Ask any successful team in business, sports, or even in the military about their “secret sauce,” and they’ll reveal its good leadership. See, great leaders can take a team of average members to new heights. They can deal with hardships, go over obstacles and break the walls keeping them from success. This begs the question, what can you do to become a great leader in every area of your life? Jason Elkin is here to answer that for you.
Jason Elkin is diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) leader and disruptor who helps companies build high-performing, safe, gender-balanced teams. To further advance change in the industry, he has also co-founded the first Female, LGBTQ, and minority-led & focused VC Fund in Latin America, Teoria Ventures. And the first global DEI nested talent solution, EQUALS TRUE. Building great teams is his passion; consequently, he mastered the art of leadership.
According to him, you don’t need to be an extraordinary human being to be a good leader. You don’t have to be born talented, charismatic, high intellectual quotient, or emotional intelligence. Even the average person who’s starting from zero can build the skills required to lead effectively. So if you want to raise the social hierarchy and secure a new leadership position, or if you already have a team and want to improve your leadership methods, here’s what you’ll want to do.
First, give everyone an equal opportunity to shine within your team. Most teams crumble because members feel left out, and as a great leader, it is your primary job to include everyone and make them feel like they belong in your company. This is why it is crucial to allow everybody to win, regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, and religion. This is why in one of his companies, ATHENAWORKS, Jason Elkin makes sure that everyone feels equal to one another.
The second skill you want to master is the art of listening. Unfortunately, when most unqualified people secure leadership positions, they start bossing people around, telling them what to do without even considering their feelings and opinions. As the leader, you have to be there for your people, listen to them, and care about what they have to say. Be open to new options, don’t be afraid of admitting when you’re wrong and make sure you learn something from everyone. You can learn from your members just as much as they can learn from you.
Finally, a great leader gives praise when it’s due and pushes towards improvement otherwise. Imagine you’re part of a team. You work hard and do a fantastic job, but someone else takes the praise when the results come in. The feeling is terrible, and chances are you’re not going to work just as hard on your next project. This is why as the leader, you have to praise your members accordingly, but when they screw up, guide them on the road to improvement. We all make mistakes.
All in all, being a great leader doesn’t require inhumane skills that are impossible to develop. On the contrary, when you give everyone a chance, listen to your teammates, and give praise when it’s due, the team performs better. It’s that simple. If you want to learn more about Jason, connect with him on Linkedin.