How can you be the most effective leader possible?
As noted by American business magnate and former politician Ross Perot, the secret is to “lead and inspire people … Don’t try to manage and manipulate people. Inventories can be managed, but people must be lead.”
To achieve inspirational leadership status, use these five essential tools:
Learn to delegate both responsibility for completing assignments and the authority required to do so.
- Don’t feel as though you have to – or can – control every single thing your employees do. Micromanagement is the antithesis of leadership. When you delegate, you multiply the quantity and quality of work accomplished. And, you develop employees’ skills, confidence and morale.
- When you delegate, make it clear what everyone will be expected to do and accomplish. Then, step back and trust your team. Don’t hover or procrastinate.
2. Goal Setting
Not only do goals give people purpose and direction, but they also ensure that everyone is working toward the same overall mission.
- Set, facilitate and monitor SMART SMART stands for “specific, measurable, achievable, relevant” and “time-bound.”
Make every effort to give employees the information they need to do their jobs well.
- Listening is probably the most underrated quality of communication – and of great leaders. When people speak to you, remember and acknowledge what they have said. Their appreciation will pay off in a big way.
- Explain the why. As noted by Forbes, you gain team buy-in by outlining why something is important, not just explaining what has to be done and when. If you do this, you’ll find that projects which may otherwise have dragged on indefinitely are completed in record time by motivated people.
4. Reward and Recognition
Every employee wants to be recognized for a job well done. There are many things you can do to reward employees without necessarily spending too much money or time.
- In one study, 85 percent of employees reported being overworked and underappreciated. Even a simple verbal “thank you” can keep your team members from being part of this dismal statistic. Author Mark Twain summed it up nicely when he wrote, “I can live for two weeks on a good compliment.”
Running a company is serious business. But the most successful leaders make time for fun as well. They realize that this balance results in a more energized, engaged and loyal workforce.
- Balance the serious business at hand with the morale and spirits of your team. Observe birthdays, holidays and other occasions. Or, make an otherwise routine day into a celebration. Have pizza delivered for lunch or arrange for an ice cream truck to arrive on site on a summer afternoon. Set up a ping pong table in the break room. Go out for Happy Hour. You get the gist … foster a sense of balance and camaraderie.
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Cultivating leaders for today and tomorrow: nothing is more important to the success of your business. To design and implement your successful leadership development strategy, contact TRC Professional Solutions today. We’re ready to help.
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