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Five Practices for Managers to Improve Their Leadership Daily

Regularly reassessing leadership practices and ensuring managers have the tools and guidance to succeed should be an ongoing priority for any organization.

Let’s start with a quick reminder: Leadership is more than a concept; it’s a verb.

Managers must take proactive steps as they evolve into leadership roles. While you are empowered to manage people by the title you hold, you become a leader as you, your responsibilities, and your people grow with you. Leading is in every aspect of our lives, and the best way to improve is to approach leading as part of a daily practice, like an exercise routine.

As a manager, you have countless moving pieces to handle, and your own leadership should be at the top of your list. Most importantly, as the leader, it’s your responsibility to support and nurture the people on your team. Here are five best practices you can integrate to strengthen your influence as you pave a leadership path – for yourself and others.

1. Be Decisive and Have a Clear Vision

As manager, you oversee many ideas, which are either presented to you or formed in your head. Be decisive when you find an idea that sticks, dive into it with all your might, and avoid changing the plan once it is set.

Arguably, more important is conveying your plans clearly so every member of your team knows what direction to take. Be sure to share your vision as often as possible and give team members a role to play in it.

2. Inspire Others to Follow You

Creating an open and friendly environment for every single team member to flourish and express themselves will inspire others to follow you. Often people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. Showing how much you care about and value your team will enhance your leadership and inspire others to do the same.

3. Continue to Strengthen Your Relationships

Your relationships with your team members can make or break the work outcomes. It’s crucial to constantly build and maintain those relationships, keeping them in good standing. Take the time each day to greet your team, schedule weekly check-ins, and let them know you are available to lend a listening ear.

4. Practice Open and Clear Communication

You are more than just the manager, you are also the thought leader, the career coach, the support system, and the sounding board for your team. Creating and maintaining that symbiotic relationship with your team is key to earning their trust and loyalty.

You’re likely to have the final say in a variety of matters. However, it’s important to hear the entire team out. Doing so will open the door to innovative ideas and send a message to your contributors that their opinions are heard and valued.

5. Hold Yourself – And Your Team –  Accountable

While your team is made up of unique individuals, you represent them as a whole. It’s important to credit your team when their ideas take off and recognize it’s you on the line when something goes wrong. 

You have a lot of responsibilities to juggle as a manager, so it’s imperative to assign projects to your team members to mitigate your own workload. Ask yourself how much you can be involved without stretching yourself too thin. Hold yourself accountable as much as you would hold a team member accountable to a deadline.

Leaders grow and improve each day with consistency, dedication, and commitment to their teams. Communicating a clear vision and including your team in the vision will inspire your team to follow you and support better team outcomes. Start with frequent communication and set a standard of accountability. Lastly, even with these tips in mind, remember that you don’t become a great leader simply by checking the box. Stay committed to daily actions as you evolve in your leadership and watch your team grow along with you.


SparkEffect Accelerates Leadership Development

As leaders work to improve their skills and effectiveness, partnering with experts continually can provide the guidance and resources needed to accelerate growth. SparkEffect offers tailored solutions to meet the unique development needs of leaders at all levels.

Our Leadership Development programs cultivate excellence across your organization through a tailored approach that unlocks potential and strengthens strategic alignment and competitive advantage. We help bridge leader skill gaps to drive team performance and engagement.

For individual leaders, our Executive Coaching solutions provide targeted 1:1 coaching that builds critical capabilities and fuels your leadership pipeline. Our expert coaches work hand-in-hand with leaders to create development plans that deliver real growth and change.

Today’s leaders’ complex challenges require agility, resilience, and expanded skill. SparkEffect is a trusted partner that equips your leaders with the mindsets and capabilities needed to inspire their teams and execute organizational priorities. With our proven approach and decades of experience, we can help transform your leaders and organization to be ready for whatever comes next.

To learn more about SparkEffect’s leadership solutions, visit here.


About Marlen

Marlen Cantrell is an Executive Coach, Senior Career Coach, and author of the inspirational book Pop the Cork & Celebrate. Her experience extends over decades of progressive roles at start-ups and mid- and large-size companies, where she was recognized as a mentor and coach throughout her tenure. 

In addition to SparkEffect (formerly Torchiana and Waldron), Marlen currently coaches in her own private practice. Her focus is leadership development, emphasizing leadership coaching for high-potential individuals. Marlen provides in-depth leadership coaching to high-potential (HiPo) promotional candidates from beginning to end, with special emphasis on building self-awareness and presence, managing and communicating upward, lateral, and downward, and preparing them for higher-level positions.

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