Editors note: Columnist Larry Fast has been reviewing recent columns to update his thinking on leadership in the manufacturing industry. This article is an updated version of his original piece, dated June 2020, with new tips and insights presented.
In the early stages of your career as a manufacturing manager, there's a lot to learn. For years, Larry has been sharing his leadership style lead tips from his experience as a college graduate and management trainee presently overseeing machine operations. Learning curves are steep when you're starting out, but with the right mindset and approach, you can become a successful plant manager within 10 years.
To answer this great question of how to succeed in manufacturing management, Larry draws from his own fascinating background. As an Air Force veteran who had outstanding mentors throughout his early professional life, he shares two key pieces of advice: first, be a voracious reader on manufacturing-related topics to stay current on breakthrough classics from Edwards Deming, Eli Goldratt, Joseph Juran, John Kotter, Wickham Skinner, Robert Hayes and Steven Wheelwright; and secondly, don't overdo it by reading countless Lean Six Sigma books or classic books - target your readings to significantly enhance continuous improvement critical for evolving technologies.
Unlocking Your Leadership Style: Lead Tips for Success
To become a successful leader, it is important to start assessing your current leadership style. Take a leadership style quiz or read about the major characteristics of different styles to get a general idea. Knowing your dominant style can help you identify the qualities helping or hindering your leadership abilities.
Once you have identified your current leadership style, focus on developing the qualities that will make you a more effective leader. For example, if you are a directive leader, work on becoming more flexible and open to input from others. If you are an affiliative leader, focus on developing your assertiveness and ability to make tough decisions. By understanding and improving upon your strengths and weaknesses as a leader, you can unlock your full potential for success.
Motivate Individuals to Contribute for A Better Cause
Encouraging team members to contribute towards a better cause is an essential part of being a good leader. Participative leaders are those who encourage involvement from their group members, which leads to greater commitment and improved productivity. One of the ideas leaders can use is to establish an active role for each team member, allowing them to contribute in a meaningful way.
Another effective way to motivate individuals is by using the democratic leadership style. This style leads to creative problem-solving and encourages team members to share their ideas and opinions freely. When everyone feels heard and valued, they are more likely to be invested in the outcome and work harder towards achieving the goal. By motivating individuals through these methods, leaders can ensure that their team is fully engaged in contributing towards a better cause.
Listen and Communicate Effectively
Effective communication is an important quality that every good leader should possess. Transformational leadership involves providing one-on-one communication with group members. This helps to foster an environment where group members feel inspired to make contributions and receive recognition for their efforts.
To become a transformational leader, it is essential to express sincere care for the well-being of your group members. By keeping channels of communication open, you are creating a space where they feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas. This helps to build trust and encourages them to work harder towards achieving common goals.
When group members feel heard, understood and appreciated, they are more likely to go above and beyond their duties. As a transformational leader, your role is not just about delegating tasks but also about creating an environment where everyone feels valued. This can only be achieved by listening actively and communicating effectively with each member of your team.
Encourage With Rewards: Recognizing Your Team's Efforts
An important quality of a good leader involves knowing how to motivate and encourage their team. One effective way to do this is by offering effective recognition for the efforts of your followers. Happy people tend to be more productive, so it is essential that your followers feel appreciated and valued in their work. Finding ways to reward and recognize the hard work of your team can go a long way in building a positive and productive workplace culture.
The Importance of Being a Great Role Model
As a leader, being a great role model is one of the key components of transformational leadership. Transformational leaders exemplify idealized influence, which is the result group members admire and strive to emulate. Research suggests that team members are more likely to follow leaders who they perceive as ethical, trustworthy and authentic. As such, effective leaders must exemplify high standards in their personal conduct and work.
Being a great role model also means having a specific belief in your team members' abilities to succeed. This belief can result in followers feeling empowered and motivated. By setting high standards for themselves and their team members, leaders inspire others to do the same. A leader who shows through their actions that hard work pays off will motivate their team members to work harder towards achieving common goals.
Overall, being a great role model sets the foundation for success within teams. Leaders who embody these traits not only inspire their team members but also create an environment where everyone feels valued and can make meaningful contributions towards the team's success. When teams have leaders who hold themselves accountable to high standards and demonstrate this in every aspect of their work, it creates a culture where excellence is expected, respected, and achieved by all.
Encourage Your Supporters: Strategies to Inspire and Empower
Encouraging your supporters is one of the most important aspects of being a transformational leader. It's not enough to just tell your group members what to do and expect them to follow through. You need to provide inspirational motivation that will help them stay focused on their goals and feel included in the group's success.
Fortunately, there are many strategies you can use to inspire and empower your followers. One of the easiest ways is by offering recognition and praise for their hard work. Motivational speeches are also a great way to keep everyone engaged and genuinely passionate about achieving their goals. By setting realistic goals and helping your followers feel included in the process, you can create a sense of unity that will keep everyone motivated and working towards success.
Discover the Joy of Experimenting with Fresh Adventures
As a leader, it's important to understand that leadership is not a one-way relationship. You don't just tell your team what to do and expect them to follow blindly. To be an effective leader, you need to have strong leadership qualities such as the ability to inspire, motivate, and reward group members. One way to do this is by experimenting with fresh adventures. By trying new things, you can inspire your team and help them develop their own leadership skills. So pay attention to what inspires you and then share that inspiration with your team!
Discover the Power of Maintaining a Positive Attitude
Maintaining an upbeat, optimistic attitude is crucial for transformational leaders. It's difficult to inspire and motivate apathetic members when you're feeling disheartened yourself. When followers start to feel overwhelmed or discouraged, they look to their leader for guidance. If you're always viewing things through rose-colored glasses, your followers will be more likely to adopt that same positive outlook.
Staying positive doesn't mean ignoring problems or pretending everything is perfect. It simply means maintaining a focus on solutions instead of dwelling on the negatives. By keeping a positive attitude, you can inspire others to do the same and foster an environment of creativity and collaboration. As a leader, your attitude sets the tone for your team, so make sure it's one that encourages growth and success.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to start lead generation business with no experience?
To start a lead generation business with no experience, research and understand your target audience and their needs, create a marketing strategy to reach them, and build relationships with potential clients through networking and lead nurturing. It is also important to invest in quality tools and resources to effectively generate leads.
How to become a Better Business Leader?
To become a better business leader, you should focus on developing strong communication skills, fostering teamwork and collaboration, setting clear goals and expectations, and continuously learning and adapting to new challenges in the industry.
What strategies would you use to generate leads?
To generate leads, you can use strategies such as creating valuable content, optimizing your website for search engines, networking with industry professionals, and utilizing social media marketing.
What skills do I need to be a better leader?
Effective leadership requires strong communication, empathy, decision-making, problem-solving, and delegation skills.
Who will step up to fill a leadership gap?
In times of leadership gaps, it's up to individuals with the qualities of a leader to step up and take charge. Leadership can come from anyone, regardless of their position or title within an organization.