Appointed leaders fill the halls and offices of every organization in the world. However, being delegated the role of leader does not automatically qualify someone as an effective leader. This kind of leader is unique, consistent. They know what works and what does not work. As a result, they foster positive and creative work environments, deliver measurable and sustainable results, and maintain the ethical integrity of the workplace. They produce the capacity for achievement.
In order to foster an environment that produces real achievement, you must become an effective leader.
As we have learned, achievement is simply doing the right things consistently over a period of time. In the same way, an effective leader knows that effectiveness is a constant process of multiplying what works and eliminating what does not. Effective leaders are aware of their personal, creative powers and how the forces of apathy affect people and the organization.
Whether you are a small business owner or a CEO of a major corporation, you must hone your leadership skills in order to achieve. To get you started, let’s take a look at six characteristics that I have noticed ineffective leadership.
#1 – They Believe in People
One of the dramatic qualities of the effective leader is the skill of developing people. This skill comes from an effective leader’s high belief and expectations. They value the potential of all people and expect everyone under their charge to be responsible and effective, and this positive expectation of people builds a self-fulfilling prophecy.
#2 – They Attract Employee Involvement
One of the most common terms I hear in working with organizational leaders is “buy-in.” They talk about first gaining buy-in, then expecting that buy-in to grow. But effective leaders attract buy-in rather than expect it. They expand the involvement of everyone under their charge. People always buy into things for which they are involved in creating and for which they have delegated responsibility. Expanded involvement promotes collaboration, which, in turn, enhances decision quality.
#3 – They Communicate Effectively
Communication is a two-way street. Often when leaders are describing communication problems within their organizations, I find that those problems are usually stimulated from the top down. That is because organizations usually model the communication styles of their leaders. I have observed complete and positive culture changes within organizations when leaders assume the responsibility for establishing an effective communication environment.
#4 – They Use Real Motivators
Although many leaders use the “carrot and stick” approach to motivation by using fear or incentive, these are not the most consistently effective motivators. The only form of permanent, self-sustaining motivation is personal motivation. People act instinctively from their own internal motivations. The effective leader is aware of how to use the personal, internal motivations of people in support of the common good of the organization.
#5 – They Know How to Share Power
The true issue of power is not about its use or misuse. Rather, it is the sharing of power that is the real issue. The effective leader exercises power appropriately by sharing it. The sharing of power can be demonstrated by looking for feedback from your staff, encouraging creativity and the freedom to make common-sense judgments regarding routine operations, and appointing the appropriate leadership when you are absent.
#6 – They Use the Most Effective Style of Leadership
There are five different styles of leadership: the Comforter, the Regulator, the Task Master, the Manipulator, and the Developer. Statistical research1, done by Jay Hall, Ph.D., University of Texas, concluded that the Developer was the most effective style. Interestingly enough, the Developer demonstrates all of the effective leadership qualities mentioned above.