What is Effective Leadership?

Effective leadership can make or break your business. Are you an effective leader?

A few months ago, I wrote a post entitled “Are You an Effective Leader and Why You Should Care” Since that post, one of my Mastermind groups discussed each of the 23 aspects of leadership outlined in this post. This discussion revealed some very valuable nuggets of information! I took a lot of notes during these discussions and the key points I captured are shown below:

Mastermind Discussion on the 23 Elements of Leadership

Your Success is Determined by Your Leadership Ability

The effectiveness of your leadership determines your level of success in all of your endeavors. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, who your parents are, what your education is, or who you know. You will only go as far as your leadership ability is capable of taking you!

If you don’t believe this, just ask the litany of leaders who have failed publicly over the last number of years. People like Martin Shkreli (Turing Pharmaceuticals), Elizabeth Holmes (Theranos), Martin Winterkorn (VW), or Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini (FIFA).

Your Leadership Ability is the Lid on Your Success

Leadership ability is the lid on your success. If you increase your leadership ability, you effectively raise the level of your success!

Back in the late 1990’s when I started to actively lead large teams I realized that I needed as much leadership help as possible. Fortunately, I met many great leaders who actively mentored me as my career developed.

I also discovered other leaders like John C. Maxwell who provides amazing leadership resources like his book “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.”

Although I first read this book in the late 90’s, this collection of profound leadership wisdom continues to provide me great insight and guidance to this day! I have never met Mr. Maxwell but I consider him to be an important mentor who has made a huge impact on my life!

Following his 21 irrefutable leadership laws will profoundly impact your leadership abilities! I have outlined each of these laws below.

What I Learned in 2017 and Why It Is Critical to Your Success

This past year was a great year of learning for me! Transitioning out of the big corporate world into my own business consulting has given me the opportunity to adjust my “point of reference” and to see the world from yet another very valuable perspective!

In addition to this monster change, I was also able to either consult or serve in a board role in two not-for-profit organizations, a landscape company, a drywall company, a home renovation company, an equipment sales company, and a start-up engineering company. In the middle of all this, I started a Mastermind Group of senior level business leaders.

It was definitely a year full of change, learning, and growth!

And, as I have in done previous years, this post shares my biggest lessons learned over the past year.

What I Learned in 2017

The most important things I learned in 2017 are:

Your Business Rises And Falls On The Strength of Your Leaders

It is crucial that you have strong leadership in place if you want your business to succeed.

As John C. Maxwell says; “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” If your leadership team is strong then your business will be well positioned to rise but if your leadership team is weak your business will eventually fall, just like Maxwell states.

This has been proven time and time again throughout political and business history. We have seen it recently in Alberta with the terrible PC party leadership over the last number of years which led to their decimation in the election in 2015. Similarly, the current NDP government leader, Rachel Notley, has seen her popularity nosedive since she came into power and her leadership ability became more public. We are also seeing this played out right now in the leadership race in both the Republican and Democrat parties in the US . . . no one is sure where this will end up!

Don’t Ignore The Unimportance Of Practically Everything

You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything.” John C Maxwell

Every business leader continuously fights against an onslaught of the unimportant so that they can focus on what is truly important and what will make the biggest impact for their business. If they let their guard down, they run the risk of being completely overwhelmed by the unimportant.

Quite a few years ago when I was managing a fairly large engineering project, I was introduced to the concept of classifying activities into the quadrants of low importance, high importance, low urgency and high urgency. This was a lifesaver for me as the project scope grew and my workload increased.

However, it did mean that I could not keep everyone happy. There were times when I was confronted by people who felt I was making trade-offs or compromising on some issues. My answer? “You are correct, I am!” I was choosing what was the most important and most urgent while deferring, delegating or ignoring the rest of “the noise.”