What makes an effective leader?
Updated: Jan 31
Being a leader is certainly not an easy role, but being an effective leader is a lot more challenging.
Effective leaders are not made overnight. It indeed takes time to be successful in being an effective leader. It takes a lot of skills, knowledge, and abilities to be one.
So the next question is, how to become an effective leader?
Here are some helpful ways on how to become an effective leader:
1. Develop expertise from ordinary things.
One of the characteristics of an effective leader is being an expert in different fields. They develop expertise by being consistent with what they do, no matter how small or big it is. We have to remember that, ordinary things when done consistently can produce extraordinary results.
If you want extraordinary results, you need to identify select few ordinary things that when you do or practice over time, can give you excellent results.
Usually, most people become easily bored with the same thing they do over and over again without realizing that exceptional results come from consistently doing a task. Small things that become your expertise. It may take you a year, two years or three, it does not matter for as long as you get the job done, and not just get it done but with flying colors.
2. Make time to identify the root cause of a problem.
An effective leader takes time to know the real problem in any given situation. One problem can lead to another. Sometimes we think of a problem as a problem without analyzing that a problem isn't really a problem but only a symptom. For instance, your income is 100,000 and you wanted it to be 200,000. That is not your problem, it is a symptom of another problem you have.
You need to view things as a symptom rather than a problem by coming up with a list of where you are and where you ought to be, and then identifying the gaps. Identify the gaps between where you are and where you want to be. And then describing each of those, side by side, of where you are, and where you would like to be when it comes to your leadership. Identify the gaps that are causing the symptoms.
When you are done with these, you will be able to find out the root cause of the problem or the most basic or the deepest cause of the problem. It is now the best time to provide an effective solution.
3. Think of all possibilities (whether they are good or bad) rather than using tactics in solving your problems.
An effective leader does not use tactics per se in finding a solution to problems. Tactics are important because that means you are being strategic in planning your actions.
However going in-depth into the root cause of the problem can save you a lot of time and effort. Think of all possibilities whether they are good or bad, or right or wrong. This way, you can have a better picture of which solution is going to be the most effective.
4. Acknowledge the truth.
An effective leader accepts the truth and does not recognize falseness. In leadership, it is important that you know what is real and what is not, what is fancy and what is certain.
When you do not acknowledge the truth, instead of you giving proper solutions to your problems, you are just creating another problem. When you know the truth, it will be easier for you think of possible solutions and take action. As they say, know the truth, and it will set you free.
5. Get rid of your childish behaviors.
An effective leader is a man of action. Sometimes you can't just avoid exhibiting some childish behaviors, like blaming others or whining, when some things don't happen the way we want it.
There are times that we tend to blame our subordinates and this leads to misunderstandings and arguments. Sometimes, we don't do it in actual but it just in our minds and bothers us a lot.
There are times when you just can't help but whine. Like for instance, you hang out with other business owners and you start saying bad things about your staff or nasty customers.
Doing these things are not effective, in fact, they are just a big waste of time and energy.
Instead of complaining and whining, why don't we talk to our team members, think of solutions, and get things done? Instead of bad-mouthing others, why don't we start disciplining our minds by freeing ourselves from any negativity?
An effective leader shows leadership through his/her actions not just through his/her words.