Ever in your life felt like screaming “Help, we demand an effective leader!”
You can find literally countless books written on the topic, without any shortage of ideas and programs. Why then is effective leadership so difficult to find and how can we know what constitutes an effective leader?
First, you must describe what does effective leadership mean to you and your organization? In order to improve something you have to have a clear understanding of 3 things.
• What does it look like when it is better?
• Where is it at this point?
• How do you measure improvement?
First and foremost a leader brings results. The big difference between a leader and an effective leader is how those results are attained.
In today’s complex, technical, and global atmosphere, effective leaders must learn to utilize all available resources. This is a change from the days when the leader was expected to know everything and touch everything.
To accomplish that you have to attract and retain excellent persons, you need to develop an atmosphere that is open to communication and innovation, and you need to allow them to fail. Innovation with penalties for failing produces a “don’t rock the boat” attitude. Remember also, as a leader, you get that which you reward and deserve what you tolerate.
So an effective leader obtains results, develops great people and is an active listener and communicator. They are open minded, non –threatening and equally as important non-threatened.
So the next step is where is your organization now? One way to tell other than simply results is to look for warning signs:
Do any of these ten issues exist in your company?
• Excessive meetings with no agenda and no results
• Lack of personal accountability
• Poor communication between people
• Reluctance to terminate poor performers
• Apathetic and uninspired personnel
• Inconsistent results
• Poor time management
• Reactive rather then proactive work
• Lack of teamwork
• Duplication of work
Many of these are indicators of leadership issues.
Effective leadership produces an environment where things get completed, workers feel appreciated and part of an overall team. And remember, effective leadership starts with effective self-leadership. Are you currently demonstrating the characteristics that would cause others to want to follow you?
The effective leader the organization needs may be hiding inside of you!
John A. McGinn, Ed.D. is an executive coach and leadership consultant.