Watch the video above and talk about it with a group or mentor. Learn more.

If you want to be a better leader, you need to learn important skills like taking responsibility and knowing how to criticize without crushing your employees.

Key Points:

  • Practice integrity. People are not motivated to follow leaders who are unethical or unjust. When you practice integrity you gain the trust of the people you work with.
  • Actions speak louder than words. Great leaders should lead by example. Do not delegate tasks to others that you are not willing to do yourself.
  • Be persuasive. Frame your requests in such a way that the benefits are clear to the person you’re assigning work to. Show your employees or team members what they’ll gain by giving it their all. 
  • Make people feel important. Leadership is about motivating others. Show real concern for and interest in the lives of your team members. Thank them for a job well done – even if it’s a small job. 
  • Praise in public, correct in private. You will lose credibility as a leader if you single someone out for condemnation in a group setting. You will gain credibility if you praise in a group setting.
  • To criticize well, consider the “sandwich approach” – praise the team member, highlight the area of criticism, and praise them once more. 
  • Take responsibility for your mistakes. Leaders aren’t perfect, so don’t deny your failures or attempt to deflect them onto someone else. Own up to your own failures and you will gain the respect of others.
  • Have clear, achievable goals. Successful teams reach consensus on all their common goals and know their role in accomplishing those goals. 
  • Be knowledgeable. Knowledge and understanding is crucial for being competent in your work and in gaining and maintaining the respect of your team members. This doesn’t mean you’re the absolute best in your field, but if you routinely demonstrate to your team that you are inept or unqualified, you will begin losing their respect. 
  • Surround yourself with great people. The fact is, we are strongly influenced by those we spend the most time with whether at home, school, work, or somewhere else. 

 Quote This:

The art of communication is the language of leadership. -James Humes

See Also: Communication, Integrity, Teams, Workplace

Talk About It
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Who is a great leader you’ve worked or served under in your life? What makes/made them great?
  3. What have been your greatest struggles when you’ve been in leadership positions? Explain.
  4. Why is integrity so crucial for effective leadership? Explain.
  5. How can highlighting the benefits of tasks motivate team members to do a great job?
  6. Why is it so important to praise in public and criticize in private? Give an example if you have one.
  7. What is a mistake you have had to take responsibility for? How did it affect your co-workers?
  8. What are the goals of your organization? Are these goals clear at every level of your organization? Explain.
  9. Why is knowledge/technical mastery important from a leadership perspective? Have you ever seen a leader who did not possess technical mastery/knowledge of their field? Explain.
  10. Who are the people you spend the most time with? In what ways do they influence you and vice versa?
  11. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.