Every business needs a leader, whether the business is entirely online or in an office. The best of leaders know how to both look and act the part. After all, if you look like a leader, you’ll act like one. Employees should recognize the boss when they walk into the room, simply because of the way they dress, carry themselves, and exude confidence. A great leader is the secret to a successful company or project, and if you want to play the part of the leader, it’s time you looked and acted as such.
1. Be Visible
A boss that stays behind closed office doors throughout the workday and is only seen walking to and from the parking garage isn’t much of a leader. True leaders are visible to their employees. They interact with them, ask how they’re doing, and give feedback on their work. They also enact an open-door policy, inviting employees to ask questions and receive feedback freely. Above all, they are accessible.
No leader will get very far without a strong habit of listening. This is one of the most difficult leadership concepts to master, but it’s also one of the most important. Those who devote time to listening to employee feedback almost always have higher success as a company.
There are a few skills worth mastering in order to become an effective listener. To begin with, it’s important to remember that just because you’re a team leader doesn’t mean that the project is about you. Furthermore, being too busy to listen just won’t cut it. Recognizing and implementing others’ contributions is the best way to achieve greatness.
3. Dress the Part
Looking the part plays a much larger role than you might think. The human race relies greatly on impression, and if your clothing looks like you’ve been wearing it for the last 10 years, your wardrobe needs an upgrade.
For women, this means an attractive pantsuit, skirt-suit, dress, or other work-appropriate, classy ensemble. Hair and makeup should be professional and fit in with a conservative, yet current style. For men, this means a suit and tie. Don’t say no to a few of the finer fashion items, such as cufflinks and bow ties either.
4. Be Comfortable
Comfort is another underrated aspect when it comes to playing the part of a leader. If you aren’t comfortable, it will show, and those you lead won’t be comfortable either. Your comfort level pertains to your clothing and appearance, as well as to your way of doing things. Comfortable doesn’t necessarily mean being happy or even relaxed. It’s more about finding your groove as a leader and building on that. A comfortable, confident leader embodies a successful team.
5. Blend in with the Team
Finally, as much as you want to be noticed and recognized as a great leader, you also want to be recognized as a part of the team. As mentioned previously, being a leader doesn’t mean it’s all about you. It means that you have the skillset necessary to bring a team of varied individuals together in order to create something great.
Blending into your team is a necessary talent too many leaders lack. It involves taking the time to make an executive decision and the time to encourage team member feedback. Furthermore, it’s important to know which tasks to delegate and which tasks to take on yourself. Delegating important tasks to your team members shows them that you trust them to do a good job, which is what a good leader embodies. The entire process can be tricky, but it’s very important to master in order to lead a successful team.
Overall, looking and acting the part of a leader requires self-confidence, the right appearance, and a selfless skillset that allows you to interact better with your team members.