Establishing better leadership skills will always help you get more out of the job you have or pursue later. It’s part of growing as a person and being more confident in who you are and what your job represents. Plus, it carries much farther than just employment. Pay close attention to the following suggested leadership strategies.

Use a mentor. Find someone whose leadership skills you trust, and model your behavior after theirs. Watch them for a while, and get an idea of how they lead and what makes them a good leader. You don’t want to mimic them completely, but find what works about their style and incorporate it into a style that works for you.

A great idea for anyone in a leadership role to try is to periodically write an “open letter” to the team members, or workforce. In this letter, you can acknowledge good work, overall performance and show your appreciation for all they do. There is nothing like a little praise to boost morale.

Provide incentives for a job well done. Yes, everyone has a salary for doing their jobs, but incentives are a big peace of the leadership puzzle. Recognize when your employees perform exceptionally well, and reward them with a gift or bonus. Leaders that do well don’t pinch their pennies when good things happen.

You decision making skills will be judged by your team. Who you give projects to, as well as the people you hire or fire makes people think differently of you. Showing that certain people are your favorites and giving certain people rewards all the time can make people experience bad morale, which is bad for business.

Don’t manage, lead. There’s a big difference between a manager and a leader. Managers maximize productivity and work on the day to day. Leaders inspire and raise the company up with vision. It’s big picture stuff. If you spend too much time managing, you’ll never be able to show yourself as a leader to your company.

The Business

Understand the business you are in. Unfortunately there are many leaders out there who don’t get their business totally. Whether that’s because they inherited the business or they just no longer care, it doesn’t matter. It reads the same to employees. How can you lead if others don’t trust that you have the knowledge to do so?

As a leader, or manager, your team is your greatest asset. And, they know the business better than anyone. Try carrying a journal, or notebook with you at all times. Use it to write down any information, ideas and problems you hear from the team. Then, each week, go over your notes, and see what you can do to implement good ideas, and solve any problems you may have encountered.

Powerful leadership strategies are not only learned but honed throughout time. Practice what you’ve been give, and always desire to be a great leader for others. This will make for the right combo as you find out your continued purpose. There is a leader in each person, and it’s time for it to be brought out.