There seems to be a never-ending online library of literature that provides suggestions, tips, or ideas about leadership in the workplace. Part of this literature is respectable and can help many individuals become successful leaders, but a lot of it is not great advice or is misused. For example, an individual who lives in Japan and studies leadership strategy in the United States might not benefit since there are significant differences between appropriate leadership in Japan and the United States. This applies on a more local level, as well - it is important to consider industry, job level, country, and culture when learning new leadership techniques. In order to further ensure that you are getting solid leadership advice, research with valid data to back up those techniques is imperative.
The following tips have been studied and proven to predict leadership performance across many industries, organizations, and countries.
1. Learn to work well with others - Work Collaboratively
Cooperate and work effectively with others in the pursuit of common goals by finding ways to help the team or group perform effectively through actively contributing work or ideas or by encouraging others.
Related: Take our Leadership Challenge to Empower Others
2. Thank others and blame yourself - Be Accountable
Take responsibility for your actions and the consequences that result from those actions. Refrain from making excuses for failures and from blaming others for mistakes.
3. Know when to take over - Manage Conflict
Encourage and facilitate an environment for the constructive handling of disagreements. Identify the need to intervene, pinpointing the source of the conflict, and use effective methods to resolve issues among the conflicting parties. Reward and reinforce cooperative behavior from others.
4. Understand yourself - Be Self-Aware
Know and manage your emotions, strengths, weaknesses, passions, interests, and values. Actively seek information from others regarding your performance, personality and impact on others. Use feedback for personal growth and improvement.
5. Be able to read the situation - Be Sensitive and Socially Aware
Interact with others in ways that are socially appropriate, empathetic and tactful. Do this in a way that reflects a perception, understanding, valuing of and respect for the individual and for personal and cultural diversity.
If these five tips are incorporated as one seeks to become a successful leader, a positive difference in leadership performance can be expected. You may have noticed a theme with some of these tips: all but one of them can be grouped into developing a good interpersonal leadership competency. Only accountability focuses on a work style leadership competency.
So why are these five tips significant?
These tips have been shown to have a very strong relationship with leaders' work performance. In a meta-analysis conducted by Select International, we reviewed results from several studies researching the correlation between a leadership development tool and work performance. These five competencies correlated the most strongly with leader performance.
Based on findings like these, we have compiled the most effective leadership tips into a weekly Leadership Tips subscription. One to two times per week you'll receive brief, actionable tips for becoming a better leader. Why not?
To review the data from our meta-analysis, view our Select Assessment® for Leader Development Summary of Validity Evidence business outcome.