10 Tips on how to be an effective leader
There's a lot more to a Leader's job than just assigning work -- that is, if you expect cooperation, good workmanship and high productivity from your team members. To get such behaviour, you need to be skilled in communicating with them and understanding them. You must be honest, fair, and unprejudiced and set a good example by how you act.
Think about how you get along with your boss and other business leaders. Recognize that you must be on good terms with your boss for direction and guidance. Peers share their leadership styles and work with you on joint problems, so it pays to building trust with your fellow leaders.
You will find that maintaining such relations will make your job a lot easier.
Many skills are required for effective leadership. Some people may naturally possess some of these qualities, while others may need to develop them over time. To be a great leader, it is essential to focus on mastering the following ten skills.
Here are 10 qualities on how to be an effective leader
1. Look ahead.
Leaders recognize, anticipate problems and employees' reactions to various situations. If you plan and schedule your work and that of your team members, you'll be taking preventive steps to minimize stress on them and yourself. Avoid muddling your way through each day, attending primarily to emergencies. Get a reputation for always being in control and on top of a job.
2. Spread the word.
Successful leaders greet people with a smile. Keep your people updated on matters that affect them, and tell them why something must be done. Explain changes before you make them.
Give credit when it is due, and be liberal with praise. Above all, thank people when they do something for you.
Be consistent and truthful. Your people want to believe that you'll think and act today as you did yesterday.
3. Avoid procrastinating
It indicates a lack of self-confidence, among other things, and it isn't good for your reputation. Be decisive; you'll move forward, and people will readily follow you. Make steadiness and dependability your watchwords.
Honesty always pays off. People like to deal with those they can trust. One of the ways to gain this is never to betray confidence. Always admit your mistakes, and never pass the buck.
4. Make yourself available.
People on the job will be more willing to talk to you and accept your advice if you offer to help them without being asked. Join in when those you associate with are working on challenging problems.
5. Leading Rather Than Driving
How well your guide and lead your team has a lot to do with how much they respect and admire you. If you have a question about this relationship, maybe you are more of a driver than a good leader.
A driver demands things be done rather than requesting something in a usual way. A driver doesn't look for respect or cooperation, mainly relying on authority to move subordinates.
If you are a driver, you are probably weak in handling the human relations aspect of your job. Nevertheless, you should know that pressure tactics don't pay off when dealing with your department's people.
Leaders also have authority based on their personal behavior or actions toward others in the company. They look, feel, believe, think, act and react to events and other employees in a positive manner and consequently attract others and influence their behavior.
By treating employees well, you can often save time. Consider, for example, members of the staff who help you on the job, such as those in the purchase Department and the Personnel Department who supply you with information and data you use on the job.
If you treat them as unique individuals, they'll do their best to return the favour and not keep you waiting for something you need.
Conversely, if you treat someone disrespectfully, you can expect that, sooner or later, the person will find a way to get even. That should not surprise you, human nature being what it is.
Showing respect, of course, doesn't always result in favours being done for you in return. Nothing in life always works the way we want it to. Occasionally, you must take a different approach. Getting some department employees or a particular group of people to cooperate may require that you try another course of action -- one, for example, that makes them feel important. Here's how to do it:
- Ask for their advice or opinion to show you know their expertise in a given field.
- Compliment them for other jobs they've done well.
- Please explain why you currently need their help.
- Show appreciation for their efforts after the fact.
- Understanding Your Leader Authority
Before you exercise authority, you should understand how it is obtained. Some leaders mistakenly believe it comes with the job, but many other sources exist.
Authority is the right to command, use resources and influence behaviour. You'll find that certain managers wield much more authority than others, although they are all at the same job level.
In addition, some leaders make decisions and provide input on various high-level issues. In some cases, they have more clout than other managers.
These varying degrees of authority can be best explained by examining the sources. To a large extent, authority depends on function, responsibilities, performance, expertise and behaviour.
Leaders have authority based on their performance. Top performers command respect and can influence others. They can get things done and make things happen. Others respect their opinion even though these leaders are not in the legitimate chain of command.
Other leaders, even managers, will seek their guidance and direction. They may call on them to solve organizational problems that may be outside their usual scope of responsibilities. This type of authority is developed over time through consistently high-performance levels.
Some leaders have authority based on their expertise, which is a function of their skills, knowledge and ability. Leaders with high levels of competence are valuable to their company, particularly if they share their knowledge and skills with others. They are very knowledgeable about their work unit, technical processes, organizational goals, and objectives.
They are usually labelled technical experts and may have such credentials as advanced degrees or professional certifications. They have a consistent pattern of knowing what to do at a given time. As a result, they exert much influence over others. Some of these leaders bring this authority with them during production. In other cases, it is developed on the job through years of repeated success.
Being an effective leader is not easy and it is a trait that must be continuously worked on. The qualities highlighted in this blog are only a starting point –there are many more qualities that make up an effective leader. If you want to continue learning about what it takes to be an effective leader, read our blogs on leadership development . There's always room for improvement when it comes to being a Leader so keep reading and developing your leadership skills!