November 9, 2012
As I’m thinking about the flavor of the day, nothing strikes me more than the topic of effective leadership. Countless books have been written on how to be a better leader. The proliferation of resources on this topic is mind-boggling. Is it about the latest research? Or about the science of leadership? Perhaps it’s about how one relates to the author. Or perhaps people are trying to find a silver bullet to become an effective leader.
In today’s world, unfortunately, there will be many flavors and a thousand answers. As cliché as it sounds, there are no right or wrong answers to any of these questions. Some leaders are tyrannical, some are visionary, and some are collaborators.
I believe that a successful leader would be one that achieves their goals in a positive and sustainable way. In other words, there really are no hard rules of leadership. Everyone will ultimately find their way and their own style that exemplifies them.
What about the employees? What do they think? Gallup, in a poll that stretched from 2005 – 2008 (Rath, Conchie, 2008), asked 10,000 respondents to come up with “three words that best describe the leader that contributed to their lives”. These four most common responses from employees were:
Therefore if you want to be an impactful leader the answer seems relatively simple; instill and earn your employees trust, be compassionate, achieve stability, and most importantly have endless amounts of energy to provide hope of a better desired future state. These 4 words represent the foundation on which leaders should strive to achieve. These may be the basic fundamentals that drive positive employee engagement. By instilling trust, compassion, stability and hope, the successful leader will be able to have everyone on the same bus and heading in the same direction.
Then how do you measure if you are an effective leader? I think this answer is also simple, think about what you want your colleagues to say about you at your retirement party. Live and lead everyday as if your retirement is tomorrow.
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