Effective Leadership 101: Everything You Need To Know
Today we’ll go through a few essential things that will help you become an effective leader. Most great people in this world are well known for their leadership skills. Therefore, in order to truly succeed in life, you need to have impressive leadership qualities.
What’s more, for you to maintain your leadership as you go through tough situations in life, you need to be a winner who never loses a single battle. I guarantee you that you will be able to cut through your troubles like a hot knife through butter.
You need that X-factor to put you on top of the game. Being a leader isn’t just something you are born with like most people tend to think. You need to cultivate a bright spectrum of qualities of effective leadership skills within your personality. As Lao Tzu said, ‘the best way to be a leader is when people barely know that you exist. Once the job is done, they will all say that we did it ourselves.’
Somebody wise once said – “Скупой Платит Дважды – а Лох Всю Жизнь!“ – I know you can’t read that so let me interpret it in a language you’ll understand. “A person who doesn’t invest in sharpening skills or learning from life will have to pay twice. But a looser, someone who doesn’t care about anything in life (careless person…), will have to pay for the rest of their life (with money, reputation, and respect etc.,). Since loser – always extremely self-confident and cocky towards everything.”
Nobody needs to tell you twice. Life is one hell of an amazing experience but at the same time, it’s quite complicated. The more we get to understand the life we live, the more we get the chance to solve problems quicker and easier. This makes our lives happier.
Problem-solving is also part of the necessities in our lives. For you to be a good leader, you need to learn how to solve problems. “Leaders are problem solvers by talent and temperament and also by choice.” Harlan Cleveland. Majority of us end up making over one hundred decisions every day. From the minute you opened your eyes to the very last second you close them before falling asleep.
I’ve personally noticed that in a little over a half of these decisions, I have to apply leadership/highly effective strategic thinking patterns in order to succeed today and be successful in short and long terms.
Since each decision I make today will not only affect me today, or in 10 years but will affect my kids and their grand-grandchildren.
Think about it for a second! The effective decision-making process must be well refined and religiously mastered.
Effective Decision-Making Process
Decision making is a process by which you make a quick call from the available information. And in most cases, the resolution you choose dictates a lot about your personality. Therefore, for the people around you to respect you, you need to make the right decisions. In this sections, I will take you through a procedure that has always worked for me whenever I’m faced with a decision.
1. Identify The Decision
For started, you need to know what decision you are about to make. Make an attempt to clearly define the nature of the decision you are faced with. This step is very crucial for you to make the next step
Collect all the necessary information that is needed for you to make the decision. Find out the best sources to get the information and you should also know what kind of information is needed. You will have to do deeper digging in this step since it involves both internal and external efforts. Some of the information might be internal. You need to look for it through self-assessment. While on the other hand, some of the information might be external. You might have to go online so that you can find out what you need.
3. What Are The Alternatives
The next and most obvious step is you need to know your alternatives. When you are collecting information, you will find out a number of alternatives that you can take. Additionally, you also have the opportunity to use your imagination to come up with relevant alternatives. Take a pen and paper and list down your options.
4. Consider The Options Then Weigh The Decisions
Take time and evaluate each decision you’ve listed. Use your emotions and imaginations and see what will happen if you choose to follow through each of the decisions to the end. As you continue through the process, you will find that there’s one option you are more prone to make. It’s kind of an inside instinct that will lead you to the right option. If the solutions are more than one, then you need to list them down. Finally, you need to arrange the options in a priority order. This will be based on your own value for each decision.
5. Take Actions
Here comes the difficult part. You now need to make a stand. Take one decision and stick with it. Make sure it has a positive result and little consequences. Afterward, you will have to review your decision and resolve any blow-backs that might have happened due to your decisions.
Unfortunately, There Is No Such Term As Leadership.
You’ve heard me right, there’s no such term as leadership. It should be erased from every book or TED speech and we need to introduce a new term – Effective Leadership. There’s no need to undersell this role. For you to be a leader, you need to be sincere and true to your word throughout your life. From the minute you were born to the very last breath you take.
Let’s take, for example, Mother Teresa. She was solely dedicated to helping the poor throughout her life. After teaching for close to 17 years, she decided to start a place for the blind, old and patients affected with leprosy. To date, she is known for her forth vow “to give wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor”. A true example of an Effective Leader who changed the world.
There are millions of leaders out there, some of them write amazing inspirational books and sell them at Amazon today (let’s call them salesmen gurus). Others created chaos and revolutions, killing millions and destroying nations (they don’t deserve even to be mentioned by name in this article). But some others like Mother Teresa devoted her entire life to serving people in needs, helping poor and hungry.
It’s purely unfair to call all three groups: sellers, dictators, and healers/lifesavers with same word Leader. Wouldn’t you agree with me? It complicates life.
The only separator between leader and true or effective leader is their purpose. So ask yourself, what is a leader’s honest and sincere motivation?
Let’s consider the salesperson who’s actively selling books on Amazon. What really drives such a person? Is it to become a millionaire by selling books? Or is it to become famous just because our “leader” always dreamed about it? This type of motivation is more self-satisfactory instead of servicing the people around us. But you will still hear our young generation trying to idolize such ‘leaders’.
Now back to Mother Teresa. What do you think drove her? Was it to serve poor and hungry, preach about kindness, save a planet for future generations? All the same, her actions speak louder than anything. She is still remembered today for the impact she made on this world. So why don’t we take a deeper look at our ‘leaders’ life? We are so quick to brand them the leaders of today but what is there sincere purpose (besides speaking and looking good on YouTube or TV)?
I hope you can see the difference. Majority of the leaders we have today are simply leaders without the proper purpose in life. It’s high time we start taking keen notice at who we choose to brand the word leader.
Wouldn’t You Want To Become An Effective Leader?
Being an effective leader is not an easy task. People who made billions by opening and selling businesses working hard only 5-10 years of their lives (on business ideas). However, they end up having a hard time to establish their successful personal life (changing partners every 2-3 years). All because they can’t communicate well, have a high demand for everything or have zero tolerance. In my own opinion, such people are simply successful people but not effective leaders.
If you are in the army, on the special mission, you can’t fight well only 30% of the battle. You have to be dedicated 100% through the entire fight.
Certain leaders are effective in certain business tasks which would represent only one side of life. And they end up being unconfident with others (they simply have no desire to learn to improve or be better at something). What can we learn from these leaders? Are they as effective as they are proclaimed to us?
Effective leadership is all about balance. One of the classical books I would recommend you to read is “The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement“. I guarantee you that you’ll be a changed person by the time you finish the book. The book taught me how to be an effective leader. I was able to balance my personal life and work at the same time. More to that, the book taught me how to plan for the future, making the right decisions, improving my work and life management process. Here are some of the things you should consider:
Quality 1: Desire To Go Extra Mile
For you to become an exceptional leader, you should always be willing to work harder than anybody else. More to that, you also need to keep motivating others and improve your company processes. That means you need to go that extra mile.
Quality 2: Visionary
An effective leader must be a visionary, who is willing to take calculated risks.
A person who can make the right decisions now, be able to look at the future and predict certain things and trends, be able to effectively analyze the past, learn lessons from it and teach others this person is a true in-depth visionary.
I’ve noticed that many great leaders can spend hours explaining how they solve this or that task 20 – 30 years ago, convincing me/us that they know for sure what they saying, so we trust them today, but they are ignoring one interesting aspect (and clear signals) that time has changed. Trends have changed and as a leader, you need to be up to date with the latest.
Quality 3: Hard Worker
A leader must be able to keep working hard for years. His work ethic usually infections to other team members. “Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come” – Dwayne Johnson, one of the most successful movie stars of our time.
Quality 4: Clear Goals
Effective leaders usually have a set of well-defined goals and methods on how to get there. Everyone has a set of goals in life. But the few who actually see their goals through, end up being effective leaders.
Quality 5: Follow Your Intuition
You need to be able to trust your judgment. If you’ve worked on your personality, then your decisions are always the right calls. As you work to seek advice from mentors in your life, in the end, each decision will still fall into your hands.
You should always learn to trust that gut feeling you get before making any decision. That feeling is always at the right place. Use your skills and those from the people around you if you are not sure about your decisions. Besides, that’s how you made it this far.
In conclusion, our society has changed and it’s becoming quite difficult to find the right leaders to follow. But that shouldn’t blur your vision of becoming an effective leader someday.
You might be the change we’ve been waiting for. Just make sure you have a clear line on what your purpose truly is. That way, you will never go astray.
Image by: Andrii Nikolaienko