Does a man or woman have the right to lead without earning it!? It can be gained by election or appointment, but, does position, title, rank, or degrees qualify anyone to lead other people!? It doesn’t come automatically from age or experience, either. So, the right to lead and become an effective leader can only be earned and that takes time and learning!
The list of problems facing us in the 21st century is daunting. From climate change to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, humanity’s survival will depend on leadership that can chart a course through an uncertain and turbulent sea of constant change.
Today, more than at any time in our history, we need effective leadership. We need leaders who are capable of finding solutions to the astonishing number of problems we face and the vision to anticipate and lessen the future problems that await us.
Forget the stereotypical leadership image of a buttoned-up person in a gray suit. Today, standout leaders come in all shapes and sizes. What really matters is that leaders are able to create enthusiasm, empower their people, instill confidence and be inspiring to the people around them. That's a tall order.
However, as different as leaders are today, there are some things great leaders do every day ……
Truly inspiring leaders remains islands of positivity and finds the bright side of any issue in the face of challenges and failures. If you want to be truly inspirational, show others the silver lining.
Tyrants with brilliant vision can only command a reluctant following. They burn people out before they get to see what they are capable of. Focus on approachability, humility, positivity.
Nothing drains commitment from a team more than when their efforts go unnoticed. Leaders who do not show appreciation for their employees are putting their business at risk. Even small gestures of gratitude show people that they matter.
Have a crystal clear vision for the future
The greatest leaders have a vision so clear it seems as though it has already come to pass. Inspiring leaders know what their preferred future looks like and exactly how to get there. To truly inspire, know precisely what you are aiming to achieve.
Change is a constant in life, To be an effective leader, you should not only embrace change, and you should promote it.
Hearing is not the same as listening. Inspirational leaders truly listen to what is said to them and respond appropriately. Practice an open door policy to receive your team’s feedback and encourage them to contribute to the common goal. This imparts a shared sense of value because everyone participates and everyone is important.
Start leading and stop bossing
There are many bosses out there leading companies but not enough leaders. The title of ‘boss’ only signifies power over others. To be called a leader, your must inspire your team through your actions and words to believe in a common vision.
The key to leadership success is to learn to effectively delegate both the responsibility for completing assignments and the authority required to get things done.
Think about lasting solutions
No matter how difficult the problem, there is always a quick solution, and leaders are happiest when they are devising solutions to problems. The next time you have a problem to solve in your organization, deal with the cause of the problem instead of simply treating the symptoms.
Motivation is a crucial factor. As leaders, we are not only responsible for the actions of those who follow us, but, in a very real sense, we have a responsibility for their spiritual vitality.
Put people first
People are the most important asset of any organization. without people, nothing is accomplished.
Employees need goals to strive for. Goals give employees direction and purpose. Set specific and measurable goals with your employees and regularly monitor their progress.
Too many bosses do not communicate enough. Leaders must make every effort to get employees the information they need to do their jobs quickly and efficiently. An atmosphere of open, candid communication lets you make effective decisions.
Make time for employees
Above all, leadership is a people job. When an employee needs to talk with you, make sure to set aside the time to do so, put down your smart phone and focus on the person standing in front of you.
The key to leadership success is to learn to effectively delegate both the responsibility for completing assignments and the authority required to get things done. The need to control every little thing that employees do is a recipe for disaster. When you delegate work to employees, you multiply the amount of work you can accomplish while you develop your employees' confidence, leadership and work skills.
Every employee wants to do a good job. And when they do a good job, employees want recognition from their bosses. Recognize and reward employees for a job well done.
Foster a learning environment
In addition to continually learning as a leader, encourage your subordinates to constantly upgrade their own skills and knowledge.
Encourage risk taking and innovation
Progress comes only through moving into uncharted territory and trying new things. Identify and reward the risk takers and innovators in your organization.
Be a team builder
Nothing is created without the effort of a number of individuals working together. Leverage the diversity and different talents within your organization through the creation of teams.
Don't take it all too seriously
Without a doubt, running a company is serious business. Products and services must be sold and delivered and money must be made. Despite the gravity of these responsibilities successful leaders make their organizations fun places to work. Instead of having employees who look for every possible reason to call in sick or to arrive late to work or go home early, organizations which work hard and play hard end up with a more loyal, energized workforce.
These principles form the basic foundation upon which a solid leadership structure can be constructed.