We have all heard about or know of people who were described as ‘natural born leaders’. This may have caused you to think that if you don’t possess the ‘natural’ talents, you can’t be an effective leader. However, effective leadership skills can be developed. As a leader, both the amount and quality of your work output depends on your team, and, consequently, your skills as a leader. The answer is in learning the keys to effective leadership and practicing them, and then being consistent in using these new skills.
It won’t happen overnight, but again, what really is important, is the consistency. Here are 4 steps to provide you with a good starting point in becoming an effective leader. Once you have mastered this approach, you will be capable of pursuing whatever leadership roles you desire.
The 4 Step Approach to Effective Leadership, deals with knowing the vision/direction of the team, and actually believing in it. These are significant steps in becoming an effective leader. Because leading a team depends greatly on inspiring the trust of your team members, the best way to do that is to prove to them that you believe in the vision.
1. First, understand what the vision is, and make certain it is something you can truly get behind. Then, take every opportunity to ‘sell’ the vision to the team. You need to live and breathe the vision, making it as tangible as possible, so that the team members will eventually want to grab on to it and make it happen.
2. You need to build the team. The support of the team is critical. As you select your team members, be sure you look for those that can grasp what you are attempting to build and can support it. That is your first priority, second to that is looking for those who fit the roles you need to fill.
Make sure that you are selecting each member of the team based on merit. If you allow your emotions to drive the decision, it can be detrimental to the team as those who recognize their opportunity was based on an ’emotional position’ may attempt to play on your emotions for favors. You want to make certain that each team member knows they were given the opportunity based on merit alone.
3. Leading any team will require good negotiation techniques. Building trust is your first step, mastering negotiation skills is second. Negotiations at several levels may be required. Fist, with the team members themselves. Secondly, you may also need to negotiate with external groups or management for the best interest of your team unit.
Be certain that you negotiate fairly so that all concerned will trust you. But negotiate well for the well-being of your unit. If you need help in this, you might want to consider taking a course on negotiating.
4. Delegation is the fourth prong of our leadership hub. Now that you have gotten your ideal team in place, and you know their strengths and weaknesses, and their ability to excel in the tasks you have assigned, it is up to you to make sure you assign the tasks effectively.
In order to delegate most effectively, you need to understand the strengths as well as weaknesses of each team player. One tool I have found extremely effective in this is the Rembrandt Portrait developed by Dr. Michael Santo of RembrandtAdvantage. Dr. Santo’s personality profile is extremely effective in assessing someone’s natural personality characteristics relative to the position.
In fact, I would highly recommend you take the profile yourself to assess your own strengths and abilities, especially for leadership. You will find it highly enlightening and then Dr. Santo and his staff can help you identify those areas which you may personally need to work on to enhance your own leadership abilities.
Having each member of the team, or each member that you are considering for the team, take this profile will give you the information you need to know to create a strong team. You will find yourself relying on each member’s Rembrandt Portrait as you take on new projects for the team to ensure that you have the right people in the right places.
Your journey to becoming an effective leader is just that, a journey. You will want to keep your skills polished up so that you are ready to take on any new leadership position. Using this guideline will help you to sharpen your leadership skills and prove why you are the best person for any leadership position.
Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you). However, I only recommend tools that I personally use and love and I always have my readers’ best interest at heart.