10 Steps to Becoming a Kick-Ass Leader (because Bad Bosses Suck)

Think about your favourite boss or manager. Why were they awesome? Were they friendly and approachable? Did they make you excited to get up for work every morning? Did they give you the support you needed to do your job well?

Now think about a boss who wasn’t as awesome. What made them suck? Did they micro-manage you? Were they lazy or uninspiring? Did they always sit behind closed doors? Did they yell at their staff?

Awesome leaders give their staff members good experiences in the moment and fond memories long after they’ve finished working together. They’re the ones who people want to be like when they work their way up their own professional ladders. They’re the ones who build a community that, by everyone’s powers combined, will fulfil the vision of the business. They’re the ones who are real, who are authentic and unafraid of being vulnerable.

A company is only as good as its leaders. If there are problems in your business, take a good hard look at your management team before you point the finger at your staff. Need to improve your company’s leadership style in order to become more authentic? Here are 10 tips to get you started.

1. Be Honest & Transparent

For an employee, there’s nothing more frustrating than not knowing what’s going on. Authentic leaders communicate clearly and transparently to their staff about the good, the bad and the ugly. They’re honest and upfront about what’s going on in and around the company, and they don’t beat around the bush when it comes to acknowledging and solving problems.

2. Be Confident

If you come across as being confident, even when the going’s tough, you’ll give your staff confidence in both your leadership and your business. Don’t confuse confidence for cockiness though; no one responds well to an arrogant smart-ass or a person who leads by fear.

3. Share Your Knowledge

The best leaders are committed to growing their teams and making their staff better performers. Sharing your knowledge and experience to make your staff better at their jobs will go a long way, because if they know that you’re committed to helping them be their best, they’re more likely to work harder and better for you.

4. Be Accountable

Leaders should be proud of themselves and their teams when there are wins to celebrate, but the best leaders are the ones who take ownership when things don’t turn out well too. Be honest and upfront about failures, then implement processes to avoid the same thing happening again.

5. Be Supportive

Great leaders don’t just assign work and leave it up to their staff to make it happen. They offer support and guidance when it’s needed and do all they can to help their staff do their jobs well. When everyone’s swamped with deadlines, great leaders pitch in to help; they don’t head home early when everyone else is working overtime to get shit done.

6. Know Your Stuff

Authentic leaders don’t have to micro-manage everything that goes on in their company, but to be taken seriously and to help solve problems they do need to understand what everyone else does. Make it your mission to be available, listen and find out more about what they do and how you can work together better.

7. Be Decisive

Staff look to their leaders to make good decisions that are based on fact, not rumours or assumptions. Be decisive, but take your time and talk to the right people before making your final decision. Don’t let issues linger, take the bull by the horns and front up to solve issues effectively and quickly.


8. Communicate Clearly

Don’t sit on information that your team or staff needs to do their jobs well; communicate updates or new information in a timely manner so everyone stays on the same page and no one thinks the wool is being pulled over their eyes or you just can’t be bothered.

9. Be Accessible

A truly authentic leader is accessible to their team when they need help, not when it suits the leader. Working in an open-plan environment makes this easier, but even if you work in an office with four walls and a door, you can be accessible to your teams by implementing a few simple rules (like when the door is open, you’re welcome to pop in for a chat). If you can’t solve a problem, don’t pretend it doesn’t exist and leave your staff to flounder around on their own; be honest about your limitations then find someone else who can help or work with them to come up with an appropriate solution.

10. Practice What You Preach

Finally, no one likes someone who says one thing and does another. If your staff see you publicly follow your company values and do all the things you expect them to do, you’ll earn their respect.

You Can Be an Authentic Leader Too

Authentic leadership won’t just make your staff work better, it’ll also make your job as a leader more fulfilling. Ready to become a better leader? Cinch HR provides easy, down-to-earth, no-fluff HR toolkits, coaching and advice so you can spend less time focusing on problems in your business and more time working alongside happy, healthy staff. Give Cinch HR a call today to find out how they could transform the face of your business.

Kim Rippin