By Chris Young
We are all leaders at some time in some aspect of our lives, whether it be at work, on the sports field or at home with our family.
This article provides some practical tips on how to be more effective in our roles of influencing and leading others.
What is Leadership?
Fundamentally, leadership is about influencing others to enlist their aid in the accomplishment of some common task. There are different styles and methods that can be employed to create this influence, ranging from highly controlling and result oriented through to softer, people-focused approaches.
7 Tips for Leadership
The following tips are focused on improving leadership outcomes through motivating followers (including employees) to achieve their highest and best levels of accomplishment.
1. Be Authentic
Authenticity is the quality or condition of being trustworthy or genuine.
If your actions are consistent with the words you speak and the gestures, tone, and volume that you use, then you are more likely to be viewed as worthy of trust. When other people feel they can trust you, they are more likely to listen to your message and heed your advice.
2. Act With Integrity
Integrity is the quality or condition of being whole or unimpaired.
Similar to authenticity, if you speak and act honestly and reliably then you will be seen as someone who can be relied upon to keep their promises. As a leader, this supports the development of trust in your relationships with followers.
Acting with integrity also means that you seek out and willingly accept feedback from others, which assist your own development and creates an environment of openness where others will be more willing and able to accept feedback from you.
3. Be Congruent
Congruence is the quality or condition of the quality or state of agreeing or corresponding.
In relation to leadership, congruency is about applying our stated principles and beliefs to ourselves first, before expecting others to follow.
Being congruent enables you to act as a role model for others, providing them with a living example of your principles in action. This avoids the infamous “do as I say, not as I do” model sometimes attempted unsuccessfully by parents with their children.
Contribution is the giving of our resources including time, energy, ideas and knowledge to the wider community in order to support others.
You can clearly demonstrate leadership by actively participating in and supporting the communities that are relevant to the field you operate within and the team(s) you lead.
Collaboration is a process where two or more people or organizations work together towards achievement of common goals.
A collaborative leader understands the importance of also acting as a team player and in participating as part of the team for the benefit of all. This can be an effective way to achieve results and creates an environment of respect between yourself, as a leader, and those individuals whom you desire to follow you.
Pioneering refers to launching out into new and unexplored territories.
If you want to lead effectively, first make sure you have a clear idea of the direction or result you desire. Secondly, begin acting in ways that set an example for others to follow. As you trailblaze the new path, those around are more likely to be inspired to follow you.
7. Communicate Effectively
Communicate your vision and any specific actions you want to be taken using precise, succinct, clear, compelling, and inspirational language.
If you can communicate in a way that touches on the hopes, dreams and values of others then you will be more effective in influencing their behavior and, in the process, will build relationships that will support achieving your common goals.
By utilizing these specific tips and also considering these 7 aspects of leadership more broadly as to how they operate within your life, you will be better able to take action as a confident and effective leader.
Tools for Leaders come from FranklinCoveyÂ – tools for formulating and tracking your mission, values, and goals
Christopher Young is a senior consultant and executive coach with a broad knowledge and experience in financial services, project and change management, personal empowerment and information technology. His areas of focus include developing highly successful leaders, creating high-performance teams and implementing best practices in process improvement, project management and software development process.
White Water Consulting ( http://www.whitewater.com.au ) is one of Australia’s leading project management consulting firms, specialising in exceptional delivery of projects for the Financial Services market.
Achievement Coaching and Consulting ( http://achievementcoaching.com.au ) assists professionals to reach their individual goals of enhanced business performance and personal satisfaction.
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