7 Small Things Leaders Can Do That Will Go a Long Way

Leaders sometimes overlook the small things that make a difference, like cleaning the coffee pot or picking up mail from someone’s desk – these acts help leaders remain approachable.

Superior leaders demonstrate this by taking an interest in their colleagues’ birthdays, work anniversaries and accomplishments.

1. Be flexible.

Leadership requires adaptability and flexibility at every level; whether leading your family, team, department or company it takes flexibility to be effective leaders for followers. Being agile enough to change course quickly is particularly essential in an ever-evolving business world that demands their leaders keep an eye on industry developments as well as people inside them.

This doesn’t mean changing your goals or vision; rather, being open to new solutions and approaches may be key. For example, if a team member has an issue that prevents them from being productive such as an anxiety-inducing commute or lack of space at their home office, listening closely and understanding the issue before coming up with solutions that work for all involved can make all the difference in results.

Flexible approaches involve finding alternative workspaces, permitting remote working or even offering employees the chance to reduce their workweek to four days, as needed. Being open to new ideas and perspectives from employees will lead to stronger relationships and higher productivity over time; as well as communicating trust for them to complete their duties in ways most productive for them.

2. Be accessible.

One popular term used to define leadership is an “open door policy.” Yet without being accessible for their questions and issues, your employees won’t know how best to address them. Establishing such an initiative takes more than words alone: it requires carving out time in your day to ensure you can effectively meet employees needs.

Accessibility is both the right and smart business decision. A recent study indicated that digital products complying with all WCAG guidelines outperformed their counterparts by 50%; and as investors increasingly pay attention to ESG issues, it has never been more important for businesses to prioritize accessibility.

Prioritizing accessibility can have numerous customer experience improvements that go well beyond financial gain. From eliminating barriers that make browsing and purchasing easier to providing multiple support channels for customer assistance, prioritizing accessibility ensures all customers can easily locate what they’re searching for and feel valued as customers – with over one billion living with disabilities, businesses who exclude these people risk missing out on both customers and partners in the long term. In other words, accessibility investments will continue reaping returns long into the future.

3. Be invested.

No matter if you are parenting a family, captaining a team, leading a department, or managing an organization; being the right leader is paramount to its success. No longer is knowledge and skill enough – to set yourself apart from other leaders who simply get things done without bothering to foster leadership qualities in their teams, cultivating vision is vitally important. This will set you apart from many who simply get things done without any sense of leadership instilled among their people.

Outstanding leaders can also be highly engaging and charming individuals who sincerely care about their team members. They remember special dates in people’s lives such as birthdays or work anniversaries and show genuine interest in personal projects, vacation plans or hobbies outside the office. Such investments build trust quickly while sparking commitment in employees — particularly among more powerful members of their teams.

Great leaders understand they cannot possibly be the smartest person in any given room, and so make an effort to recognize even less-than-important members of their team, such as junior assistants or two-week-old interns, because you never know who might become one of your organization’s greatest influences.

4. Be grateful.

A great leader understands the significance of showing appreciation to her team members for all they contribute each day – and especially at times when their help is most needed for projects or tasks. She appreciates their efforts while acknowledging any major contributions they may make towards projects or tasks when needed most.

Robert Emmons suggests counting your blessings isn’t only something for holidays; it should become part of everyday practice. His research shows that those who practice gratitude have greater sense of wellbeing and perform better on their jobs as demonstrated in multiple studies. To increase gratitude, Robert suggests taking note and appreciating pleasant experiences like tasting ripe strawberries or the gentle breeze on your skin; using all five senses helps ground you in reality and pull away negative thoughts and worries from our minds.

Sending someone, such as a colleague or client, a simple thank-you note can go a long way toward showing your appreciation of them and their contributions towards your success as a business.

Sleep is essential to feeling grateful. Create a consistent bedtime and wake-up schedule, create an ambient bedroom environment with soothing bedding, and turn off all electronic devices an hour before heading off to sleep.

5. Be attentive.

Attention to detail is an indispensable quality for successful leaders, as it helps them maintain efficiency while producing high-quality work. When people lack this ability, they can miss important details or commit mistakes that cause irreparable harm to others. While some individuals may appear naturally adept at this skill, others can develop it with practice.

Being attentive involves giving someone your full focus. That means actively listening during conversations and taking notes when necessary; when applied in a work setting, this can help you understand colleagues better as well as improve communication and facilitate collaboration.

Attention should also be paid to relationships that matter most. This might mean paying special attention on important dates such as birthdays and anniversaries or listening and considering feedback in an attempt to strengthen or deepen relationships.

Behaving with respect means showing consideration for all of your coworkers, not only those whom appear most powerful or influential. Treat all individuals equally; even those you deem less capable than another should be treated as valuable members of your team; showing this care shows you care and helps foster long-term trust and loyalty among colleagues.

6. Be a good listener.

There are numerous resources to help develop your public speaking abilities, but finding effective advice for listening may be more of a challenge. However, simple tricks exist which will enable you to become an improved listener – such as shutting off phones and laptops as distractions and trying to limit unnecessary movements around you. When conversations happen you can signal that you’re paying full attention by maintaining eye contact and leaning in slightly. Finally try and recall what someone is telling you so you can answer questions or address points they make later on.

If you find yourself becoming distracted easily, identify what are triggering factors and create strategies to address them. For instance, if your meetings tend to get in the way before lunch time, maybe scheduling them later or finding other means of restricting opportunities to check email will help limit distraction.

Attaining good listening skills is of the utmost importance when beginning a new leadership position. New managers should conduct an “observation and learning exercise” when taking over their unit to form relationships with team members immediately upon taking control.

7. Be honest.

An effective leader must understand their team members from their point of view in order to gain an in-depth knowledge of their needs, desires and motivations in order to provide more successful outcomes. They share this information among themselves for greater transparency and trust among team members.

When employees make mistakes, it’s essential that managers remain supportive and assist them with finding productive ways of improving. Being honest about your own shortcomings and failures shows your team members that you are willing to admit when you are wrong; doing this encourages their honesty towards you as well.

Finally, it is crucial that leaders remain open to new ideas from their team members – this is especially critical when undertaking projects or strategies which require input from various individuals.

Many leaders hesitate to delegate tasks because they lack trust in their employees or fear they won’t do an adequate job. A successful leader knows how to set clear expectations and offer support; additionally, they ensure accessibility to team members with prompt responses for any inquiries and avoid excessive praise that can come across as insincere or demotivate them from doing their work effectively.