What’s the first thing we want to know about successful CEOs? What’s your morning routine? What does an average week look like for you? We want to tap into their habits–the small things they do every day that leads to their success.
This curiosity stems from knowing that being a great leader doesn’t come quickly. Leadership requires dedication to the process﹘ honing your skills, cutting the fat, and knowing what works. I’ve been (and still am) in the process of becoming an effective leader for The Vested Group, and these are five habits that I’ve found help my employees excel.
1. Be an Active Leader
Sometimes when you think of a leader, you might envision a powerful, well-paid person sitting in a corner office with an assistant who ensures they are not disturbed. This cliché is not who I aim to be as a leader.
I believe in being an active, involved leader. This means interacting with my employees often and being readily available to them. We all have packed schedules these days, but everyone in our company knows that I will take the time to engage with people from all departments. I seek ways to connect regularly, and I’ve found this helps me be more accessible and keep my finger on the company’s pulse.
2. Be Approachable and Receptive
The value of employee ideas and feedback cannot be overstated. Some of the most profitable and innovative ideas come from employees, and feedback is essential for creating and maintaining a pleasant and sustainable work environment.
Often a position of authority can create intimidation among employees. Be sure to encourage employee input regularly and provide a safe space for them to share their thoughts. Another component of this habit is active listening. When an employee approaches you with their ideas, look them in the eyes and absorb what they say.
3. Communicate Expectations Effectively
I believe that part of running a successful business is holding your employees to a higher standard than the competition. But, these standards will never be consistently met if you can’t effectively communicate them.
One sweeping way of doing this is by creating a set of company values and making sure all employees understand what they mean in the context of their position. Also, if an employee’s performance isn’t living up to your usual standards, give them some one-on-one feedback and work with them to find ways they can improve.
4. Make Transparency a Priority
I value honesty over “saving face” in every situation. As a leader, you must own up to your mistakes. If you play the blame game, your employees will not trust you in the long run. By taking responsibility for your missteps, you show humility and set the stage for an honest workplace.
5. Create a Positive Work Environment
As The Vested Group founder, I put a lot of thought and resources into creating a place that people want to work. I believe that company culture is vital to all employees’ happiness and the overall success of the company.
Step back and ask yourself if you would want to work for your own company. If you were in the lowest paying position in the company, would you be happy with your job? Why or why not? Reflections like these can help you see areas where your company can improve.