Updated: Dec 31, 2018
Let’s start with a few traits that will help you become an effective leader. Primarily, an effective leader is people centered. A people centered skill is critical in every situation in which two or more people come together in pursuit of a common goal. Leadership should be a positive force. True leaders prove the ability to put the needs of the group above his/her own. A leader must be willing to accept responsibility and accountability. It is the responsibility of the leader to ensure targets/aims are met.
You must be able to influence others to buy into your vision and together work toward a common goal. Naturally, you must have a vision for the team members to buy into. The buy-in is easier when the team helps fine tune the vision.
To lead you must ask for opinions, listen carefully, and gather information. Surprisingly, you don’t have all the answers; but you should have all the questions. The use of smart questions sets you apart from the run of the mill leader. A smart question elicits information that addresses the team’s needs and promotes cooperation. Place the needs of others above your own. Leadership requires that you be consistent and willing
to sacrifice for the greater goal. This is known as Servant Leadership and includes the following principles:
Listen: Leaders value their communication and decision-making skills. Servant leaders must reinforce these important skills by listening intently to others. Servant leaders seek to identify and clarify the will of a group. They seek to listen receptively to what is being said (and not said). Listening includes getting in touch with your inner voice and understanding what your body, spirit, and mind are communicating.
Persuade: Servant leaders rely on persuasion, rather than positional authority, in making decisions. Servant leaders try to convince others rather than coerce compliance. This principle offers one of the clearest distinctions between the traditional authoritarian model and that of servant leadership. The servant leader is effective at building group consensus.
Concepts: Servant leaders nurture the team’s abilities to "dream great dreams." The skill to conceptualize an issue means that one must think beyond day‐to‐day realities. Future blogs will cover more of these principles for you to consider.