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[Series 5/8] Be A Great Leader. Encourage Innovative Thinking.

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Great innovative ideas come from any employee that knows their business, their customer and their specific needs. What employees like this need are leaders that know how to stimulate diversity of thought, leading to a cross-pollination of ideas. Leaders that inspire their workforce to think innovatively, creating a culture that fosters collaborative problem-solving.

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Are you that kind of leader?

Senior managers, directors or chief execs that want to be effective in leading their teams need to let go of the thought that they are the only one that knows what’s right for the business. Be open to the fact that individuals in your team (no matter their rank or hierarchy) may hold the solution to some of your business problems. Be open to learning from your team (of course their solutions may not always work) but this approach will give your workforce the confidence and space they need to think and take risks.

In a previous post, we talk about how you can lead your organisation to innovation success. In the list below we provide you with a few more specifics to guide you along the road to becoming a better leader.

These areas will have a big impact on your team in the coming year if you choose to adopt them.

To be a great leader:

1. Be willing to connect with your employees and listen more to their concerns or any personal issues around work.

2. Give your staff more autonomy, providing advice as and when needed.

3. Provide an environment where your employees feel confident to share their ideas.

4. Be open to ideas from every member of your workforce regardless of their position.

5. Provide clear direction and make sure that everyone is behind the overall company vision.

6. Make a conscious effort to value your employees.

7. Give balanced feedback that leaves your staff inspired to change.

8. Reward your staff, giving credit where credit is due.

9. Encourage your employees to take risks and to learn from failure.

Your role as a leader is to enable others so that they can be extraordinary. As a result, your business will never fail to grow in its ability to develop innovative solutions quicker and better than your competitors.

 

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