So you want to be a leader… and not just any leader; you want to become an effective leader.
Leadership is the action of leading a group of people towards something and the ability to do so.
Here are a few pointers to help you become an effective leader:
1. Know who you are. That may seem obvious but this is more than knowing what you like and dislike. The level of self-knowledge an effective leader requires considers knowing how you operate, how that affects others who work with you, your ability to adapt your natural style to meet the needs of others and your willingness to identify your strengths & weaknesses thus creating a team around you that ‘fill the gaps’.
2. Share the vision – Having the vision is one thing but being able to share it in a way that captures the imagination of others takes leadership to another level. Remember, it’s your vision so what in it will engage your team to want to be a part of it? How will you involve them in shaping it so that your vision becomes theirs? Share it with the team and demonstrate your passion for it. Allow them to feel it as well as see it.
3. Make decisions & take responsibility – Leaders make decisions either on their own or with the input of their trusted team members and whichever way you choose to operate it is vital that you take responsibility for the outcomes, good or bad, whilst also being willing to share the reward of triumph. The team will look to you for the final say especially when they are indecisive and as the leader, you need to be prepared to step in and step up!
4. Be Inclusive – To be an effective leader it is essential to appreciate the talent around you and to utilise it. Your effectiveness partly depends on your ability to identify the talent in your midst and to get their skills in the flow. When they feel like part of the vision they are far more likely to serve from a place of high motivation. Being inclusive also means making time to get to know your team as individuals as well as a unit. And be ready to praise where praise is due and encourage openly.
5. Communicate, communicate, communicate – There can never be too much communication. An effective leader will listen, question and respond but always with the ‘two ears and one mouth’ thought in mind – listen more, talk less!
In a nutshell:
- Know who you are – what is your natural leadership style and what are you willing to do to adapt it when necessary
- Share your vision – it’s easier to get others buy in when they can see what you see
- Make decisions & take responsibility
- Be inclusive – create a team but know the individuals that are in it
- Communicate, communicate, communicate… Listen, Ask, Respond
Be the effective leader you were gifted to be…
Lead & Live Blissfully!