Business acumen: Ten Behaviors to Develop to Become a Better Business Leader

Women In Power Series: Vanessa Yanez, World Wide Head of Print Communications at HP, shares valuable insights on business leadership.

The Scope Weekly spoke with Vanessa Yanez about becoming a better business leader and she shared with us some insights that she has developed throughout her career.

Guest Contributor:  Vanessa Yanez

I’ve been in a leadership position for many years now and was led by some great men and women, and there’s no doubt in my mind that whether you’re an entrepreneur or in management, leadership is one of your primary roles.

Your employees and colleagues will look to you for direction and guidance, and if you’re not ready, at it’s worse your team will fall apart or at the very least feel as is, it’s adrift.


Vanessa Yanez

I have always done better when I felt like my decisions matter and lead to the greater good, building a corporate culture based on positiveness and empowerment. Everybody’s voice matter. On the other hand, the”bad” boss tried to categorize me and confine me in a preset idea of what I should believe. In this latter, the system dictated where I should add value placing me in a role designed to maintain the status quo. The situation called for little to no creativity in problem-solving. I literally could feel the ceiling above my head during that time. It was only a matter of time before I broke it or it broke me.

I came up with ten actions and behaviors that any leaders can do to assume that leadership role with grace and efficiency.

Build a Rapport with Your Team

One of the footings of leadership is trust. You can’t lead your team if they don’t trust or know you, so you need to establish a rapport from day one. Talk to them, find out what makes them tick, dreams and aspirations and develop a genuine relationship with every member. If they trust you and if you speak with them appropriately, they’ll take your guidance as constructive criticism rather than an attempt to bring them down.

Be a Good Role Model

Lead by examples. If you want your employees and co-workers to exhibit specific traits or adopt the most efficient business habits, you must embody said traits and habits. You can’t expect people to be punctual. Take a look at the person in the mirror and start your leadership journey by making yourself an excellent example of a model employee, even if you are the boss or head of the department.

Ask Your Teammates What Their Goals and Aspirations Are

Being a good leader doesn’t just mean pushing employees to be their best. It also means helping them achieve their career goals. Putting them on the right path or helping them along not only makes them better at their jobs, but it sets the tone for a more productive and collaborative mood. However, you can’t help them achieve their dreams and grow if you don’t know what their goals and aspirations are. So, find out! Talk to them and more importantly so, listen to them.

Help your Employees Develop their Networks.

As a manager or a boss, you offer something that is uniquely yours to your employees and teammates: your network. You can introduce them to people relevant to the goals that they might have trouble achieving by opening the door to potential mentors outside of yourself. So, help them to develop their networks. They’ll become not just better workers, but happier ones as well.

Give Tactful Feedback

As a lear, you must correct an employee’s course should they need it. However, what does that mean? Correcting doesn’t mean bullying or controlling, it means advising, directing and definitely provide constructive criticism. However, no matter how good your relationship is with them, you need to do so tactfully. The tougher or more severe the error, the more difficult it may be to bring it up well and to address it calmly, so it may be good to practice with someone that you trust. Roleplay a bit. You won’t always get it right, but practice will maximize the chances that you’ll get it right.

Delegate Whenever Appropriate

One of the primary responsibilities and benefits of being in charge is delegation but delegation can be challenging. You may feel that you can do it better than your staff can, or that it is just faster to do it yourself but to grow, It’s your job to make sure that the right people have the right tasks in front of them. As a manager or boss, it’s something you must learn to do. You also need to account for an adjustment period if it’s brand new to them. Your employees will make mistakes, so have a contingency plan in place to not just teach them, but to make sure those mistakes don’t happen again, and to correct them before they have a negative impact. Eventually, you will be able to trust them without worries.

Invest Money in Them

No amount of your personal lessons or cross-department training exercises will ever indeed match the value of a dedicated training program. Whenever you can afford to do so, improve your employees by sending them to conferences, seminars, coaches, and more that can help them achieve their goals. The benefit to your company is well worth the expense.

Assign Work by Goals

Don’t assign work just by qualifications but also by goals. Most tasks don’t require the best-of-the-best to complete thoroughly, which makes them prime opportunities to provide employees with a bit of direction. Instead of just assigning work according to qualifications and skills, assign them according to individual employee goals. That can help them get closer to your goals and keep bigger players ready for other tasks.

Teach People in Groups During Weekly Meetings

Some skills you want everyone to learn, but you might, but you might not always have time to stop people in their tracks and teach them.  Fortunately, weekly team meetings bring everyone together in one place, and it’s the perfect opportunity for group teaching and learning. If there’s little to cover on the docket, spend the rest of the meeting educating them on a new skill or best practice.

Help Employees Become Better Acclimated to Office Culture

Each office is unique, with its own set of unspoken rules and practices. That can be off-putting even to long-time workers; it’s like not being in on a shared joke. We hate that! Make sure this doesn’t happen by helping people navigate these unspoken waters and making sure employees are part of the company culture.

Being a great leader or boss isn’t something you can become overnight, so don’t worry if you don’t get it right all the time. What is important is that you bounce back, fix your mistakes, and keep giving your employees your best and giving is the keyword here.

If you would like to contact Vanessa Yanez, you may connect with her on LinkedIn.

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