The Importance of Effective Leadership & How It’s Achieved
Let’s cut to the chase; there isn’t a successful organisation, business or company on the planet that would be in the position it’s in today without effective leadership. There are no two ways about it; effective leadership is one of the most crucial drivers of innovation, development and ultimately, growth. But what actually it is it, and how can it be achieved?
Effective and successful leadership isn’t about awards and accolades. It carries far more meaning and impact than that; and what’s more, it’s infinitely more profound than any title or honour that can be bestowed upon it – something that only comes through being earned and worked for.
From the above two paragraphs, it’s clearly evident that effective leadership is essential for the success of any business, which – as I’m sure you’ll agree – instantly begs one question: Is there a step-by-step guide or blueprint that can be followed to guarantee effective leadership? The answer is yes, and no. Sorry to be contradictory (!), but this will make more send as this article progresses.
So, without further ado, let’s see what effective leadership entails. To this, we must first take it back to basics and explore what leadership actually is.
Effective Leadership: What is leadership?
Now, this may seem like I’m stating the obvious or that discussing something that everyone knows the answer to (everyone knows what “leadership” means, right?), but if you bear with me for a few minutes, it’ll make more sense.
Before I understood what effective leadership was, I would associate ‘leadership’ with the person at the head of the company or organisation – and this is an easy mistake to make. After all, when great leaders are discussed in a historical context, only one type of name gets bandied around – that of the man or woman who was at the very top of the tree. However, in the context of effective leadership, it’s a bit different.
Effective leadership isn’t just concerned with those right at the very top; it’s concerned with leaders and leadership all the way through the organisation – at every rung of the ladder. Effective leadership is about having a company vision and executing it, which requires creativity, planning, resource procurement, identifying and improving errors etc. – and these can only bear achieved if every leader at each level is an ‘effective leader’.
The next question probably going through your mind is: ‘How can someone become as ‘effective leader’?’. Well, it’s actually rather straightforward (in theory; perhaps not so straightforward in practice). Effective leaders are those who can motivate, facilitate and promote effective teamwork and cooperation, and provide support where needed.
Furthermore, it is crucial to point out that leadership is a different beast to management. Management typically involves managing things (obviously!), i.e. budget balancing, logistics and things of that ilk. However, a good manager isn’t always a good leader. Of course, it is ideal, but the two don’t always fit together.
Effective Leadership: What Makes Good Leader?
The list of attributes that make a good leader is extensive, so we’ve condensed it down to those that we feel are the most important.
1) Decisiveness: Good leaders are aware of and do their best to reduce time-wasting. They make informed decisions with timeframes at the forefront of their mind; and, once a decision is made, they fully commit to it.
2) Lead by example: Effective leaders practise what they preach. It’s very difficult for team members to respect someone who isn’t willing to put in their fair share of the work. A good leader must set the bar – and then meet or even exceed it.
3) Vision: Not only do good leaders constantly problem solve, but they also keep goals in sight every step of the way, never losing sight of them.
4) Passion: A good leader has true passion for their job, the company and their colleagues.
5) Accountable: Effective leadership has its grounding in humility, the ability to take constructive criticism and being open-minded. A good leader will not let their pride get in the way of accomplishing goals.
6) Enable growth: Helping others grow is one of the mainstays of being an effective leader. They encourage learning opportunities and share their knowledge and experience with those who work with them.
7) Communication: An integral facet of effective leadership is strong and purposeful communication. This involves listening and considering input from others, which facilitates the dissemination of information and ultimately more effective and efficient teamwork.
8) Confidence: A good leader will happily step out of their comfort zone – and inspire others to do the same. They’re happy to try new things and take risks.
9) Trustworthy: No-one wants to work for someone they cannot trust; therefore, it is imperative that a leader is trustworthy, otherwise, they’ll never be the effective leadership this article discusses.