"They show support to their team by being a part of the team." - Coach Sybil Kearse
There is a distinct difference between being an effective leader and being an ineffective leader and it is not dependent upon a position or a title. There are some people without the title or position that are natural-born leaders while there are others who are in leadership roles but lack leadership skills. I cannot stress enough to be an effective leader, it does take great skill but it also takes great courage. You will not always be liked, and you will not always be able to elicit a positive outcome from those you are leading. That's why you will need to have the courage to go against the grain at times, stand up for you people, correct those who need it, make unpopular decisions, and ultimately admit when you are wrong.
Being an effective leader means that you will need to have the courage to establish your leadership, have difficult conversations, and to make decisions that benefit the group as a whole. The problem with ineffective leadership is that they don't see the negative effects their actions (or lack thereof) may have on their team. In fact, most leaders absolutely believe that they are effective to some degree. The determining factor of any leader's effectiveness is primarily based on the team's output.
Let's talk a little bit about ineffective leaders and effective leaders to show the contrast of the team's output between the two.
Ineffective leaders focus on "I" and not the team.
They tend to think that it is all about them and not about the team. They are only concerned about themselves "looking good". They take all the credit for the team's accomplishments and rarely give credit to their team for a job well done that made them look good. When things go awry, they put the blame on the team. This causes the team to feel unsupported and which results in an unsupporting team to their leader.
Effective leaders know that there is no "I" in team.
They promote their team's efforts before promoting themselves. They understand that when their team does well or not, it is a reflection on them. They take responsibility for their team and understand that if their team fails then they've failed the team. They show support to their team by being a part of the team. This causes the team to be supportive of their leader and each other which results in a team that strives to operate at peak performance
Ineffective leaders live by the creed of "Do as I say and not as I do."
They believe that certain tasks are beneath them and they are too good to do them. They often break the very rules that they hold an iron fist on with their team. They feel that they can get away with taking shortcuts because of their position. They feel they have paid their dues and no longer have to put forth any effort towards the success of the team. This causes the team to have a lack of respect for their leader and their tasks which results in a team that makes more excuses than they make progress.
Effective leaders live by the creed of leading by example.
They don't ask their team to do anything that they aren't willing to do themselves. They don't look down on their team but look for ways to lift them up. They show their team that they are capable of doing what they expect their team to do. They don't take shortcuts and operate with integrity so their team can follow their example. This causes the team to have respect for their leader and in the way, they perform their tasks which results in a team that will go the extra mile for their leader.
Ineffective leaders rule with an iron fist.
They often have a misconception that being hard on their team makes them a good leader, but unfortunately, it does not. They often look for everything that their team does wrong. They never offer ways to help but often seek ways to hurt their team. They fail to correct the problem and become the problem. They use negative connotations when speaking of or to their team. This causes the team to feel unappreciated and frustrated which results in and poor attitudes and being nonproductive
Effective leaders rule with a helping hand.
They know the value of correcting in private and praising in public. They see an opportunity to help someone to be better instead of pointing out everything they fall short on. The goal is to build your team up. They accomplish this by using constructive criticism and setting reasonable expectations. This causes the team to build confidence in themselves which results in a productive team
Ineffective leaders make easy or poor decisions.
They prefer to make decisions that support their own agenda instead of supporting the overall objective of the team. They make impulsive and uncalculated decisions that offer no resolve. They avoid making unpopular decisions because they are afraid of the confrontation that may come with it. They base their decisions on personal gain instead of for the benefit of the team. This causes distrust amongst the team and causes confusion and insubordination.
Effective leaders make difficult yet sound decisions.
They make decisions that benefit the overall objective of the team and not their own agenda. They have the courage to make an unpopular decision because it is necessary for the growth of the team. They consider all probabilities and carefully weigh their options before making the decision. They make decisions to solve issues instead of creating more. They provide appropriate responses to explain their decisions. This causes the team to trust their decision-making abilities and causes the team to adapt to change.
Ineffective leaders have poor communication skills.
They tend to talk at people instead of talking to people. They use condescending tones and raised voices when addressing their team. They believe this makes them appear to be in charge when in actuality it makes them seem out of control. They do all the talking and fail to listen. They want to have all of the say-so and fail to give others a chance to voice their opinions or concerns. This causes failed communication with results in a disconnect between the leader and the team and results in the leader being ostracized.
Effective leaders use effective communication skills.
They know how and when to talk to people. They utilize active listening skills so they can weigh in all information. They are able to keep the conversation on topic without it turning into a debate. They speak in even tones and keep a rational approach when having difficult discussions. They do not become defensive but know how to be firm in delivering the objective of the conversation. This causes effective communication and results in positive reinforcement of the team.
Ineffective leaders are always irrationally defensive.
They feel that their team should not have any objections or feelings. They get defensive attitudes when they don't get the response that they want from their team because they take it as a personal attack. They get upset and that hinders them from being reasonable or rational. They storm away with a mouthful of complaints against their team instead of finding a resolution to the issue. They start blaming and pointing fingers in defense instead of trying to find out what the problem was, to begin with. This causes the team to question their leadership and results in their leadership being challenged.
Effective leaders are confident.
They respect the opinions of others. They understand that they need to be in tune with their team. They don't run from a problem but they establish guidelines to address the problem. They encourage people to take responsibility for their actions when they are wrong. They take a rational approach when dealing with a defensive person. They don't take everything as a personal insult or attack. They meet people where they are with the understanding that everyone won't do things the way they see it fit to be done. They encourage appropriate behaviors and effectively discourage inappropriate behaviors. This causes the team to be open with their leader which results in their leadership being established.
Ineffective leaders display favoritism.
They allow their leadership to benefit those who they like and mistreat the ones they don't like. They are not fair or consistent with the team as a whole. They abuse their authority and compromise their leadership. They discipline some for wrongdoings and turn a blind eye to others. They allow their personal biases to influence the way they treat some compare to others. They establish convoluted relationships. They ostracize their unfavorites. They put some on a pedestal over others. This causes a division on the team and results in a disgruntled team.
Effective leaders treat everyone the same.
They hold everyone accountable and give everyone the benefit of the doubt. They don't mistreat people based on their personal preferences. They don't allow their personal biases to influence their manner in which they interact with an individual or the team. They treat everyone equally with respect to their capabilities and don't have convoluted relationships. They hold everyone to the same standard. They are inclusive of all on the team and edify the team as a whole. This causes unity amongst the team and results in exemplified teamwork efforts.
Being an effective leader is critical to your team's progress and growth. If your team rails, then you've failed your team. If you've read this blog post and found that anything derives you as an ineffective leader, then there is some great news I want to share with you. There is hope because there is help. BossLady101 offers a comprehensive program that can help people reach their full potential. The "We Level-Up Success" Life Coach program offers Leadership Development coaches whoa re willing to work with you. Visit us at www.Bosslady101.net/services for more details.