How to Become an Effective Leader
- May 1, 2020
I completely understand how difficult it can be to be an effective leader in today’s fast-paced world. Some nights I lay awake wondering how I will ever be able to live up to the expectations of owning a successful company. I even find myself full of anxiety at times. So, I decided to jot some things down on what I feel is the most effective way I lead my team. People are being pulled in so many different directions that leaders might struggle to connect with them on professional and personal levels. I know I have to constantly be mindful to keep the right balance between personal and professional relationships because I tend to often cross the line since I’m extremely friendly with everyone in my life. One must be careful because there truly is a very fine line.
Being an effective leader does not mean you know how to delegate tasks, give orders, solve the biggest problems, or even have a team that praises your every move. This is not the case for me because I would never just bark orders at my team or need to be constantly validated by my employees. Instead, I listen to them, offer advice, and help them be their best. I learn from them, just as they learn from me. That is an ongoing learning lesson for me. Being a great leader takes time, energy, effort, the ability to accept failure and so many more things all at once.
If you want to be an effective leader in school, at work, at your charity, or any other organization, take a look at the things I suggest that I know work because I have done them first hand and do so on a daily basis. Just ask my ENX2 Crew!
Always Show Your Passion!
I am ridiculously passionate about my company, my clients, my son, and my work. Probably to a fault. If you have ever noticed, the best leaders in any area of life are passionate. Passion is not something you can fake, and hope others don’t see right through it. If you are the head of a department, or an entire company, your passion for your work needs to be on display at all times and it needs to be real. Like really real.
Employees will know when your passion is true, and they know when you’re forcing it. Your passion can be shown through care for your employees, for the business, for the community where you are located, and in other areas. Your passion is also prominently displayed in the way you care of your company and how much you appreciate the small stuff. It is an easy sign to read.
Become a Coach
Some of the top leaders today have turned themselves into a coach. It’s understandable if you don’t follow sports, but this is a great way to become an effective leader. You need to put together the game plan for your company, hire the talent, and coach the talent so they can be the best employees possible. It doesn’t end there. You need to set goals, measure the progress of your company, and demonstrate all of this to your employees regularly. My son refuses to have me coach him in any of his sports, so I will be sticking to my in-house team for now.
Listen More Than You Speak
Many leaders fail to reach their employees because they don’t listen. You need to listen more than you speak in order to become an effective leader. The fact of the matter is that people will follow someone who listens, who knows what is important to them, and who knows and understands what is happening in the company. The best leaders in any organization want their employees to speak their minds and will remind them of it often. We like to gather around the conference table and have quick overview sessions to get everyone’s intake on different items of importance. I know I can go into the session thinking one thing, and then after I listen to everyone and hear what they have to say, we may sometimes settle on a much better idea. It is all about teamwork. Day in and day out. Observe, observe, observe! Nobody likes someone who just won’t stop talking. I don’t anyway, and you have to lead by example.
Be Receptive of Other Opinions
You might think that being receptive of opinions falls into the same category as listening more than you speak, but it is so important that it needs a category of its own. The opinions you hear from employees will vary based on the department and each individual.
You cannot ignore one group of employees in favor of another, and you definitely cannot pick favorites. Every employee needs to be on the same playing field. Closing off your mind to various opinions will not only hurt you as a leader, but it will also hurt the success of the organization. Listen to all of the opinions, analyze them, and make an informed decision that is best for the organization.
Don’t Take Credit and Accept Blame
The ultimate secret to effective leadership is to avoid taking credit for success and accepting the blame for anything that might go wrong. Great leaders reserve the spotlight for their best performers. In light of this statement, I must add that I have an entire team of amazing talent and I am fond of the saying that you don’t hire people to tell them what to do. Hire people that can tell you what to do. That is what you are paying them for.
The greatest leaders crave the chance to speak about their employees, rave about them, and praise them in interviews and at industry functions. On the flip side, great leaders should have no problem falling on the sword when mistakes are made and not passing the blame to employees. I am pretty sure that my staff knows without a doubt this is how I roll.