How to be a leader at work can be a difficult task that takes time to develop and improve upon; sometimes through formal education and training activities and sometimes through natural lessons of trial and error. One thing for certain is that one method does not suit all when it comes to developing strong leadership skills.
Some good rules of thumb for leadership development are to possess a high measure of humility, the ability to learn on the fly, and to be highly adaptable.
Being a good leader is not something that is inherent for most, but a process of learning and evolving from mistakes.
Also, finding the right balance is critical during this learning process.
One common theme with leadership is that it can be equated to a fine balancing act depending upon the situation at hand.
For example, some situations that involve high levels of liability or concern for the safety of others may warrant quick intervention or judgements from a leader, whereas others scenarios may require a more passive role by encouraging team members and enabling their key strengths and abilities.
In this type of scenario, a leader is acting more as a guiding compass.
No matter what, keep the mission in the forefront and prioritize your leadership decision and actions as part of this balancing act.
For example, will being overly critical about a team member not saving the pages of an electronic document in the correct sequence really inhibit your team from achieving their the teams mission?
If not, it may be time to re-evaluate, re-prioritize and take a new, less assertive approach.
In an opposite scenario, you may have an employee who continuously misses critical project deadlines, which ultimately impacts the big picture.
This would be an example where it is critical for a leader to intervene.
Overall, good leaders must keep their intervention and guidance skills in balance.