Leadership is everyone’s cup of tea. However, it requires perseverance and demands experience by assimilating hard life lessons.
It is a customary practice for individuals to identify leadership with a label or a rank. A CEO is a “leader” because his office directs the employees of the organization. Even a manager is expected to be a “leader” because of his expected duties.
Leadership is not a badge that one puts on in situations. Leaders do not transpire when it is “time to step up and take charge”. Individuals become leaders when they know how to conduct themselves and possess the propensity to inspire others to do what they normally wouldn’t do on their own.
While anyone can be a trained leader, our definition of leadership needs consideration.
Here are four signs you are spending more effort bulldozing a team instead of leading one:
1. You are emotionally unpredictable – As an employee, having to worry about what sort of emotional reactions will the leader have lowers work productivity and efficiency. On some days every situation is dealt with ease and on other days, the leader may throw a fit of rage for no apparent reason. These emotional inconsistencies give way to tumultuous situations at workplace and create chaos. As a leader, one is responsible for the entire team. The leader becomes the back-bone of the entire structure and only a true leader can take up such a huge responsibility.
2. You never stick to your guns – Nothing destroys loyalty of your employees faster than you not keeping your word. When you do not deliver what you promised, your employees start questioning your capabilities and authenticity. A leader needs to demonstrate hundred percent honesty to set a positive example for the team.
3. You point the finger instead of pulling the thumb – If your employee makes a mistake, definitely at some level they are accountable. However, on another level, their mistake may have been a result of a process you proposed. A true leader must know that it doesn’t matter how or why something went wrong, what matters is that one needs to react and move on. If you keep pointing out everyone else’s mistakes without accepting your role in the equation, you will be driving your employees to alienation and disrupting their performance.
4. You focus on the bad and never highlight the good – There is a thin line between inspiring great standards and harrowing one’s motivation. If you only point out mistakes of your employees, they will start doubting their effort all the time. Although sometimes it is necessary to highlight the mistakes and effectively work them out, it is also necessary to appreciate and value what they bring to the table rest of the time. Only focusing on their shortcoming will leave your employees lost in the dark and unsure of how to best direct themselves within your expectations.
So what are the competencies you need to build to be an effective leader? Dwell into some of the competencies you can build –
1. Influencing Skills – A leader should relish leading his team and not consider it a task or duty. A good leader encourages direct and touch debate and knows when to end it and move on. In times of crisis, the team should be able to look up to the leader and rely on his or her ability to take the right stand.
2. Delegation – The leader should be able to clearly and comfortably delegate both routine and important tasks and decisions.
3. Intellectual Horsepower – Much of success in life and work is based on gaining knowledge and skills and applying them efficiently to solving problems and challenges. Good leaders need to use their life experiences and lessons to work with the team and enhance their productivity.
Effective leaders gain expertise and unveil competence as they move forward with their role as a leader and acquire valuable experience on the way. Leadership competencies can be used effectively to select, develop and drive potential leaders of the organization. This in turn will help the organization to sustain competitive advantage.