A lot has been said about Leadership. Tons of books have been written about Leadership and everyone has an opinion about what effective Leadership is all about. All you need to do is Google “Leadership??? and look at the number of hits Google returns.
Every time I ask this question: “What is effective leadership???? I get myriad of different answers too. Some would say that effective leadership is about building trust. Some other would say effective leadership is about being able to make decisions. Still others would say effective leadership is being able to take decisive actions towards achieving goals and objectives.
There are still others who draw the difference between what a Leader is and what a Boss is.
Actually all of the above opinions are not wrong. Effective leadership embodies all of the above, namely being able to build trust, make decisions and to galvanize people towards achieving common goals and objectives.
It is all about Balance
After having spent years in the Corporate world leading teams and individuals, having seen the good, the bad and the ugly side of Leadership, and hearing countless horror stories of Leadership gone bad, I have come to the conclusion that effective leadership is all about BALANCE – It is about understanding the different styles of leadership, how to use the various Leadership styles and most importantly, when to use them and how much of each style to use.
I have come to be convinced that leadership failures are commonly due to the inability and the failure to understand one’s default leadership style and how it affects others around you, and not knowing how and when to apply the various leadership styles to obtain the results that you want.
Effective leadership is about knowing when to be nice and when to be demanding. It is about understanding when to give and when to take. It is about knowing when to coach and when to be directive. It is about knowing when to be democratic and when to be authoritative. It is about understanding when to set the pace and when to allow your people to run their own race.
It is about Awareness
A leader cannot be effective being nice all of the time. Neither can a leader be effective by being coercive and demanding all of the time. An effective leader is one who is not only socially aware, but also emotionally aware. Being socially and emotionally aware will enable the leader to effectively read the social situation and understand the political, emotional and social undercurrents. This will enable the leader to know what leadership styles to apply, when to apply those styles and how best to apply the various leadership styles within different social, emotional and political contexts.
It is about individual personality
An effective leader must also be able to understand the personality make-up of their individual team members because each individual is different and each will respond and react differently to different stimuli and motivation. Understanding the basic personality make-up of each team member will enable the leader to understand how best to engage each individual and know exactly what motivates each person and what drives each individual.
It is about the right people
Effective leadership is also about having the right people on-board the team. With the right people on-board the team, a leader can only become even more effective.
Having the right people in terms of cultural fit, attitude, aptitude, personality, skills, qualifications and experience will help put the team on the right track and enable the team to stay the course and reach for the stars.
If you are wondering why your team isn’t performing to expectations and you wish to know how to lead your team to higher performance, perhaps you should begin by identifying your own leadership style.
Your leadership styles drives the way you communicate with your team, and that in turn determines how your team members perceive your message and how they respond back to you.
Ultimately, it is your Leadership style that determines the end results that you get.