10 Proven Lessons to Help You Be Better Leader This Year

10 Proven Lessons to Help You Be Better Leader This Year

John Eades 12/03/2024
10 Proven Lessons to Help You Be Better Leader This Year

Ask a group full of professionals what they want from a manager, and chances are you'll hear "someone that cares about me" at least half the time.

While it seems like an obvious and simple desire, the sad reality is that it's a rarity.  

According to Gallup, managers account for 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores across business units, yet only 36% of U.S. employees are engaged in their work and workplace.  

While engagement and sustained performance is undoubtedly a complex topic, when leaders truly care about their team, everything changes.  

When leaders truly care about their team, everything changes.

Webster defines caring as "to look after and provide for the needs of." It doesn't take skill to care. All that's required is to have a heart for people and the courage to do what's in their best interest, even when it's not easy.

Since you are reading this, there is a good chance your heart is in the right place to lead more effectively. While there is no shortage of tips, tricks, and tools to help you, more often than not, the right ones seem to come at just the right time.  

Here are ten reliable and proven lessons learned from years of research, coaching, and, unfortunately, personal failure.  

I cover the whole list with additional context in the latest episode of The John Eades Podcast, you can watch it on Youtube or wherever you listen to podcasts.


1. Reject the Firestation Mentality

Waiting for something to happen isn’t leadership.  Instead, be proactive and create opportunities to elevate others. 

2. Learn to Serve

Only servants can succeed in leadership; for selfish people, it’s hell on them. Serving others is a skill that you can develop. 

3. Stop Being Someone You Aren’t

People know when you're trying to be someone or something you aren’t.  Embrace who you are and what you are working to become. 

4. Leadership is Temporary, Impact is Lasting

Stop reducing your life to only how much money you can make, raise it to the level of impact you can have. 

5. Assumptions in Communication Set Your Team Up for Suffering

In the absence of clear communication, team members fill the gaps with assumptions and their own incorrect stories. 

6. No Team or Organization is Great Without Its People

Team members must be known, valued, and liked.  They must know that the work they do matters to a meaningful cause. 

7. One Person Can Completely Change the Energy on a Team Or in a Room

Find a way to enhance energy, not reduce it.  Build Others up, not tear them down.  The energy you bring is a choice. 

8. Connect Before You Correct

When team members know you care, they will respond better to coaching and feedback. 

9. A Compelling Vision Provides Hope

Have a vision for something better than what exists today. People need hope and something to believe in. 

10. No Team Can Overcome Toxic Team Members

Toxic people crush a team or organization. The only answer is to remove them from the culture.


Everything changes when you truly care about your team and your responsibility from a leadership perspective. It's my hope that you will not only embrace the challenge of leadership but you will invite it into your career. Because if there is one thing I know for certain when people truly care about their team and step into their calling as a leader, everything changes. 

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John Eades

Leadership Expert

John is the CEO of LearnLoft, author of, F.M.L. Standing Out & Being a Leader and host of the 'Follow My Lead' Podcast. He writes or has been featured on Inc.com, LinkedIn Pulse, TrainingIndustry.com, eLearningIndustry.com, CNBC Money, and more. John completed his education at the University of Maryland College. 

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