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Sunday Times STLive By Careers & Money , 2011-10-30

How to lead with confidence

Good leaders don't react to the day-to-day noise in their business, but look for systematic and strategic solutions that resolve today's problems and prevent future problems from occurring.

"Being a good leader could mean the difference between success and failure when it comes to your business and the way in which your staff respond to you," says Monique Harrisberg, author and founder of The Voice Clinic, which offers stress assessments and voice courses. Harrisberg has some advice on how to lead your team with confidence:

  • Good leaders know themselves. It is necessary to know who you are when your are faced with challenges or ethical choices and have to communicate with people who have different ideas. You need to be clear about your own values, priorities and preferences and not let someone else, or society, define them for you;
  • Be willing to make a commitment. In addition to being self-aware, an effective leader is not afraid to take on responsibilities. Sometimes this means putting the organisation or group first, and keeping it there. True leadership requires sacrifices, including putting the organisation and others before yourself;
  • Good leaders know they don't know everything. One of the most dangerous misconceptions is believing effective leaders have to know everything. Try to get ideas and input from all members of your team before developing a plan of action;
  • Good leaders are not afraid of change - in fact, they acknowledge it as a basic fact of life. It is comfortable to ignore the inevitability of change and to keep things the way they've always been. But, unless bankruptcy is on your "to do" list, you will need to accept that change will happen; and
  • Good leaders go the extra mile. Some leaders are incredible encouragers, strong organisers, good persuaders or charismatic speakers. The way leaders lead is a reflection of their characteristics and values. It has been said that "a leader is someone who helps others do and become more than they ever thought possible".