As a leader, you may feel that the most critical task is to guide, coach, mentor, teach, encourage, or train. There is no real right or wrong answer to this question, but the interviewer wants to hear an insightful response.
Whatever your response, consider providing a story of a time when you stepped up as a leader or experienced true leadership from another person.
"At the beginning of my career I had a leader who spent a lot of time investing in my knowledge. He would give me books to read, podcast suggestions, and online audio courses. This investment in my professional growth was the most important gift he could have given me. Now, I return the favor to all those that I lead. Investing in my team in this way is, in my opinion, the most important thing a leader could do."
"The most important task I can take on as a leader is showing kindness to my team members. When an employee feels cared for, they will always perform better. I exercise this approach in my current role by lending a hand when an opportunity arises. My coworkers know they can safely come to me when they need assistance."
"As a leader, it is important that I help my team to figure out their ideal career path and help them to grow towards those goals. I invest in my team members by way of personality assessments, online courses, workshops, and more, to help them in their self-discovery process."
"The greatest task I can take on as a leader in marketing is to share with others any new knowledge or resources that I acquire along the way. Knowledge-sharing is critical, especially in such a fast-moving and ever-changing industry."
"Retail is a fast-moving industry with a lot of staff turnover. What I find to be the most important task of a leader is to be an encourager. Often, my team members are young students or new graduates. I like to help them see the best of what they offer, even if they are new to their careers."
"In sales, it is easy to become demotivated or discouraged, especially when you are unsure of your targets and goals. The best thing I can do as a leader is to give clear guidance to my team members. I create excellent roadmaps for each person and check in with them regularly to ensure they are on track and motivated."
"As a teacher, I am a leader in a variety of ways throughout the day. I have found that the most important task as a leader and a teacher is to be an observant and active listener. Many students will show me what they need if I take the time to observe and listen attentively."
"The most important task of the leader is developing their staff."
Fantastic. I added a little more depth to your response so the interviewer knows your core values as a leader.
"The most important task of a leader is developing their staff. A leader must have a clear vision for what drives and creates success. Clear communication of expectations and resources for continued learning are core values and steps I take when developing a strong staff."
"The most important task of a leader is building trust with the team. Upon that foundation, the house can be built. You cannot motivate and lead a team that doesn't trust you. How I built trust with my students was through paying attention, listening, and letting them know that I cared about them as people."
Yes - you make a fantastic point and deliver your answer with confidence and conviction. By adding in examples of how you build trust with your students, you are solidifying your response. Well done!
"I appreciate that, as a leader, I have the opportunity to help other people grow in their career by mentoring them, and teaching them what I know."
Very nice response.
"To keep their team motivated.... without proper motivation even the best plan with the best team will not succeed."
Well said! It is apparent that you understand what it takes to be a leader versus just a manager.
"The most important thing as a leader is to take care of your team. When you take care of them they take care of your customer. Supporting them in developing themselves and creating a career path with them so they know what they can achieve. Also feedback is important and being honest and positive."
Wonderful! Your answer is very thorough. I have reworded for impact.
"The most important task as a leader is to take care of your team. When you take care of them, they take care of your customers. Supporting your team members when it comes to professional development and creating a career path is also important, so they know what they can achieve. Other critical factors include providing feedback, being honest, and remaining positive."
"The most important task is to coach team members, help them to grow professionally and personally."
When a leader helps others to grow, projects run smoother, and the work becomes higher quality! Try to incorporate a statement related to how you practice this in your own leadership role.
"The most important task of a leader is to share any new knowledge or resources that I acquire while learning."
Very unique answer - it's great!
"The most important task for a leader is to encourage, train, and mentor. In my four years in a supervisory position, I've been able to guide two people through the process of earning coding certification."
It's great how you offered up an example of a time when your leadership made the difference. Exceptional answer.
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