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Are We Effective Leaders?

Many people with grand titles may not necessarily be leading; they may simply be administering a legacy they inherited from the past in many circumstances.

Being an effective leader is very difficult, which leads to the obvious question: what makes an effective leader?

An effective leader takes people where they would have needed help to get to, and in doing so, you are leading regardless of your title or level. It may seem like a staggeringly dull definition of leadership, but it’s also revolutionary as it means leadership is about what you do, not your title.

If you ask different people what leadership is, you may receive clear answers, yet their answers will differ. So, I asked team members what they expected of their leaders at every level of the organization.

Here are the top five things the team expects from their leader, which will consistently predict whether a leader will succeed on the road ahead.

Honesty: No one wants to work for someone they do not trust. Trust is about doing as you say. Most professionals are diligent about what they do but must be more careful about what they say. Misunderstood expectations are a recipe for disaster, and careless talk costs trust.

Vision: It was made clear that if you are going to take people where they would not have got by themselves, you surely need to have a clear destination in your mind. An excellent strong vision lies behind the mindset of the best leaders: resilience, courage, and collaboration.

Decisiveness: Create clarity out of complexity. Indecision causes ambiguity, stress, extra work, and confusion. Being decisive is very hard if you do not have a clear vision because any decision or direction looks as good as any other. With a clear vision, decisiveness becomes easy.

Motivation: This area generated interesting feedback as team members felt you could not tell someone to be positive, motivated, or happy as it comes from within. Members felt that their levels of disengagement and alienation are at record levels with remote work. What we can do as leaders is to continue to create the conditions in which each team member rediscovers their intrinsic motivation. We need to focus on positive and supportive relationships and autonomy, not command and control; help your team grow and discover purpose at work, and they will likely motivate themselves.

Good in a Crisis: It is crucial how you are not what you do in a crisis. In an emergency, you discover that leaders are peddlers of hope, certainty, and clarity, especially where there appears to be little hope, confidence, and transparency.


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