Congratulations! You’re ready to be promoted and have accumulated the work experience to be in-charge of a department of your own. But wait – have you considered about what kind of a leader you’ll be or want to be? You’ve heard how people leave bad leaders and not companies, so at the very least, you don’t want to be a horrible boss. Here’s how you can be not just a great boss but also a holistic leader.

Understand that communication is a 2-way channel

In delegating tasks, it’s easy to give orders as a supervisor. However when a holistic leader needs to assign difficult projects or assignments that are beyond an employee’s comfort zone or job scope, it’s communication skills that’ll produce maximum results. If you’re able to share the context and rationale behind your decision-making process while allowing your team member to voice their opinions, you’ll not only be an effective leader but also inspire creativity and innovative solutions.

Focus on people

The whole of a company is more than the sum of its parts – and its employees are at the heart of a company’s operations. As a holistic leader, understanding this means engaging your team members in a meaningful way that’ll boost productivity and lower turnover rates. This is because you’re cultivating a conducive workplace where employees are less stressed, happier and more motivated to help you achieve success; because your success is their success and vice versa.

Encourage failure

If an employee is scared of making mistakes, the company is in danger of stifling innovative thinking and maintaining the status quo. This may be a good way of conducting business that’ll stagnant in the long run. Encouraging team members to push the envelope beyond their comfort zones while making calculated risks will produce higher levels of performance. A holistic leader will ensure errors are at a minimum and if they happen, will take responsibility for it while safeguarding the team. Recognise mistakes as learning opportunities and a company is poised for continual growth.

Empower your team

It’s human nature that within a company and a team, there’ll be distinct personalities to contend with. Even the holistic leader himself will also have his own quirks and habit. Recognise and employ the best traits at work in order to work together cohesively and avoid unnecessary office politics that’ll just disrupt the workplace. Empower team members with greater autonomy accordingly and in turn, improve morale and gain confidence as their leader.

Lead by example

Employees tend to look to their leaders for inspiration. Research has shown that holistic leaders adopt a people-centred approach to optimise success. This means that they have a keen understanding of how their actions and words influence their team members and therefore impress upon them by example. With this approach, holistic leaders will gain respect and confidence of their team. By embracing an open-communication policy, prioritising employee welfare and understanding the importance of effective employee engagement; you’re now ready to take the next step in your career’s progression in becoming a holistic leader.


I have over 10 years’ experience in the Logistics and Transportation industry working both as an in-house HR professional as well as an external recruiter. Connect with me for your next Logistics & Supply Chain hiring role.

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