The Art of Effective Leadership
Leadership is arguably the most valuable commodity in our society. Without it, success is a distant and unattainable idea. Society, businesses, companies, and success all stand on the shoulders of good, effective, and honest leadership. It is what carries all of us from one point to another, and it is what gives us hope that there will be a better tomorrow. With all that said, there is an art to the kind of leadership that we all rely on. Leadership isn’t easy, but here are some insights into what I believe makes the art of effective leadership.
Be Your Own Leader First
Leadership will always take immense amounts of discipline, persistence, resolve and tenacity. Yet, the person who we should be leading with these things first is ourselves. The most important and difficult person to lead will always be yourself. As difficult as it may be, we cannot perfect the art of leadership without this step.
Culture, attitude, behaviour and standards for a company or a team begin at the top, with the leader. If the head of the team has an awful attitude, sets low standards for themselves, and doesn’t set a culture of respect and productivity, how can they expect anything different or more positive from the team they are leading? Simple answer: they can’t. Leadership begins with self-leadership and that includes being an example.
Leadership is a 24/7 job, which requires a person committed to authenticity. One of the most potentially damaging things to a leader’s reputation is an inconsistent persona. Your people aren’t just looking to you when they’re at work, they watch you from afar and these days via social media. Consistency and authenticity are a sure-fire way to enhance your leadership, create meaningful connections and reach great success!
Be a Visionary
A leader without vision isn’t going anywhere quickly. Sure, you can be persuasive, cunning, or smart but without vision and purpose, what’s the point? The people under your leadership will be looking to you for guidance, and it is essential you can give confident guidance that aligns with your vision at any point. Leaders that live by their why, and let it permeate all that they do, are far greater achievers of success because they have clear direction and the passion to do all that it takes to get there!
Communicate your vision with your top people, your accountants, your sales reps, your freelancers, your assistant, everyone! Having vision and purpose is great, but you must communicate it! When you communicate your vision, you aren’t expecting everyone to make that vision their own, but they are free to find their own purpose within your vision; this is what will take your team all the way!
Your purpose, your dreams and your visions must be more than a purpose statement! Purpose statements don’t work unless the one who created it gives opportunities for action that align with the vision. Be open and bring others along the journey. People won’t work to their greatest ability without a driving reason to do so! This is your chance to get them on board; give them a reason to be in your team and give them a safe space to find purpose and chase after it! The art of leadership doesn’t just lie within knowing your purpose, it lies within helping others find their own purpose and giving them opportunities to live it out!
Have an Others Focus
Great leaders are people people, and there’s a reason! Without people, leaders are essentially null and void. The reason we have leaders is to guide, encourage and develop people. A huge part of our energy as leaders goes to our people and we have to ensure that we are doing something useful here! Remember this: as a leader, you aren’t developing followers, you are trying to develop the leader within each person for a better organisation, outcome and future.
You have to be about empowering your people! When you empower people, you build trust, connection, and relationships. All of these things are essential to companies in every sector. You may be the leader, but in the art of leadership, there are times when you need to empower others to make decisions. There are times when leadership looks more like listening, understanding, empathising, and delegating than it does talking and deciding.
As a leader, go out of your way to make your people feel known. There is nothing worse for people under leadership to feel scared and disconnected from their leader. Disconnection and fear only breed negative results and won’t help your case. Coercion and intimidation are not leadership, and if that is how you attempt to gain respect, you are only breeding fear. There are times in leadership to put your foot down, be stern, and downright honest, but these things must be done from the right place!
A Blank Canvas
One of the greatest gifts in life is the chance to begin again, to wipe slates clean and start afresh. There are always new opportunities to better yourself, your leadership and in turn, your team. The way you have been leading doesn’t have to be the way you lead in the future. In fact, if you are truly developing and leading yourself, your approaches, attitudes, and mannerisms will change. The art of leadership comes down to these things: lead yourself first, know your vision, your purpose, and communicate it, and be a leader who values others. Leadership is an incredible opportunity, don’t waste it!
Hey! You’re Biased! – #17 Herd Mentality
Have you ever done something purely because everyone else was doing it, even if you wouldn’t usually do it? Well, this is herd mentality or herd behaviour. This bias works to convince us that what ‘everyone else’ is doing is the right thing purely cause masses of people are doing it. An example we’ve seen way too much in the last two years: panic buying! One person rushes to get all the toilet paper, everyone else rushes to get all the toilet paper. Don’t be afraid to go against the grain, especially when you don’t believe in what the herd is going for! Don’t conform and let’s get unbiased!
If you're looking for another great article about purpose, click ‘here'!
Forbes. (2012). The art of leadership: Become a more effective leader in 3 steps. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2012/08/06/the-art-of-leadership-become-a-more-effective-leader-in-3-steps/?sh=69577c30788a
Baldoni, J. (2009). Putting the art of leadership into practice. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2009/09/putting-the-art-of-leadership
Caliente Leadership. (n.d.). Why great leaders focus on people and results. Caliente Leadership. https://calienteleadership.com/great-leadership-is-an-art/
Captial. (n.d.). What is herd bias? Capital.com. https://capital.com/herd-bias-definition