There are cool, commanding leaders in history, the types you’re told about in history classes and dull-as-ditch-water documentaries. And then there are the dopes, the types that ran countries into the ground and caused a mutiny before they could even hand in their P45.
If you’re a budding manager, chances are you’re biting your nails about which one you are.
Will people warm to you like a hot water bottle? Or will they give you the same level of respect reserved for convicted criminals?
Ultimately, the choice falls down to you.
Your staff will be able to identify a bad leader pretty quickly – so you’ve got to make an ace impression.
With that in mind, we’ve come up with a few ways you can go from bumbling Miliband to commanding Merkel.
Contact the pros
You can read as many inspirational Abraham Lincoln quotes as you like, but little beats lessons from a bona fide pro.
There are tons of courses that can give you a degree in leadership and management – and they can be tackled while you’re on the job.
Studies aren’t confined to textbooks and online articles, either. Instead, you’ll be engaged with your tutor in the specifics of effective leadership, including strategy, planning and delegation.
And these courses aren’t only for managers. If you’re looking to grab the career bull by the horns, get a degree to prove your mettle to employers.
You’ll soon be racing up the career ladder quicker than a Formula One driver.
First impressions count
You’re meeting your team for the first time – how do you want to look?
Do you want to be a quaking, shivering mess, a friendly, approachable type, or a Don Draper with the threads of the gods and a no-nonsense demeanour?
First impressions can make or break any manager. Enter your new workplace with the sense of someone who has their head screwed on, and knows exactly where they’re supposed to be. Having the confidence to command a room takes a lot of training – but it’s an absolute necessity.
Know what you don’t
We’ve all worked with insufferable know-it-alls before – they’ll claim that their way is gospel, bellow over you in meetings, and refuse to admit mistakes, even when they’ve been caught with their hand in the cookie jar.
An effective leader is none of these things. Socrates once said, “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” He was bang on the money.
Admitting your lack of knowledge is the first step to getting your team to chip in and share their expertise. That doesn’t mean you have to wander around your workplace like you were braindead – just sport the authority you know you have.
Leaders utilise the talent of others. They DON’T brag about their own.