Effective LeadershipNov 29, 2017
I'm sure we can all cite good and bad examples of leadership in our lives, whether from an experience we've had with those that have led us, or from lessons we've learned ourselves on how to be a better leader. What factors really stood out for you that differentiated the good leaders from the bad?
I believe there are ten key attributes that constitute effective leadership, whether in the workplace, at home, or with our wider network. These can be conveniently remembered by the acronym LEADERSHIP.
1. L is for Learning from Others
Effective leaders first and foremost are always learning from others. Constantly. This includes developing the areas that they know they need to work on so that they can stay on their "A" game and better serve others. Top athletes - leaders in their primary field of interest, are constantly learning new ways to refine their technique, to train more efficiently, to apply the latest technology to improve their performance.
If as a leader you don't invest time in your own personal development, it's hard to effectively lead and maintain your credibility in your own primary field of interest.
2. E is for Encouraging Others
Linked to learning, an effective leader is constantly encouraging others with a positive mindset, creating the right environment for individuals and teams to grow.
Have you ever received negative feedback - how did that make you feel? Rarely does negative feedback help individuals unless they are able to look beyond the negativity and find the lesson within the feedback received. Effective leaders, however, feed forward and look for ways to help their team be more - whether that's more effective, more efficient, more energised, more motivated. Effective leaders positively encourage others to become more.
If as a leader you are spending your time berating others, putting people down, you are doing the equivalent of poisoning a flower in your own garden that wants to grow. Flowers need appropriate watering, nutrients and the right soil to flourish. Don't be the leader that no one wants to work with. Set a positive frame of mind, create the positive environment and always seek to encourage others.
3. A is for Acting with Integrity
Have you ever been in an organisation where they say one thing and do another? Or they publish the company values yet don't act them out on a consistent basis? To be an effective leader you need to act with integrity. Always. This is not only doing the right thing when no one else is looking, but living by your core values and the values of the company you represent. With integrity comes trust, so be true to yourself. Listen to that inner voice of reason and be authentic in how you show up as a leader.
4. D is being Decisive
Indecisive leaders who constantly seek other people's advice before making any decision very quickly lose credibility. It's absolutely okay as a leader to ask for advice, but once received, make a decision. Making no decision is always the wrong decision. This is because it's a difficult and slow process to learn from indecision. In contrast, wrong decisions very quickly become apparent, allowing you learn from them and course correct. Few battles are won from indecision, yet many have been lost.
5. E is for Engaging with the World Around them
To create a following you need to engage with those that support you and work for you. You need to engage with your team. This is not just about organising a social gathering or meeting, but actively listening to what your supporters or team are interested in - what fires them up, what motivates them. Get to know them at a more personal level. Get to know the world in which they and you are operating and how it is changing. If you don't show an interest in those that you are leading, how can you expect them to show an interest in you? Engage. Be present. Be openminded.
6. R is for Role Model
Linked to acting with integrity, to be an effective leader you have to role model the way. It is no good saying we "do" this, yet not "doing" that yourself. Be the role model that everyone looks up to - the person everyone wants to be.
7. S is for Sharing their Wisdom
Effective leaders don't guard their knowledge - they share it. Wise people typically share an optimism that life's problems can be solved and exude calm when facing difficult decisions. Share your wisdom with others so that they too may learn and grow wise.
8. H is for Honesty
To gain the trust and loyalty of your team, you need to not only act with integrity, but be honest with them and with yourself, particularly in times of difficulty. Don't be afraid to be vulnerable in the areas you need support on. If you are prepared to learn from others and act with integrity, being honest should be simply a matter of course. Leaders that aren't honest very quickly lose the trust of their team and those they are serving.
9. I is for Inspire
Effective leaders inspire others to think differently, helping others push their own envelop of what they believe is possible by the example that they set. This in turn helps the organisation that they work for. Be inspirational.
10. P is for Passion
Finally to be an effective leader you have to be passionate at what you do. It's very difficult to lead effectively if you are not passionate about your primary field of interest that you are a leader in. Linked to inspiring and encouraging others, ignite that fire inside you so that you can light the fire in others. Be passionate about what you do and who you are leading.
Please leave any comments you have on this article below! If you enjoyed it please share.
If you would like further support on how to become an effective leader please contact me!