How to Become a More Effective Leader
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Being a good leader is critical in many aspects of your life, but especially for your career. To be an effective leader, you need to work toward becoming a transformational leader, which is a leader who is inspiring and positive, and one who empowers those following him or her. Followers see this type of leader as being more valuable and this results in the leader being more productive and effective in their role. You can become a better leader when you know what it takes and learn to implement these skills into your daily life.
One of the hallmarks of an effective leader is intellectual stimulation. Your followers have to feel that you value their creativity and that you encourage them to express it. You should constantly present new challenges, while at the same time, ensuring that your followers have the support and the tools necessary to rise up to the challenge and meet goals. Always consider the abilities of your team when you are presenting challenges. You want the challenges to be within their realm of capability, but they should also be challenging so that your followers have to get creative and test their limits to meet the challenge.
Be a Role Model
Leaders should jump in and do the grunt work along with everyone else. You need to set the standard that everyone will follow. The most effective leaders get in the trenches with their team and they do all levels of work. You need to model the qualities and behaviors that you want to see from all of your team members. When people look at your team members, you want them to think that they are following your lead and working at the same level that you are. In a nutshell, you must practice idealized influence and be right next to your team every step of the way.
People naturally follow leaders who are passionate about the work that they are doing. Whether you are sharpening pencils for your team or creating the day's assignments, you should show passion for the task at hand. Passion is infectious, so when you are showing it, your team members will also be more enthusiastic about the job that they are doing. You do not have to dance around and express your love for the job, but you should never portray the tasks in a negative light. You should find the silver lining in all of the necessary tasks, even those that are the most menial. You should also let your team know that you appreciate their contributions and that you are happy to have them on your team.
Communication and Listening
When it comes to leadership, effective communication and listening skills are arguably the most important traits that a true leader has. You need to be able to convey your message to all different types of people quickly and without any confusion. On the other hand, to be effective at solving problems, you also need to be a good listener. A good listener does not just listen so that he can react to what is being said. A good listener listens so that he can truly understand the problem and formulate a plan to solve it. This takes practice, but it is critical for being effective in your role as a leader.
Motivation and Encouragement
When you are leading a team, you have to keep them motivated to do a great job and keep reaching their goals. The exact motivational methods that you should use will ultimately depend on your team because different people are motivated by different things. However, encouraging your team and constantly reminding them that you value their work is something that will motivate all types of people. People like to be recognized for their efforts, and when this happens on a regular basis, they are more likely to follow their leader.
Now that you know what to do, it is time to embrace it and put it into practice. While it takes time to become an effective leader, when you start the process toward becoming one, people will automatically start seeing you as authoritative. This helps you to lead your team and get the backing that you need to make positive changes at work and elsewhere in your life. The key is to be assertive while still allowing your team to be a part of the major decisions. This ensures that you get respect and that you are someone that people want to be led by.
- Rosemary Kitchen
Hendricks, D. (2014). 6 Ways to Empower Your Employees with Transformational Leadership. Retrieved on February 26, 2015 from http://www.forbes.com/sites/drewhendricks/2014/01/27/6-ways-to-empower-your-employees-with-transformational-leadership/