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If you’re the leader of a team, either in the military or in the business world, you will always have others looking up to you. They will ask questions and look to you to set the expectation. This is, naturally, a great deal of responsibility. And it is up to you to avoid simply answering questions and putting out fires; you must empower your employees so that they can become as self-sufficient as possible. You must give them the tools they need to help themselves. Here are a few ways in which you can do just that.


As humans, one of the greatest accomplishments we’ve ever achieved is that of language. We can communicate with one another in order to express thoughts, feelings and anything else in between. It is important that we use language in our work environments. And as a leader, you must encourage and foster an environment that promotes communication. Let your employees know that you are clear in your suggestions and statements. Leave nothing up to imagination. However, you should also let your employees know that you don’t simply bark out orders, but that you also listen. Take a moment to hear your employees, listen to their ideas, their suggestions and, if need be, their personal lives or issues. You can get to know each other better, and this will make your employees feel more comfortable with you.

Avoid Micromanagement

Imagine going to work everyday knowing that your manager is going to constantly hover over your shoulder to ensure that you’re working the way he or she wants you to. That would be terrible, and you would probably dread your job. Don’t be that kind of leader. Avoid micromanagement at all costs. Chances are you’ve had some amount of say over who you are working with, so have some faith in your decision and trust your employees; trust that they can, and will, complete assigned tasks on time. Micromanagement will lead to a lack of communication, creativity, and resentment.

Remind Employees of Their Importance

Leaders let employees know their value. They sit down with employees and explain their individual roles within the organization. They also let employees know just how they factor into the company’s overall mission. This creates a sense of purpose and can encourage employees to be much more involved in the company. If employees feel as though their work isn’t necessary, then they may feel detached and lose their motivation.  Whether you’re leading a ship full of sailors or a department in a company your greatest asset will always be your people.

Being a strong and effective leader is a difficult task, but it is a necessary one. Use these tips to become a great leader.