In today’s world of job automation, virtual workers, AI, machine learning, outsourcing, and “low-cost” off-shoring, one of the best ways to differentiate yourself and your businesses is to be an effective leader!
Most people know that business failure rates are quite high. Although there are probably as many reasons for business failure as there are business failures, one of the overarching reasons businesses fail is lack of proper leadership.
One does not have to look to hard to find some examples. Is it possible that Blockbuster, Sears, Bre-X Minerals, Sharper Image, Enron, and Polaroid would be in business today if they were being led by effective leaders?
So, what does effective leadership look like?
What is Effective Leadership
This is a topic that could take a million blog posts to describe in detail! There are so many aspects of effective leaders and there have been millions of books and articles written about leadership.
However, I love how Tom Peters summarizes effective leadership in his book The Excellence Dividend. He says effective leadership is doing these 23 specific tasks well:
- Avid practitioner of MBWA (management by walking around)
- Fierce listener
- Expert questioner
- Master of social media
- Expert at helping
- Fanatic about clear communications that acknowledge individual differences
- Expert at building matchless first-line management
- Expert at holding productive conversations
- Master of of/obsession with acknowledgement
- Effective at fast, proactive apology
- Excellent presenter
- Conscious master of body language
- Master/student of hiring
- Master of evaluating people
- Time manager par excellence/vigilant regarding overscheduling
- Avid student of the process/psychology of influence
- Student of organizational politics
- Student of decision-making/student of cognitive biases that derail decision-making
- Brilliantly schooled student/practitioner of negotiation
- Fanatic about employee development for 100% of staff
- Student of the power of diversity on any and every dimension you can name
- Aggressive in pursuing gender balance
- Insistent on instilling business sense in one and all
These 23 leadership tasks or axioms could each have complete books written about them, so I have not done them justice by just listing them. However, spend some time this week and evaluate your leadership capability against each of these.
Then determine where you have the biggest gaps and take some specific actions to improve. Pass these leadership lessons on to all of your staff by teaching them and by leading by example!
Finally, review these posts for more information:
- Your Success is Determined by Your Leadership Potential
- What is Effective Leadership and Why is it Important
- H3 Leadership: Be Humble, Stay Hungry, Always Hustle
- 50 Powerful Leadership Lessons
- How to Overcome Fear so It Doesn’t Destroy Your Business
“Greatness is not about personality. It’s about humility, plus will. That is where the essence of leadership begins.” Jim Collins
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