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codedgar
codedgar

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The 5 golden rules for becoming a better leader.

Leadership is hard. We always want to become better leaders and try to get the best of our team members, wether is on a programming team or any other thing. But only by having strong bases you can become a better leader that can impulse and guide a team of people to get the best out of them.

Hi, I'm Codedgar and today I wanted to talk about Leadership, and the 5 five rules of leadership you can start using today to become a better leader.

All of these tips that I'm going to give, come from my experience being in several programming teams and my experience leading my team for almost 4 months now.

Before we start.

Keep the following in mind: I'm not saying that these are the only rules that exist, but having these rules in mind can make a whole difference in the way that you manage people and they perceive you.

Also, consider following me on twitter at @codedgar_dev

5 - Be careful with your words.

Think twice, talk once is one of the most common things I say to this. I see a lot of managers and team leaders going "You're stupid", "You should know this by now", "How can you do this". And it always strikes me that they should be more careful with what they say, and how to say it. Remember to always treat people with respect, no matter who they are or what have they done.

And this is also true if you are delegating tasks. If you don't make a good work at explaining what it needs to be achieved, you will have people failing or misunderstanding what you said. So no matter how many times you have to explain it, or how, you will save more time if everybody knows exactly what to do.

4 - Be transparent.

One of the main problems I had with someone I worked for, is the fact that they didn't tell me what was going on. I didn't know if the client liked the interface, if it needed anything else, I just got tasks and that was all. And I feel like I could do a better job if they told me what could I improve, get better at or what mistakes I've made.

If you are transparent with your team, they will feel like really a part of it. Not only that, but they will help you with ideas and get a sense of responsibility, they will know what to do more, what to do less, and what to improve.

3 - Be open to proposals and listen.

The difference of opinions and how to approach problems are inevitable in every team. how you tackle them is the real difference. If you put your vision over everybody else and don't listen to anyone, you will surely get something wrong, forcing everyone to rethink a strategy.

Even so, if you are having problems making a decision, draw a table, and put in perspective what you think are the pros and cons of any decision, and listen to cons and pros that your team suggests and suggestions of what to do.

Imagine that someone on your team has the answer to your dilemma, but they will keep it to themselves because they fear a harsh "No". This is why you should keep an open mind.

2 - Make your team work with you, instead of working for you.

Every time I talk about this people ask me "What's the difference? Isn't it the same?" and the answer is no. A person who works with you, is interested in how the project is going, how to make it better, gives ideas and proposes new things. While someone who works for you, is only interested in the paycheck.

Having the team motivated and interested in the project is one of the key factors of being a good leader.

1 - Be careful with your team member's health.

Health is ultra important for every member of your team. And I constantly see leaders of teams just pushing and pushing on how to make team members more "productive" to the point of sleeping in the office almost all the time. And this is not healthy, not only for every member but for the ambient of the office. People will become most hostile and it can be less probable for them to work correctly together.

Instead of that, try to understand them more. It is better to have a motivated team that works less, that sleepless zombies that work all day (Hey that rhymed! Click open in a new tab to tweet it :) ). So next time someone tells you that they got a headache, just let them leave.

BONUS: Be friends with your team!

"But I have 50 team members!" Cool! Now you will have 50 new friends!! Ha, just kidding. What I mean by this, is care about other people. If you see them somewhat sad, ask them what's going on, ask them how was their day, and how do they think that everything is going in the team. From my experience, talking and caring for your team can make a big difference in how they see you and how they see the projects you are doing.

Conclusion

If you scan this article you will realize that almost every aspect of it comes down to have great communication and working correctly with your team. And that's really what it essentially is, if you have great communication with your team and understand them, that's it!

I know that there's more, and it will be great if you could share it in the comments. But for me, these are the main things you should have in mind.

Discussion (1)

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YuanHao Chiang • Edited on

Good advice. I think health is really important and sometimes hard to measure, but if people are extremely edgy or as you say, hostile, it's a good indicator that some time off or half a day off is needed.

Recently I added a small bug into production (it wasn't serious, but it was on code that was out of my boundary and I did not test properly). When the leader from that team told me about it and saw how sorry I felt for it, he finished the conversation with: "It's okay, it can happen to anybody".

That made me feel great and it's also important to emphasize that mistakes (big or small) can happen to anyone and ever since, I almost always try to start any urgent issue with "it's fine", or "it's okay".