7 key lessons that you can learn from business leaders

If you are a junior member of the team or at management level, you are still learning about your industry and job role every day. A lot of this learning can be done on your own, however, if you want to step up the career ladder and progress, then look to your leaders and learn from their actions. Not only will this encourage you to carry yourself like a leader, but it should highlight what good and bad management skills are.

Here are the top seven lessons we recommend that you learn from business leaders. 

1. How to motivate people

Motivating people isn’t easy. It can be hard to encourage a team member to adopt a ‘get-up-and-go’ attitude if they have already begun to feel demotivated at work. Watching your leaders, or considering past experiences with your manager or director that have made you feel motivated, can give you some insight into the right things to say to colleagues or direct reports. 

Remember that everybody is different, and whilst one person may benefit from some ‘tough love’, another might feel discouraged as a result. Good leaders will get to know their teams and how they react to different occurrences at work. Adopting this when you become a manager and above can help you to develop a better managerial style. 

2. Improve your organisation skills

Organisational skills are key for most roles, and it is important to learn what works for you from the outset so that you can be as productive as possible in your day-to-day role. Business leaders will have many tricks up their sleeves on how to remain organised. Not all of these will work for you, but having a conversation with them about how they keep organised will surely teach you a thing or two about how to organise your own schedule in the workplace. 

3. Approach difficult conversations tactfully 

Not many people enjoy having difficult conversations at work. However, it is crucial that you approach these conversations tactfully. Business leaders often adopt a diplomatic approach to difficult conversations and allow the individual to have their say. Talking through problems rather than dictating a change is more productive, and will allow you to build better rapport with your team members. 

4. Say ‘no’ constructively

Business leaders often have to have discussions with external clients or third-party providers, it comes with the territory. However, sometimes a colleague or an external professional will request a task be done that isn’t possible to complete in the desired timeframe. Try responding tactfully, in a way that doesn’t cause upset. For instance, don’t simply respond with, “we can’t do this for you”, say “we will review our current workloads and priorities and come back to you next week with a proposal to move this task forward.”

Leaders provide solutions to problems, if your team is unable to complete a task, recommend a second port of call instead. 

5. Embrace change

Change can be unnerving at times, but it's a leader’s role to guide the team through this change, whilst boosting productivity and ensuring everyone feels comfortable within their role. A great leader will show times of change as an opportunity for their team members to shine and display their creativity in the workplace. 

6. Take and learn from criticism

Criticism can be difficult to hear, even when it is constructive. However, business leaders are often criticised at work, because they are held responsible for their performance and the performance of their team. Learning from your mistakes and picking yourself up quickly will help you to develop through your career. 

7. Treat people as individuals

It is important to recognise every worker’s individuality, it is these differences in people that drive businesses forward to develop innovative and forward-thinking ideas. It is not only important to treat your team as individuals throughout their personal development, but it is crucial to make sure that you are considering the different personalities and working styles of your employees. Do this, and you will be able to get the best out of them throughout their career. Don’t do this, and you will find that individuals don’t enjoy working for you.

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