To Be A People Leader, You Should…

Managing people is perceived to be an easy job but many feel challenged when they are given the reins. Striking a balance between the expectations from the management of surpassing targets, no people or performance issues and the team expectations of good appraisal, never say no to leaves and finally getting a customer satisfaction results along with a good employee satisfaction score is not everyone’s cup of tea.

People Leader as I like to call all of us who manage teams at various level of the hierarchy is one job, many desire for but do not know what it takes. Being a people leader is easier said than done, most of us end up being tagged as bosses and managers.

To Be a People Leader,  you should –


1.Build Your Credibility

Building your credibility as a leader takes time, you should be determined towards it. It involves letting your actions speak louder than wordsdeliver what you promised, value integrity, importantly set expectations which you are committed to following yourself. People around you are smart to observe whether or not you do what you preach and before they do it. Remember, as a leader, you should “walk the talk” and set the right example for them. 93% of employees said trust in their direct manager is important to remain satisfied at work (Ultimate Software)


 2. Adopt a Customized Approach

The famous Situational Leadership theory by Ken Blanchard and Paul Hersey talks about different styles of leadership is needed for different people and for different tasks. Not everyone on your team has the same learning or performance curve and not all tasks have to be done in the same manner. As a leader, be flexible in your management style and try to keep it less complicated for your team


 3. Know Your People

Spending time with your team is an investment, more you invest, more you benefit.  Just saying a “hi” or asking “how are you” is not enough.  It has to be more than that, your discussion and talks should not be transactional, that is what bosses mostly do. As leaders, know your team’s strengths, opportunity areas, and their ambitions. You should give them quality time, make influential talks around their interests, celebrate personal landmarks and events. All of this, make them realize that you are putting efforts to know them.

As leaders, your time is important but your people are important too


4. Be Available

57% of employees feel their leaders are detached from the workforce (Rapt Media) and this leaves the people to be disengaged and demotivated. On the contrary, when you spend time with your team, you get an opportunity to become aware of their needs and problems in day to day operations, find solutions and make action plans; this leads to reduced communication gap and you gain better control over a variety of situations. Once you start spending time with your teams; you will notice that their engagement, inspiration and efficiency levels grow higher. So, make sure to set aside time for your team


5. Address Issues Before Expecting Performance

As a people leader, your focus should be on resolving the team and individual issues and not to simply expect the team to perform well or respond to changes you propose. Be open, approachable and a good listener. This gives comfort to your people to share their issues with you with an open mind.  Be it a team conflict or an individual issue, ensure to pay attention and be aware of such matters.  Conflict Management principle by Thomas- Kilmann, states that there is no set way of dealing with conflict but the focus should be on resolving the conflict before it hampers the performance of the individual or the team


6. Coach Regularly

Face- time is what I call it. 68% of employees who receive accurate and consistent feedback feel fulfilled in their jobs (Clutch). Timely and consistent coaching and feedback allow you to change behaviors, drive results, motivate and improve performances. The frequency may depend on the type of work, the size of your team and the nature of coaching or feedback required. Ensure your sessions are documented, time-bound, have a follow-up action with a date which is agreeable to the coachee and you. This not only makes the mid-year and year-end appraisals talks easy but also keep the transparency within your team


7. Lead The Development Of People

Leaders endeavor is to develop more leaders from their teams. I realized that when as a leader you take interest in your team’s career development, they become highly proactive in seeking new responsibilities and they find ways to manage their performance better. What better way than to start by sharing your development path and plans. This will make your team realize how a well-documented plan can advance their careers. Additionally,  as you constantly improve your skills, you are in a better position to guide your team through their development progress. Staying interested in your team’s development sets you apart from others


8. Appreciate & Thank Your Team

Appreciation at work stimulates positivity. When you acknowledge and praise your team/individual efforts, it encourages them to perform even better and soon becomes contagious. Add a “Thank You” to it, you go further to value your employees. Remember to avoid customary phrases like “good job” or “well done” every time there is an opportunity. People are interested to know what worked and clicked for them and others, so it is better to talk about the situation, approach or behavior displayed and the outcome with its benefits. A small and genuine script of appreciation goes a long way in adding to the development of the individual and the team as well. Try and Practice it to Believe it!


9. Be Accountable and Take Feedback

Stand by your team at times when they have dropped the guard or raised the fire. It takes courage to bear the brunt and lead from the front. As a leader, you cannot blame your team for missing targets or for not performing well; taking accountability irrespective of circumstances and working on the root cause of the issue is a sign of a good leader.  Similarly, if your team has a feedback for you, listen to them and accept where appropriate, you too have a lot to learn. Do not try to cover your fallacies by irrational excuses and set the same expectations for your teams as well


 10. Give Respect If You Want It

Respect is gained with actions, not positions. As leaders, you ought to respect all individuals, your colleagues, the management, whether you agree or not if they are liked minded or think differently. Along with the points listed above, you should also speak well for others, give people their due credit and be rational with everyone. The more fair-minded and unbiased you are, the more you are revered.


As a people leader, there is a lot riding on you. As you juggle between a multi-faceted role, you ought to remember that there are a lot of people looking at you with belief and expectations.

Many believe that leading people is a thankless job, but I believe, if done in an honest way, the outcome is worth the effort

It is your opportunity to be known as a LEADER than just another boss


To You and To Your Teams! Cheers

Do Share Your Stories, Successes, and Challenges in the comments below.

The blog is dedicated to the wonderful leaders I got an opportunity to work with and learn from and my teams, who have supported me in my journey.

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Abhinav is passionate about working with people, understanding their concerns and coach them to do better. He writes in what he believes and shares his experiences with the larger audience. Through his services, he wants to make a difference in peoples' lives. Let's get on the learning journey together, get in touch through the SERVICES page on

62 Replies to “To Be A People Leader, You Should…

  1. A good leader knows wbat his team desires and together they work to make a better world! And the leader should live in the hearts of his people! We have a perfect example, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad AlThani, ruler of Qatar, is the an image of hero where the people of Qatar know that he will protect them and he will do anything to make the nation safe for its people. The amou t of love from the people of Qatar, both locals and expats to our leader is seriojs leader goals! It is obvious why some nations are really envious😂😂😂

  2. Appreciation, credibility, know your people.. they all are so important. Your post reminded me of my mentor, a very senior VP who had most of these qualities which made me grow so much as a professional n person! perfect post

    1. One can feel the difference in their lives after meeting the right coach. Good that the post was practical and you have experienced something like this.

  3. This is so right! And important! I have had some really good leaders in my work – but these last years I have experienced poor leadership – that resulted in me quitting my job – without anything else to go to! ( read my blog and you get the hole story) anyway – it turned out to be the right choice . and I am know in a much better place! Thanks for sharing these good advise!

    1. Sad to know that bad leadership made you quit your job and there is nothing worse than that. Happy that you find something nice to do. I have gone through your blogs and you are doing a good job with it :), all the best!

  4. You left the most important point for last in my eyes. The giving respect to gain respect aspect to my view is what makes the greatest leaders. Good article though! keep it up 🙂

    1. Thanks Fred, what you read last, stays with you the most, that’s usually how human brain works. Thank you for sharing your opinion, it helps me know how readers feel about the post and its flow. Thank you for the words of encouragement 🙂

  5. Your tips are true and quite helpful… love the way you describe your experience and coming upto conclusion

  6. You’ve highlighted some of the best elements leaders learn through experience. Building credibility is certainly number one as you’ve explained and you’re right about how a leader can be more effective if they know their people. Other points you raised which I find very useful are addressing issues before expecting performance, giving respect, being accountable, and being available. I’d say you’ve shared the magic elements to effective leadership. 🙂

    1. Thank you Mercy, happy to know you could relate to those points and they made sense. These are simple and basic things leaders can do but are often forgotten

  7. There are so few real leaders that it is no wonder soft skills are becoming all the rage these days in HR when they recruit top CEOs. I mean, AI can probably delegate and strategize as well as most humans but how many AIs can inspire like a real human boss can. All the points you listed above are all essential if one wants to be an inspirational leader and not just the boss.

  8. Great advice, thanks for sharing. It’s sad to see how many people don’t show half of these traits and yet we call them “leaders”. Our perception of that word and what it means is really twisted.

  9. I have been in a management position and aspire to have my own business. These tips are useful for me and allows me to evaluate my management style, and how to best lead others.

  10. These are key elements to becoming a successful people leader, you elaborated them in very well manner. I am taking tips from this article to improve my leadership skills. Thank you once again for writing such a wise article.

    I strongly believe that Coaching-Feedback and Follow-up can do wonders if a leader does it effectively, it will be a great help if you could please bring something on that as well.

    Thank You

    1. I am delighted to know that the article was of help to you Gagan. Will surely bring something on coaching soon…Stay tuned and subscribe to the blog for easy notifications 🙂

  11. Well, this system still leans on the concept of leadership as a person who has the main – leading role in the company/organization. You surely give some detailed overview about how this role should be done. Some of these tips are useful for anyone who at given time and place has to lead towards fulfilling certain goals.

  12. Appreciate to cover so much key point in a blog, your blog is fit my taste for now, as a newbie in leadership, not easy, thx again, great post, keep it up. Will subscribe your blog.

  13. Excellent primer, and one a lot of self-styled “leaders” should read and learn by heart.
    I’ve met too many “because I am the boss, that’s why!” self-styled leaders that were a problem, not an asset, for their own team and company.

  14. I know a lot of people who could benefit from reading this. I’ll be sure to send it their way, it’s incredibly helpful and you make a lot of excellent points

  15. Good highlights Abhinav. Most of the items are known to leaders but their daily routine keeps them away from practicing these traits more often. A reinforcement once in a while is a good idea. Thank you
    Best wishes, Prateek

    1. Hi Prateek, appreciate your time on the blog. The intent is that leaders live by these elements as a habit. Reinforcement is definitely needed. Thanks

  16. Excellent points Abhinav.. I completely agree and thank you for sharing your experience. This article will really help aspiring people leaders or the leaders who are currently managing people.


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