How to Become a More Effective Leader

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Would You Like to Become a More Effective Leader?
How many books do you think have been written on the topic of how to become a more effective leader?  Hundreds?  Thousands?  Not to mention all the articles.  A quick Google search on books on leadership came up with over 20 million results!

There are all sorts of opinions and theories about what it takes to become a more effective leader, but there are a few leadership development fundamentals that are common to all.

4 Leadership Principles to Become a More Effective Leader
Whether you are the CEO of a multi-national manufacturing company or a new manager trying to lead a small team of techies, here are the four principles of leadership that are common to everyone in a leadership role.  The best leaders and managers know how to:

1. Set Clear Expectations and Meaningful Goals
The best leaders and managers know how to set straightforward, clear-cut performance goals and ensure their teams “get it.” Each team member needs to understand exactly how they as individuals contribute to the overall effort.  And the best leaders share news of progress and celebrate each step in the right direction.

Committed employees know where the company is going, how they fit in and why their role is important to their career and to the organization.

2. Hire Employees Who Believe
All employees work harder and are more fully engaged if they find meaning in what they do. It’s easy to find meaningful purpose in an organization like a medical research firm that strives to tangibly improve the lives of others.  But there are workers who find satisfaction and real purpose in working with teams who are dedicated simply to doing the best they can do…whether it’s building bridges or designing the best mouse trap.

Meaningful work can motivate improved employee performance, commitment, and engagement.  If you want to become a more effective leader, design meaning into every role and project.

3. Give Employees a Look at their Future
Both new managers and experienced CEOs need to appreciate the value of providing a career path for their employees. There is little enthusiasm or discretionary effort put into a dead end job…and the opposite is true.  Give your employees an opportunity to learn and grow.

If you want to become a more effective leader, challenge employees with new assignments and projects that map to future career aspirations.

4. Show You Care
Get to know your employees on both a personal and professional level. This is the way to show you care and that you want to invest in their success.  Demonstrate your confidence in their capacity to expand their skills and knowledge by letting them make low-consequence mistakes and supporting them as they learn from those mistakes.

If you want to become a more effective leader, your aim is to foster an environment of trust, mutual respect, cooperation, fairness, open dialogue, inclusion, and diversity.

The Bottom Line
If you want to become a more effective leader, guide your team toward achieving greater goals than they could achieve on their own or that they even deemed possible.  You may steep yourself in all that has been written about leadership.  But the most important aspects of being a good leader are encompassed in the four principles above.

To learn more about how to become a more effective leader, download 6 Traps That Can Sabotage Success as a Leader

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