Want to Improve Your Leadership Skills? Here Are 6 Essential Things to Do

Leadership is an essential skill for any professional who aspires to climb the career ladder. Whether or not you hold a leadership position today, you can work to improve your leadership skills and to stand out as a valuable employee who can be trusted to give guidance, advice, and direction. Here are six ways to boost your leadership skills:

Know what you want.

What is your goal? How will you get there? Start by choosing a specific and achievable goal at work, at home, or in your hobbies. For instance, you might decide “I will finish all my expense reports before I leave work Friday.” Then, create a clear plan for getting there: “I will spend fifteen minutes on expense reports before I leave work every day this week.”

When you set clear goals, create clear guidelines, and follow through, you learn how to communicate both the expected outcome and the path forward – two essential skills for any leader.

Identify your strengths.

Everyone is stronger in some areas than others. When you know your strengths and weaknesses, you can lead in a way that uses your strengths while helping your weaknesses improve. Are you very organized? Good at understanding how others are feeling? A great teacher? Make a list of your strengths; then think about specific ways you can use them to lead in your current position. For instance, if you’re a good teacher, you may volunteer to train a new co-worker.

Be a role model.

Supervisors and bosses are often told to model the behavior and attitudes they’d like to see in their employees. Even if you’re not currently at the head of a team, however, you can be a role model by adopting the work ethic and approach you’d like to see every team member possess. Those who act as role models often stand out as leaders, because they offer a dependable and inspiring example.

Get good at communicating.

Brush up on your communication skills by taking a class, offering to give a presentation, or finding a hobby that encourages better communication. Remember that communicating is a two-way street: The best leaders are those who can listen as well as they can speak.

Encourage your co-workers to do their best.

Practice “leading from within” at work or in your hobbies by supporting those around you in their efforts to do their best work. For instance, if you have a co-worker who particularly enjoys and is good at a certain task, ask for their help on a project that includes that task. Seeing the potential in others and offering opportunities to develop it is an essential quality of a good leader.

Keep learning.

The best leaders never stop learning. They see every failure, mistake, or setback as an opportunity to learn and grow stronger, and they take the initiative to seek out new information and incorporate it into their work. Take a class, join a professional organization, or simply sit down with a pad of paper and list what went wrong in your last mistake and what you can learn from the experience.

The recruiters at FootBridge Energy Services strive to place experienced professionals in great jobs within the oil and gas industry. Contact us today to learn more!

Your Leading Employee Just Gave Notice. Now What? 4 Tips to Follow

It happens in every company eventually: Your star player, the person you rely on to set the bar for excellence for the entire team, has just announced they’re leaving the company.

Now what? You could let productivity and organization take a hit while you scramble to find a replacement who you hope will do half as well – or you can take deliberate steps to find your next star. Here are four things to do the day your best team member gives notice:

Schedule an exit interview.

In most companies, the top talent is “top” not only due to their skills and drive, but because they also form a great cultural “fit” with the organization itself. When a key person leaves, it is crucial to ask them why.

During the exit interview, give the exiting employee space to speak freely, then listen and reflect. Read between the lines to determine whether the resignation is something that can be prevented in the future – and if it can, take steps now to fix the problem.

Consider a counteroffer.

Once you know why the person is leaving, it’s time to weigh the merits of making a counteroffer. Are they leaving because the benefits or work-life balance is better with a new employer? If so, you may be able to compete on those terms.

Counteroffers can be a delicate matter. Most exiting employees have already given significant thought to the pros and cons of leaving long before they turn in their resignation letter. Weigh the affect the absence will have on the team and the company as well as your options for a counteroffer and the potential risks before stepping forward.

Create a transition plan.

Losing a top employee can hurt your productivity, but leaving the rest of the team hanging only compounds the problem. Ask the exiting employee to work with fellow team members in their last days to create a transition plan that balances the workload among the remaining team members and clarifies how the work will be done until the position is filled.

Call your recruiter.

Finally, call your staffing partner. Be prepared to talk about why the employee who is leaving was so valuable to the team – for skills, as well as attitude and work ethic. Your recruiter knows how to use this information to locate candidates who meet or exceed that profile, improving your chances of finding another outstanding employee.

At FootBridge Energy Services, our recruiters specialize in placing A-list talent in positions throughout the energy industry. Contact us today to find your next rising star.