Leadership Part II
About 9 months ago I introduced my opinion on what true leadership should look like. While brief it illustrated the key elements of how a leader should lead an organization to positive outcomes. As the economy and marketplace remains underperforming and unstable, effective leadership is greatly needed in these challenging times. Let’s further examine the qualities that enable an individual in charge to lead become an effective leader.
1) Concise Communication: Operating a business and managing its communication to not only employees but also consumers is very complex and challenging. As a leader you will have numerous objectives and initiatives to achieve which will require an adequate understanding from your team. Everyone has to be functioning on the same page and with the same focus in order to produce the necessary results envisioned. This can only be achieved by having communication channels developed that create important dialogue and interaction throughout the organizational structure. Leaders have to be heard clearly and precisely in order to be effective and have an efficiently operating environment. This is accomplished through an open-air, unstifled approach that produces connectivity. Let your team know exactly what is expected from them in order for the business to excel and highlight the fact that it is a team effort. Make sure everyone knows how their role fits into the bigger picture and speak directly to their concerns and issues in order to establish trust.
2) Willingness to Listen: Yes, you are the leader and you establish the rules but you should not thwart your team’s performance by being stifling. People in leadership positions tend to let the power go to their head and create an environment of tension and worry. This approach may work in the short-run but in the long run your team will rebel, become inattentive and your business will suffer. It is very important for you to make it known to your team that their opinions and ideas are both needed and wanted. Make them comfortable with sharing their views by having an inviting but authoritative demeanor. It has to be understood that you all as a whole are working towards a common goal and it is your duty as a leader to get you all there. This creates a balance of freedom and accountability that in turn produces a productive team atmosphere. Also listening to the marketplace and the consumers are highly important. Never assume a service or product is long-lasting, upgrading and retooling is mandatory. Listen and learn and grow or be deaf, oblivious to your surroundings and ultimately fail.
3) Ability to Inspire: If you cannot motivate your team to work hard and produce results then you are failing as a leader. Yes, it is challenging to manage and lead people while also accomplishing your initiatives but that is the responsibility of a true leader. You must inspire your team by being passionate and unrelenting in your pursuit to be great within the products and services provided by the business. Your team should be a reflection of your work ethic and ambition, which means you have to effectively create a solid vision to lead within. If you say you want your business to provide the best customer service possible and be recognized for it; you must lead the way in developing that envisioned recognition. Show your team how the initiative is to be achieved and how you yourself would execute the performance. This shows your team that you truly believe in what you say and expect the best out of everyone within the organization. An organization that has people inspired and determined to be the best usually perform like the best; which is the result of an inspiring leader and a shared vision.
4) Determination to Succeed: Success comes with great work ethic and a tireless pursuit to satisfy the consumers. While most people want success though, they do not put in the required effort to achieve it. As a leader this should be your #1 initiative and the driving force within your organization. Let it be known that mediocrity is not allowed and poor performance is forbidden. As a leader you should exemplify the framework for success and have your team work within that framework. Far too many leaders get too comfortable with past success and their complacency trickles down throughout the organization. Always project an attitude of wanting to achieve more and pump that persistent drive into your team. The ability of your team is a reflection of you and if you as the leader are not determined to succeed do not complain about your poor organizational structure and its poor performance.
Notice that throughout this writing I used employees once and rather focused on the word team. As a leader you have to look at it as a team effort because the competition is too fierce for one person to try to take on. Lead with passion and focus and have your team follow exactly in those footsteps. As a leader you are the head but the head is useless if the rest of the body is not fed nutrients and has become spoiled and rotten.
Posted on July 14, 2011, in Communication, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Management, Small Business and tagged ability to inspire, accountability, Analyze, Challenges, commitment, communicate, Effective communication, Effective leadership, focused, Leadership, management, necessary effort, Productivity, Small Business, Success, team building, willingness to listen, work ethic. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.