Leadership

4 cheats for being a better boss in 2017

A new year always brings fresh opportunity for change, both in your personal and professional life. If you want to take your company to the next level this year by being a better boss and leader, here are four cheats to help you do that.

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1. Know the superpowers of your employees

If you've read my book or heard me speak, you know that I always stress the importance of knowing your own superpower and cultivating it.

But when you're the boss, you also need to know the superpowers of the people on your team. This can be tricky. You can ask your employees, but they may not know what their superpowers are.

The key is to observe your team closely and take note. Listen more than you speak. What projects make people light up when they talk about them? Who seems bored with certain tasks? What unique qualities does each person bring to the team?

Once you get a feel for what everyone's superpower is, use this to influence the delegation of tasks and choose your leaders accordingly. I try to never have anyone working on a project they aren't passionate about.

2. Open lines of communication (give your cell phone number)

As the CEO of a growing company of nearly 100 employees, I make myself accessible to every single person, from our interns to our executive team.

I share my direct cell number and make it know that they are free to call or text me whenever they need to. I also make my calendar public so that people can schedule meetings with me to talk about any concerns or ideas they have.

Doing this could lead to me getting calls day and night, but my employees respect my time as I respect theirs. You need to know what how they're feeling and what they think in order to lead them well and anticipate future road bumps.

3. Create your core values and use them for every decision

Every company should have core values. If your company doesn't, create them!

At Kiip, I wanted every single employee involved in creating our core values so we surveyed the entire company to get a feel for what they believe in, what they think are the most important aspects of our business and what they love about coming to work every day. We used all of these responses to create a set of values that we unanimously voted to adopt.

Your company's core values should drive the daily decisions you make and the ones your employees make without you. They're a good way to constantly evaluate priorities, set goals, make hiring decisions and give your company direction.

This empowers your team to not only make decisions in your absence, but to thrive.

4. Set your team up for success, then let them succeed

Make sure your team has everything they need to be successful. Foster development and help them with goal setting and prioritization. Give them all the tools they need, then let them go, set them free.

Micromanaging is extremely bad for growth. There's no way you can oversee EVERYTHING, even if you tried. Studies show that employees work better with more freedom. That's why flexible hours and work from home options actually boost productivity. It's not about how much time people spend working, but the quality of the work they produce.

Regardless of what people say, you don't have to be a born leader. For most of us, it takes time and practice to develop a leadership style. It's a skill that is constantly evolving. By incorporating these four cheats, I've been able to see amazing results in my company and I hope the same for you.

Cheers to 2017 — the chance to be a better boss and leader!

This piece originally appeared on LinkedIn.