Effective Leadership is the Key to a Better Lifestyle
Does it seem that the older your business becomes, the more it relies on you? Do you spend more time putting out fires than building them? Does it seem that there are only one or two people who are enthusiastic about your organization? Refining your leadership skills will turn that all around. Improving how we relate to people and bringing out the best in them will create a better lifestyle for you!
For productivity to increase, motivation to rise, and innovation to permeate your organization, people must be self-motivated. How do people become self-motivated? Use your own experience as your best example. We tend to be most excited about following someone who we respect and trust. We become enthused by someone who believes in something or some cause. We form a bond with someone who believes in us. When you develop a team of enthusiastic, loyal, creative people who work together and behave as leaders at every level in your organization, you end up with a better lifestyle – less stress, fewer fires, a more self-sufficient team, and more time for you to focus on what you really enjoy – whether it’s fishing, selling, golf, travel, or the bigger picture.
What does effective leadership look like? Leadership is most effective when the work gets done timely, creatively, profitably, and energetically with a great attitude and a low level of stress. Leadership is most effective when the people who are following are self-motivated. As we discussed above, people are self-motivated when they believe in themselves and in the leader. A leader can create all of this by enhancing his/her Emotional Intelligence competencies, adopting a Servant Leader attitude, and by mastering Effective Communication skills using the four social styles.
Emotional Intelligence: Studies have shown that what separates average leaders from those that excel is not their technical ability, but rather their ability to deal with their own emotions and the emotions of others. These 18 competencies of Emotional Intelligence can be broken down into four areas:
- Social Awareness
- Relationship Management
We can build greater respect, create faster development, and foster greater innovation by becoming more aware of our own emotions and managing them better, along with being more aware of the emotions of those around us. There are a number of resources available pertaining to Emotional Intelligence. One book you may find helpful is Primal Leadership, by Daniel Goleman.
Servant Leadership: The area of servant leadership is encompassed by adopting a serving/customer-focused attitude and by creating a company philosophy of purpose, mission, and values. A customer-focused attitude results in a corporate structure that looks like an inverted pyramid, with the front-line folks being most important and each other layer having the responsibility to make the workflow as smoothly as possible. The whole area of purpose, mission, and values is often misunderstood. In simple terms, they can be defined as follows:
- Purpose: Why we’re in business
- Mission: What we do to achieve our purpose
- Values: How we carry out our mission to achieve our purpose
Once these are developed and embraced by the company, all policies and decisions can be measured against them. Additionally, you’ll end up attracting people who identify with your purpose, mission, and values. A team of people with a shared purpose on a defined mission with common values is always self-motivated.
Effective Communications: As an effective leader, understanding and utilizing knowledge of the four social styles is critical towards building rapport with people and getting your point across effectively. The four social styles are:
The first important step in becoming an effective communicator is to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each style. The next step is learning how to read people’s styles from their clothing, body language, surroundings, and speech – definitely an acquired art. The final step is learning how to modify how we say what we say so that it’s best received. Having the ability to effectively make your point is critical ineffective leadership. Too often we speak to others in a style that we’re most comfortable in. To be truly effective, we must present our concepts in the style our listener can best relate to. This is the overriding factor in communications that serve their purpose.
You’ll find your leadership effectiveness skyrocketing when you:
- Excel at being aware of and managing the emotions of yourself and others
- Create an attitude of servant leadership and permeate the organization with it, and
- Become a master at effective communications
As you then develop leaders throughout the organization (and if everyone emulates your awareness, attitude, and abilities you’ll discover leaders at every level in your company), you’ll find that productivity improves, turnover drops, creativity abounds and demands on your time diminish. You’ll find yourself with the lifestyle that you want – one where you enjoy more of what you do, have more discretionary time, and derive greater satisfaction from your work. Not only will the quality and satisfaction of your life improve, but the quality and satisfaction of the people who work for you will improve as well. And after all… that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?
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