In order to be an effective leader you must act effectively.
Peter Drucker once wrote, “Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.” While doing things correctly is mandatory, that doesn’t necessarily qualify you as an effective leader. An effective leader is one who has a vision for his organization and has a strategy in place for achieving that vision. What he or she does is governed by the priorities and goals that are an integral part of that strategy. By having a clear cut vision and understanding what must take place in order to pursue that vision an effective leader is able to tame the tyranny of the urgent and focus on the things which are truly important.
In order to be an effective leader you must embrace change.
I’ve always considered myself a progressive when it comes to the topic of change. However, as I have grown older, I have noticed myself becoming more resistant to change. This can be a danger for any leader. Our experience can be one of our notable strengths as long as it doesn’t blind us to the necessity of change. An effective leader is one who can objectively view suggestions of change and evaluate them under the microscope of his/her vision. Effective leaders recognize the fact we live in a time of rapid advancement in terms of technology, communication and many other areas that affect our businesses. Not all change is going to be beneficial for your business. However, once you have examined how a particular change can prove beneficial in the pursuit of your vision you should learn to embrace it passionately.
In order to be an effective leader you must own up to mistakes.
I recently watched an interview with an NFL quarterback of a team that had just experienced a loss. The interviewer asked him, “What does your team need to do in order to overcome the shortcomings we saw on the field today?” The quarterback responded something like this: “We had several issues today, but those are on me. And I’m already planning on ways to fix that.” As the leader who is championing the priorities and goals you have set you are destined to make some mistakes. How those mistakes are handled is what sets the effective leader apart from the mundane. Accepting responsibility and learning from those mistakes is crucial. Team members are much more inclined to follow the leader who accepts the responsibility for mistakes and shares the glory of successes rather than a leader who blames others when things go wrong and takes all the credit when things go right.
In order to be an effective leader you must not think too highly of yourself.
When you are an effective leader, people notice. Things are getting done. Goals are being met. The company is growing and much of it can be attributed to your leadership. However, the moment you begin to think too highly of yourself is the moment you become more susceptible to mistakes. Past successes can give us a sense of accomplishment and a healthy self-confidence that enables us to take strategic risks. But if that sense of accomplishment and self-confidence gives birth to pride we are in grave danger of losing the very perspective that enabled us to succeed in the first place. An effective leader is one who never loses sight of the importance of his/her team and values them just as highly as he/she values themselves.
There are many more traits that enable a person to become an effective leader. If you are interested in training your team to become effective leaders, contact Chris Mahan of the Mahan 9 Group and ask for more information regarding our Leadership Training Seminar which can be tailored specifically to your needs.