Leadership is one of those concepts that everyone loves to talk about but can’t quite define. You know what it is when you see it. As a young woman entering the workforce, you will have opportunities to lead over the course of your career. When that time comes, we want you to be ready.

Here are four tips that will help you to become an effective leader.

1. Listen to others’ ideas

Great listeners make outstanding leaders. Listening will help you understand the pains and opportunities in your company. The people that you work with are there for a reason. They have expertise and talents that are valuable. Listen to and value their perspectives. Having open conversations with them will spark invaluable ideas and teach you a thing or two.

Don’t be too quick to dismiss their recommendations. Yes, you are the boss, but that doesn’t mean you have a monopoly on positive contributions. Listen to advice from other leaders even if they are not in the same industry that you are in. This Forbes read provides even more insight on effective listening and leadership. 

2. Hold yourself accountable

As a leader, you are accountable not just to yourself but to your team and client base. The decisions you make have consequences that don’t just affect you.

If you fail to communicate effectively with your team, for example, business operations are negatively impacted. When you stop being accountable, inefficiencies arise. This will greatly hinder the fulfillment of the company’s vision.

3. Respect those who work with you

This is a basic concept that we all learned as children. Treat others exactly how you would want to be treated. Talk to your team members like the smart adults that they are. There is absolutely no need to be condescending, dismissive and rude to them.

Trust me, being an aggressive leader doesn’t scare employees into respecting you. It certainly doesn’t do their morale any favors. If you want them to do their best work, then you simply have to respect them. Remember that arrogance has never looked attractive on anyone. It only prevents people from helping you. This read on How to Earn Respect as a Leader provides more insight. 

4. Get your hands dirty

Working with your team is important. You can’t build a brand by eating, sleeping, and breathing delegation. Monitor the company’s social media channels. Respond to inquiries. Do the work that your team typically does on a daily basis. This will provide you with an opportunity to experience firsthand the challenges that they deal with.

Understanding this will give you valuable insight and inform your strategic decisions. It will also show your team that you are not afraid to roll up your sleeves and get the work done. Try these 5 Tips For New Team Leaders.

Your personal leadership style will undoubtedly evolve over time. However, having strong principles and knowing the type of leader you’d like to be can help get you started on the right path.

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