4: Effective Leadership

The First Steps

What is Leadership

  • The ability to inspire others around a common goal
  • The skill to use your abilities to enable others to learn, grow and develop without fear
  • The awareness to know when to push, when to pull and when to step back

What it isn’t…

  • It’s not about day to day managing. You are beyond delegating tasks now
  • It’s not about control. You should be considering how to cede control to others
  • It’s not about making all the decisions. You need to generate consensus and ownership

Where could you start?

Firstly, don’t panic, becoming an effective leader is a long game. Start by looking in the mirror and begin to understand yourself. How do you react to certain situations? How do you tend to make decisions?

Leadership requires an ability to manage and moderate your own behaviour while understanding how your actions, tone and body language can impact on the team around you.

The more balanced you can be the more easily your colleagues will be able to relate to you. If you wear your heart on your sleeve and tend to be mercurial, your colleagues won’t know what or who to expect every time you walk through the door!

As you judge and manage a team, your team do exactly the same to you, observing how well you handle internal conflict, recruit staff, how you reward success and respond to failure.

Secondly, complete some simple diagnostic questionnaires that will provide some insight about you and your colleagues. What motivates them? How do they like to work? What style of task do they respond well to? Who works well in isolation and who works more efficiently as part of a team? Consider Honey & Mumford; Learning Styles and Belbin; Team Roles as good start points.

Once you understand and can interpret the style and preferences of those around you, you will be able to balance your behaviour whatever situation you face, provide relevant support and empathy whilst helping your colleagues to achieve your shared goals.

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