of a micromanager? A little too overbearing? These can be problems, but they don’t have to be.  Acknowledging your challenge areas is the best way to keep them from becoming unruly. By planning and communicating carefully and avoiding situations that emphasize your trouble areas, you can help things run a lot more smoothly.

2. Keep your word. Trust is a HUGE part of management. If you make a promise to your employees, keep it. If you don’t think you are going to be able to follow through, don’t make the promise in the first place. Make sure you are someone your people can always count on.

3. Commit to your team, and be willing to go to bat for them. Sometimes the hardest part of management is being the middle-person between the individuals you lead and upper management. The folks at the top have production quotas, budgets and deadlines. The ones below are living the realities of getting the work done. Occasionally, you need to push back on high level leadership for more time, more money or better conditions. It’s not pleasant, but if you can do it, your team will know you have their backs, and they will have yours.

4. Ask for feedback: Employees have annual reviews, how about returning the favor?  Check in to see how people are feeling, whether they feel supported, and if they need anything else from you. Ask open-ended questions.  Be prepared to hear what they have to say without being offended, and expect a certain amount of sugar-coating (or possibly whining). Listen for common themes, and commit to making improvements based on their input.

Set an example: Live the qualities you want to see in your team. Make sure your actions reflect the values, attitude, adaptability and willingness to learn needed for success. Remember, everyone is watching and taking their cues from you.

Remember, if you can’t be perfect like Chuck Norris, be as Chuck Norrisy as you can!

Carletta Clyatt

Carletta Clyatt, a popular seminar speaker, is the SVP at The Omnia Group. She offers clients advice on how to manage more effectively and gain insight into employee strengths, weaknesses and behaviors. For more information about employee behavioral assessments, call Carletta at 813-280-3026 or email:

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