Whether you’re an established entrepreneur, you’ve just launched your first startup, or you’re only beginning to think about making the shift to be your own boss, you probably have some innate leadership skills. You may even have some good leadership and management training and education. Did you know, though, that there are things you can do right now to become a better leader starting today? Check out a few great tips that won’t require a lot of time or effort but will make you a significantly more effective leader right away.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO SAY, “I DON’T KNOW”

You don’t know all of the answers, and that’s okay. In fact, believe it or not, no one expects you to be a walking Google for all of your business’ needs. If you don’t know the answer to something, you’ll get a lot more respect if you simply say, “I don’t know, but I can find out,” instead of making something up or trying to deflect the question.

HIRE EMPLOYEES WITH GREAT POTENTIAL

If you’re in a hiring phase, spend some time analyzing candidates’ résumés. Look for their potential, not just their education, experience, and defined skill sets. If you find someone with a lot of potential who just needs a little bit of training, you’ll likely find that they’re a great investment and a valuable addition to your team.

GIVE PRAISE READILY

Don’t hold back praise for your employees. Show them that you appreciate their input, that you recognize when they take ownership of a project, and that you know how valuable they are to your business. Show them in words and actions how much they mean to you and how much they’re helping achieve your goals.

DON’T PROMOTE EMPLOYEES UNTIL THEY’RE REALLY READY

Becoming a better leader today only requires you to make a few simple changes. Better leadership will improve morale, productivity and confidence.

As an extension of giving praise and recognition, you might think that it’s a good idea to give promotions readily, too. Hold off on this, though. Be very deliberate with your promotions. You want to ensure that employees are ready to grow into and fill out their new roles and that they won’t be floundering for the first few weeks or months after a promotion. Wait a bit longer and you’ll see that your employees take on their new roles and responsibilities with more grace and confidence.

BE TRANSPARENT

Finally, we’ve all seen managers and CEOs who say, “Things are great!” no matter what was actually happening with the business. We’ve also seen those who acted like there was a major crisis going on at all times, even when things actually were really great. Don’t be either of these leaders.

Instead, be transparent with your employees about what’s going on with the business, how they’re doing on deadlines, and what needs to happen next. If your employees know that they’re close to beating a sales record for a given month or quarter, they’re going to work harder to beat that record. If they know that things aren’t going as well as you’d hoped but that landing a client could turn everything around, they’re also going to be more likely to go the extra mile for you. and open with your employees, you’ll inspire trust and loyalty, and you’ll see better results.

These five simple tips could make all the difference in the world for you and your employees. Practice them whenever you can, and you’ll notice better morale, more productivity, and greater confidence in your employees. You’ll also notice better results for your business, and your venture will be more likely to succeed.

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