Leadership 101; 6 Fundamentals for Great Leadership

Leaders only have to get 2 things right in order to be successful; Direction & Delegation, everything else is a contributing process.

Leadership is the process of social influence, in which one person enlists the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task. “Effective leadership” includes the ability to successfully integrate and maximize available resources within the internal and external environment for the attainment of organizational or societal goals.

If you want to become an effective leader, you don’t “do the work”.. you “get things done through others.” You have to make the transition from using your functional skills.. toward supporting other people to use theirs. Your job is to prioritize the right actions to be taken, and then get them done through your people. You start by setting clear goals and providing clear directions, putting the right systems and performance measures in place, holding people accountable, providing support, and then stepping back and let your team figure out how to do it.

Follow this logic.. they’ll develop faster and you’ll get more done.  This doesn’t get you “off the hook”, you’re still accountable for the results of your team’s work, but don’t try to control everything that happens. You may think your way is the right way – but it’s not the only right way!

So what are the fundamentals you have to master in order to be a great leader?

Time & Energy Management (Delegation & Getting things done)

Unless you have your own plan, I guarantee you’ll become part of someone else’s plan.. and just wait & see what they have in mind for you! First we need to make our plan & second we have to align our energy with our actions in order to consistently execute on our plan and realize success.

Effective Communication

If “communication” is the activity of conveying meaningful information, than effective communication requires that the communicating parties share an area of communicative commonality. The communication process is only complete once the receiver has understood the sender. Effective communication requires a sender, a message, and an interested recipient.

Inspiring (NOT Motivating) Teams & Individuals

Nothing happens without inspiration! The key to motivating ourselves and others lies in discovering out what inspires us. In simplest terms, and at its root, to inspire is to be the cause of something. The Archaic meaning of inspire is “to breathe life into.” To those who argue that you don’t necessarily need to feel inspired to be motivated, I would complement that without inspiration, motivation loses some of its “mojo”.. it’s no longer scalable. Discover what inspires teams & individuals, and you will discover how to guarantee motivation on-tap.

SMARTER Goal Setting & Performance Feedback

Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound, Engaging & Results (outcome) based goals are the most predictable you’ll ever encounter. Anything else is guaranteed to set you up to fail. Performance feedback requires the same SMARTER principle, although in addition to it being measurable it must also be meaningful & motivational. In addition to relevant it must also be realistic and resonant. In addition to it being engaging it must also be evaluative, educative, ethical and empowering. In addition to it being results based it must also be rewarding and frequently revisited. Specific feedback & recognition of factors that influence Attainability are still key contributors for success feedback, but they’re not the only ones.

Recruitment, Interviewing & On-boarding

Hiring misfires can be costly to your business and the process starts long before the candidate even enters the room. Of the various ways to avoid costly hiring mistakes, the most critical for success are having a solid scorecard of expected outcomes and diligence in completing effective reference checks. But what separates the leaders from the “want to be’s” is taking personal responsibility for a proper on-boarding. When your new people come into your organization, how are you guaranteeing their smooth integration? What measures are you taking to make sure it’s an inclusive experience instead of an exclusive one?

Customer Centricity

Customer centricity refers to the orientation of an organization toward satisfying the needs and behaviors of its customers, rather than prioritizing only internal drivers (such as the quest for short term profit). As an effective leader, it’s your responsibility to ensure customer centric approaches that build important relationships with internal and external customers. Through this approach the “customer” becomes the central base from which the organization operates from and any decisions taken are viewed from the customer’s point of view.

Unfortunately most organizations fail to understand their customers and amend or fine tune their products/services in accordance to customer needs, which is a reflection on its leadership’s priorities.

How do you rate on a scale of 1-10?

Here’s a really cool & easy test to help you get a better picture. It’s called the 5 characteristics test.. ask your team to share with you your top 5 characteristics that most affect their success. The answer can be positive or negative.. and if you’re courageous enough to delve deeper by asking “why”.. or “tell me more”.. with an open-mindset.. you’ll be amazed at what you can learn.

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