Steps of being an effective leader
Although the effectiveness of leadership behavior varies from environment to another, often, in order to be an effective leader, one should not be concerned only with tasks or only with people. A successful leader should reflect concern for both tasks and people simultaneously. A change oriented leader
A change oriented leader is primarily concerned with understanding the environment finding innovative ways to adapt to it and implementing major changes in strategies, products or processes.
In order to develop an action plan to effectively lead a multinational organization enclosing diverse culture, an effective leader will need to follow the following steps:
- Plan Work Activities
Since leadership, unlike management, is concerned with handling change, an effective leader is concerned with and develops short-term plans. Such short-term planning ensures efficient organization of the work unit, coordination of activities, and effective utilization of resources.
Making decisions about objectives, priorities, strategies and organization of work.
- Operational Planning: Schedule activities and allocate resources among different activities according to their importance.
- Action Planning: setting detailed action steps, assigning responsibilities as in planning of what will be done, how and when will it be done and who will do it.
- Contingency planning: Developing procedures for avoiding or coping with possible problems.
Planning is a cognitive activity and thus does not involve submitting long and detailed written documents, rather it involves processing information, analyzing and deciding. however, some aspects of leadership planning roles involve writing plans, developing schedules and budget as well as meeting with others to formulate objectives and strategies.
- Defining job responsibilities: explaining and clarifying job responsibilities and range of authorities to each subordinates.
- Assigning work: make sure that every subordinate understands his assignments and the reasons of priorities.
- Setting performance goals: set challenging goals but yet realistic, clear and specific.
The aim of clarifying is to make sure every subordinate understands what to do and how to do it. The more complex the job is, the more clarification is required.
Monitoring involves making sure work is being done correctly, performance of individual subordinate and the quality of their output which then ensures the success of plan implementation. There is a direct relationship between monitoring and the quality of performance.
- Measure progress against plans and budgets.
- Observe operations
- Ask specific questions about the work
- Encourage reporting of problems and mistakes
- Periodically conduct review meetings
- Supporting and consideration of subordinates helps maintain a healthy relationship between managers and subordinates. A considerate manager will win his team's friendship, respect and loyalty. Subordinates of supportive leaders have more job satisfaction and show higher quality performance.
- Developing which increases satisfaction and performance of subordinates includes coaching and mentoring. Coaching which helps subordinates analyze their performance and suggests specific things that could help improve subordinate's performance and demonstrates a better way to get the job done. Mentoring helps subordinates identify their strengths and weaknesses and help them acquire necessary skills needed to perform well.
- Recognizing positive subordinate's behavior and their commitment to tasks. Recognizing takes place in the form of praise, awards or recognition ceremonies. Recognition should be not only to subordinates but also to peers, supervisors and even people outside the work unit.
- A Good Listener: An effective leader listens to the concerns of subordinates. They have some great ideas that will make the company a better business. Listening to what is happening in the work environment will enable the effective leader to make more informed decisions and display loyalty to co-workers.
- Show Enthusiasm: Enthusiastic leaders make work a joy. There is nothing worse than a leader who is not excited about being there. They come into the office lazily barking out orders and the employees dread coming in each morning. Spirits of the staff greatly depends on the enthusiasm of their leader. If the leader is a negative person and lacks enthusiasm so will the staff. But if the leader is exciting and has a positive attitude, this nature will make its way to the employees.
- Be Action Oriented: indecisiveness and lack of action can destroy a department as well as a whole corporation. The effective leader must be a person of action who will quickly consider all options and act upon the best.
- Show Empathy: Be able to put yourself in the subordinates' shoes. Express your understanding of their viewpoint by acknowledging feelings and ideas.
- Adapt: A successful leader should be willing to adjust actions and character if he's not getting the results he wants.
- Delegate right: Every company has one day had a control freak leader. This leader feels that for a job to get done right, he has to do it in person. This leader is spread out so thin that one day he will collapse. The effective leader will delegate responsibilities for various tasks and the authority that goes with it. Effective leaders know that this is not avoidance of responsibilities or laziness but rather becoming a more focused leader that can handle bigger projects and their decisions.
- Encourager: Effective leader is a great source of encouragement to people around him. Having a leader who offers advice and guidance to the younger employees as they discover their career paths and encourages those employees to better themselves is a great asset to the company. This will also build loyalty to the company and make great leaders for the future. It means a great deal when the employees receive recognition of some kind for a job well done, even if it is just a pat on the back or a note from a superior. They want to not only know they make a difference but also appreciate it when you as a leader tell them so.
- Reliable: A leader that all the employees can count on is the most important of all. All the employees and other supervisors know whom they can count on and whom they cannot.