Firstly, no matter you who are and what you do! You are a leader; there is always someone in your life looking up to you, and following your lead…the truth is that you make a difference. The question is not, “Will I make a difference?” Rather it is, “What difference will I make?”
A recent study conducted by Wohoo Inc of over 700 global employees presents that poor management and mediocre Leadership is the No.1 cause of unhappiness at work. When leaders lead poorly or incorrectly, it breeds a toxic culture. It sends employees racing to update resumes - people don’t leave jobs – they leave managers, as the saying goes.
Similarly, if leaders lead effectively, it creates high performing cultures that lead to enjoyment, achievement at all levels and a whole lot more.
So, what does Effective Leadership look like?
Before you can lead others, you have to lead yourself and believe that you can positively impact others. If you are trying to lead a high performing team culture, you must first look at your own culture within and be on the journey of self-mastery (humility reminds us this journey never ends!). That is, what are your behaviours, norms and attitudes that you habitually live by? Are these high performing, effective & efficient?
I have developed a tried and tested simple approach to help Leaders successfully lead themselves on the journey of self-mastery – the 4P Method to Self-Mastery.
- Principles – Living as per your values and character
- Passions – Doing the activities and work you enjoy
- Priorities – Honoring your real Priorities in life
- Purpose – Leading from purpose, understanding who you are, what you stand for and where you are heading
A lack of self-mastery, meaning and purpose is a significant cause of hopelessness and despair within organisations and the world. Developing this level of self-awareness and bringing that to fruition, regaining the captaincy of your ship and putting plans in place to stay on your course is the foundational stage of Effective Leadership.
"Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power." - Lao Tzu
"I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul." - Henley
The most effective leaders create & develop leaders within their team and construct self-sustaining, strong teams that can easily thrive without them. There are many models out there on effective Leadership of others – if you google Leadership you get 2.4billion hits! That’s a lot of information and overload. I have simplified Leadership as best I can - I want to focus on three core questions in this instance. These questions represent what every teammate and follower is asking of their leader consistently.
- Competence – Are you good at what you do?
- Compassion – Do you care about me?
- Trust – Can I trust you?
Only when you have answered yes to compassion & competence will you genuinely trust a leader. Imagine a team's performance and achievement that responds yes to all of these questions when asked about their leader or manager. This admired leader is identified as:
- Never boastful.
- Act with quiet, calm determination; rely on inspired standards and live them, not inspiring charisma/speeches.
- Channel ambition into the company, not the self; set up successors for even greater success.
- Look out the window, not in the mirror, to apportion credit (or take responsibility when things go wrong and give others credit when things go right).
- Always willing to learn and develop themselves as people.
- Establishes an environment of accountability, collaboration and enjoyment.
- Provides opportunities for people to grow, both personally and professionally.
- Cares about the team and acts with compassion.