The Art of Effective Leadership

leadership Aug 01, 2023
Effective Leadership

The age in which we have come to live is constantly changing. We see changes in world cultures due to modern technology, which imports and exports various cultures to different societies at the click of a button. We see changes in values and morals. Cultures and communities have been brought together through the information highway, resulting in a Global village. Consequently, if you are a leader who desires to develop the art of effective leadership and execute your responsibilities effectively, you may benefit from the following ten principles that will help to improve your organization's productivity with sustained results. 

1. Prioritize personal and professional growth 

As a leader, you can never lead people farther than you have gone yourself. Hence, you must maintain professional competency by growing your expertise. Do so by attending seminars, training, or using a mentor. Also, pursue self-improvement by identifying areas in your personal life that require attention and address them through reading, the services of a coach or therapist, or whatever method will help you become a better person mentally, emotionally, and relationally. 

2. Clarify your objectives 

Leaders need to have a sense of direction, and having a vision and a mission is essential in getting others to follow for any extended period. The mission asks, "What are you building?" while the vision asks, "Why are we building it?" When a team has a specific task with a significant reason for accomplishing it, they are more motivated and more likely to succeed. 

3. Make timely decisions

One of the significant responsibilities of a leader is decision-making. Making the right decision can make the difference between failure and success, but the fear of failure should never deter you as a leader from making them. In addition, by making timely decisions, you will instill confidence in the team, which will enhance the motivation of others as they pursue the organization's goals.

4. Motivate your team 

Motivation, which is the reason for doing something, is an essential aspect of leadership, and a leader who intends to accomplish organizational goals must ensure their team is motivated. However, great leaders know that intrinsic motivation is more sustainable when getting employees to remain productive. Hence, seek to get others to buy into the mission by nurturing their intrapreneurial spirit, leading to them taking the initiative to pursue the organization's success and growth as if it were their own.

5. Invest in people development 

Invest in your team by providing training for team members. Visionary leaders will always seek to develop others around them. Also, ensure those you lead know their responsibilities and teach them by example how to deal with challenges when they occur. Providing mentorship or coaching for individuals can also serve as an invaluable way of fostering personal and professional growth.

6. Build team cohesion.

Team cohesiveness, which is the ability of a group of individuals to work towards a common goal effectively, is crucial to a company's success. Also, cohesive teams have less distracted members who are less competitive and more focused on achieving the organization's objectives. Hence, as a leader, encourage communication, involve the team members in team building activities regularly, celebrate success as a team, ensure team members are clear on their role on the team, define the company values for the team and build trust by being honest and transparent with your team.

7. Treat employees fairly

Treating employees fairly by showing interest in their well-being, responding to their concerns, and representing their interests, builds trust, improves morale, deepens loyalty, and improves performance and productivity. On the contrary, a lack of fairness, such as favoritism, breeds hatred, and resentment towards the favored individuals. Also, when employees feel unfairly treated, they are more likely to underperform and less likely to remain with the organization long-term. 

8. Maintain situational awareness

As a leader, you must maintain situational awareness by staying current and up-to-date with what's happening in society and within your field. Leaders must be vigilant to keep their team on course like a captain who navigates his ship safely to the harbor. Hence you will be able to make better decisions and with greater accuracy in predicting the future when you take note of and assess what's happening in your surroundings.

9. Learn from experience 

Have you ever heard people say, "Knowledge is power?" This statement is partially true. The power lies in experiential knowledge. Experiential knowledge is the most valuable knowledge you will ever acquire. Therefore, as a leader, learn from other people's experiences and yours. These experiences may include past failures and successes. Also, build on what others have already done instead of trying to reinvent the wheel. 

10. Uphold professional norms

Upholding professional norms helps to heighten morale - esprit de corps (the capacity of people to maintain belief in an institution or a goal, or even in oneself and others). Moreover, turnover tends to be low when morale is high, and when turnover gets high, it is generally due to low morale. Hence, upholding professional norms will improve workplace morale, inevitably improving relationships between employees and leaders with fewer negative behaviors and less workplace stress.