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How to Become a Good Leader

At some point in your career, you may find yourself in the enviable position of going from management to leadership. Typically, this follows years of management duties, which you must have excelled at since you landed a promotion.

The big secret that likely nobody has told you is that an entirely new skill set and mindset are required to excel as a leader. If you are just embarking on your leadership role, have been at it for a while or hope to be there soon, below are some tips on how to successfully transition from management to leadership and become a good leader.

team meeting

What’s the Difference?

Managers oversee a team that strives to meet a series of objectives. A manager guides the team as a specialist, with deep knowledge of certain business functions. Additionally, managers are problem-solvers, determining how to bring to fruition the blueprint of another person’s designs for the company.

Alternatively, leaders influence and motivate others to contribute to the organisation's success. Their perspective is that of a generalist, taking into account the entirety of the company. Rather than focus on solving problems, they get ahead of them and set the agenda. As the architect of organisational design, they must be outstanding strategists and diplomats.

The Key Word: Values

A 21st century leader must inspire a team in a global knowledge economy defined by market disruptions, emerging technologies and slim competitive margins. There is, needless to say, much on a leader’s plate. But if all leadership responsibilities could be distilled into one word it would be values.

A common set of values must exist across every department in a company and inform business decisions at all levels. The leader ensures all working groups share this principled, strategic vision.

To that end, a leader coaches and mentors managers and other team members in achieving their group and individual goals. An effective leader also represents their employees in a positive manner, and advocates for them when appropriate. Ultimately, a leader’s actions and words set the tone for subordinates’ behaviour and expectations; a leader must therefore be balanced, thoughtful and consistent.

Our Approach to How to Become a Good Leader

Going from management to leadership can take many approaches, but here at Priority Management we have a proven, sure-fire way to ease the transition so you evolve into a highly-effective leader.

Start by applying these eight core skills: ​

1. Define Your Purpose

Before you take a step, where are you headed? This first skill encourages leaders to think with the end in mind. The concept is applied particularly to processes that build shared values across teams.

2. Establish Your Goals

Establish goals that take into account the common team vision and inform a strategic plan. This greatly contributes to a stable team that produces focused, value-driven work.

3. Focus Your Resources

Concentrate key resources on activities that contribute to established goals, while maintaining flexibility to adapt to an ever-changing environment. Guide your team towards outstanding resource management. This requires encouraging them to adopt an elevated mindset of being results-oriented, not merely doing-my-job oriented.

4. Manage Your Priorities

Priority management is paramount to excel in any position - especially as a leader or manager. It is so critical, in fact, we named ourselves after it! This skill involves fine-tuning your prioritising abilities, delegation skills and time management, while leading your team to maximise their abilities in these areas as well.

5. Measure the Effects

A true leader has sharp insight into the work that is most beneficial to the organisation. There is quantity of work and then there is quality of work. A leader knows the difference and how to motivate efforts that affect both, while concentrating on the work that is most valuable.

6. Own the Performance

Instilling a company culture of accountability - or owning your performance - is one of the most important strategies you can undertake when going from management to leadership. This motivates workers towards higher levels of aptitude and encourages buy-in for metrics that measure success. ​

7. Influence the Participants

Understand different methods of motivation. Become adept at recognising to which person or situation a style of inspiration should be applied. Gain a deeper appreciation of conflict - how it arises and how to minimise it. Become a first-rate communicator and listener.

8. Continue the Improvements

There is no final destination for an outstanding leader to kick back their feet and say, I’ve arrived! No more work to do on my leadership skills! With any prized skill set comes the need to continuously evaluate performance and identify areas for improvement. What’s more, a leader with a demonstrable commitment to continuous improvement sets the table for the organisation to be similarly dedicated to ongoing advancement and learning.

Be the Leader You Were Meant to Be

The underpinning of a knowledge economy is continuous learning. A company in this day and age is only as competitive as the ongoing learning processes of its workers and leaders. Step into your role as a true leader and lock in the skills and know-how to motivate your team to continuous performance elevation and value-driven work.


Priority Management is a worldwide training company with 55 offices in 15 countries. We have successfully trained more than two million graduates in Priority workshops. Our programs help companies and people be more effective and manage their workflow in and out of the office by providing tools, processes and discipline. Simply put - A Better Way To Work! Clients range from Fortune 500 companies, small-to-medium businesses and government/military employees.

Click Here to learn more about how Priority can help you and your team Work Smart, develop essential management skills and the competencies to....make life and work better and happier!

This blog has been sourced by Priority Management International and edited by Priority Management London.

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