Are You an Effective Leader and Why You Should Care?

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:

  1. Avid practitioner of MBWA (management by walking around)
  2. Fierce listener
  3. Expert questioner
  4. Master of social media
  5. Expert at helping
  6. Fanatic about clear communications that acknowledge individual differences
  7. Expert at building matchless first-line management
  8. Expert at holding productive conversations
  9. Master of of/obsession with acknowledgement
  10. Effective at fast, proactive apology
  11. Excellent presenter
  12. Conscious master of body language
  13. Master/student of hiring
  14. Master of evaluating people
  15. Time manager par excellence/vigilant regarding overscheduling
  16. Avid student of the process/psychology of influence
  17. Student of organizational politics
  18. Student of decision-making/student of cognitive biases that derail decision-making
  19. Brilliantly schooled student/practitioner of negotiation
  20. Fanatic about employee development for 100% of staff
  21. Student of the power of diversity on any and every dimension you can name
  22. Aggressive in pursuing gender balance
  23. Insistent on instilling business sense in one and all

Take Action

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:



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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