Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.
Almost everyone of us leads something. It might be team at your job, could be a Special Forces A Team, perhaps a volunteer organization or even your child whether you are the mother or father. Leadership is a key factor in their success and yours too.
Back when I was in the military in the Special Forces, we had good, not so good and even bad leaders. The success of the team really depended on their leadership ability. The trouble is that many didn’t know what it took to be an outstanding leader.
1. Focus on the Positive
People want to be right. Tell them what to do, not what they are doing wrong. When you tell them, “Don’t do this or that.” This or that is what they focus on.
Instead, tell what to do. Here is an example: “Sweep the floor from the front to the back,” instead of “Don’t stir up the dust.”
2. Assume the Person Doesn’t Know
It is far better to repeat yourself than fall into the trap of assuming someone knows something when they don’t. In any case, people learn through repetition. Repeating instructions help them retain them.
3. Don’t Exaggerate
When you exaggerate, people tend not to believe anything you tell them. Make what you say pertinent to the situation and believable.
4. Make Sure Your Subordinates are One the Same Page
If you have leaders below you or you operate as a leadership such as parents, make sure you are using the same language. You might mean the same thing but if one presents it differently there will be confusion.
5. Connect with Them
Make eye contact. Watch to see what their reactions are to what you are telling them and adapt according. Physical contact (e.g. hand on the shoulder) is a good thing.
6. Accept Feedback
Ask questions about what you are telling them and how you are telling them. Listen to what they tell you back. Make sure they can give you negative feedback without repercussions.
7. Promote Learning
Make increasing better performance the goal and learning the tool to get that goal. When they improve, reinforce the behavior and encourage more development.
8. Cultivate High Standards
People want to succeed. The primary job as leader is to hold people accountable. You help people succeed by allowing them to create goals that stretch them and then hold them accountable to what they said they wanted for themselves.
9. Be Objective
Don’t look at only problems and make hasty value judgments. Look at the overall situation and seek out solutions.
10. Limit Information
This may sound counter intuitive, but you don’t want to give out all of the information at once. People tend to go into overload when presented with everything at once. You have to consider the person’s ability to absorb the information, the amount of information, and the emotional sensitivity of the information. People will go more easily into overload when the information pushes their emotional buttons.
11. Use Mistakes
Mistakes are teaching points. Don’t use them to blame or put down someone. Use the After Action Review (AAR) format.
12. Reinforce Good Behavior
When someone does something right, praise it. Give them especially high praise when they do it without prodding from you. Even when the result isn’t necessarily what is desired, make sure you acknowledge the correct behavior.
13. Be Aware of Your Audience
Always be aware of your audience and if they are connecting with you. Make adjustments or even stop whatever you are doing if they are disengaged.
14. Teach your Followers to be Leaders
Train whoever you lead these rules so that they can step into leadership one day. Make it a regular part of your discussions with them. It will enhance their self esteem and performance in all areas.
15. Be Consistent
Don’t let small setbacks change the way you approach leadership. You have to have self discipline to weather the losses, trouble with school, mistakes. Stick wit the other rules above and you and the people you lead will be successful.
How can you use these leadership rules in your life? Let me know in the comments.