7 Steps to improving an effective leadership

Be a Better Leader Developing Leadership Skills

The news is full of examples and situations about the state of leadership today.  You need look no further than the financial pages of your newspaper or the many online sites devoted to publicizing the antics of state and local officials who seem to demonstrate what leadership is not.  Is it any wonder that leadership seems to have taken an extended leave of absence!

Discussions about the ability to lead often evolve around who is capable vs. whether or not they will exercise it when circumstances really count.  You can read untold numbers of books on this subject and purchase training programs or go to seminars to fine tune your leadership skills.  While I whole heartedly recommend you continue to sharpen your leadership abilities, none of this counts until you decide to put your talents to work.

Many time, being an effective leader at your place of work, your business or any other organization you participate in boils down to how you demonstrate personal leadership. The 2 most noticeable elements of any engaging leadership style are the example you set and the way you treat those around you.  The more you are cognizant of your own behavior, the better attention you’ll place on your interactions with others.

Becoming a leader that people want to associate with and be around starts with your decision to practice a few tenets of personal responsibility.  Get these firmly planted in your everyday interaction and you will garner one of the greatest benefits bestowed on leaders; your ability to influence others.

1. Do your best, no matter how trivial the task.

Excellence is not a sometimes occurrence.  This does not mean you have to stay with a task until its perfect. You just need to know that your work left the situation better than you found it and above the expectations of the person who asked you to help.

2. Tell the truth.

The truth is always better than distorting the facts and it builds trust even when the person you’re talking to may not like the answer.

3. Choose the difficult right over the convenient wrong.

Decisions are sometimes based not on what the right thing to do is but what there may be time to do.  In my former corporate career we had a saying, “There’s never enough time to do it right but there’s always time to do it again”!

4. Look out for your team before you look out for yourself.

True leadership considers those you have responsibility for before thinking of what’s best for yourself.  Often times, these decisions go unnoticed by the media or the group involved but believe me, the effects of not doing this can be damaging.

5. Judge others by their actions, not by their words or appearance.

In our ‘speak your mind’ society people often say things they later regret. Some also chose attire and lifestyle as a way to express themselves at work or in public gatherings.  Leaders recognize that what’s really important is the actions people take.  Talk is cheap.  What you do is the real demonstration of who you are.

6. Make fact based decisions; then take action.

Leaders don’t always make decisions that work out in the end.  The good ones, though, improve their averages by looking at facts before deciding.  Decisions based on emotions will almost certainly lead you in the wrong direction.  And since part of a leader’s role is to teach by example, helping others become good decision makers can strengthen an organization remarkably.

7. Don’t whine or make excuses.

Rarely is anyone interested in listening to people in authority complaining about why life is unfair.  Sometimes it just is!  Find other venues to express your concerns.  Find people who you consider close confidants or take up an activity with lots of physical excursion in it.  The ‘buck stops here’ goes with the territory.

Practice these fundamental principles in your everyday life and watch what happens around you.  People gravitate to leadership.  Everybody wants to be part of a company or organization with solid leadership.  It doesn’t guarantee success but it will exact the best efforts and loyalty from those around you.

Do you hear the call?   It’s time to lead!

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