Good leaders take responsibility for their leadership. They lead with their team in mind, aiming to build trust and a culture where everyone feels welcome. However, learning to lead well can be tricky. Leaders sometimes feel like they aren’t adding value, especially if they are new leaders or they are accustomed to doing the work instead of overseeing the work.

If you are wondering how you can be more helpful as a leader, Ben Brearley, founder of Thoughtful Leader, has outlined a few principles that can steer you down a path of more useful leadership. We share his insight in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

1. Focus on the bigger picture. Leaders are responsible for navigating the way forward. This means you should focus less on the day-to-day happenings and more on the future, notes Brearley. Remember that you have a team of capable and talented people working with you. Trust them to do the work while you focus on where the team is going next. Zooming out to set the direction is one of the best ways you can provide value to your team.

2. Build useful relationships. Leaders have connections that their employees don’t always have. As a leader, you can get a foot in the door with key stakeholders, both inside and outside your organization. Use this advantage to help your team. Learn what other leaders need and how you can help them. Aim to build rapport with them so that they might be able to help you down the line, recommends Brearley.

3. Strike the right leadership balance. You can be a more useful leader by always aiming to help instead of hinder your team members. You shouldn’t be completely hands-off with your team, but you also shouldn’t micromanage. When you get the right balance, you can begin to build trust. Your team members will feel comfortable sharing their ideas and challenges. You can also provide them with the resources they need and hold them accountable for their performance. Brearley suggests simply having a conversation with your team members to learn how you can adjust your approach to suit both them and the team overall.

4. Keep your team constantly improving. Another way you can add more value as a leader is to look for ways to help your team learn new skills. Brearley says that creating improvement projects can help your employees continuously progress. These kind of projects can also motivate employees because they get to do something outside of their normal scope. Get to know each employee individually and learn what kind of skills they want to develop. Maybe you work with sales reps who want to improve their project management or public speaking skills. Give them the opportunities to bolster those skills. You’ll not only help them individually, but your whole team will benefit.

If you feel like you could be doing more for your team, consider the points above. Remember not to get mired in your team’s daily activities, but to focus on what comes next. You can also use your leadership status to make meaningful connections that can help your team. And to really impact your team members, open the door to continual professional development. Help them strengthen their current skills and learn new ones. Being a great leader requires leading with your team in mind. You can do that by following the tips above.

Promotional Consultant Today is pausing for the Christmas holiday. We’ll be back in your inbox on Monday, December 27. Happy holidays!

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Ben Brearley, is the founder of Thoughtful Leader and is an experienced leader and AIPC and PRINT® certified coach who is passionate about developing thoughtful and effective leaders.