“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”- Aristotle
Do you think that you are an effective leader?
If Yes, has your leadership effectiveness been measured?
These are vital questions that every leader who wants to create an impact should answer.
In a fast-paced business environment where you may be required to manage teams in multiple locations or lead diverse teams, one needs to learn how to be effective in offering strategic leadership, no matter the preferred leadership style.
Successful leaders have a combination of various elements that adds up to create effective leadership. Great leaders are often remembered once they leave office, as we can point out the initiatives, financial performance, interpersonal skills, organizational culture, and decision-making skills that helped drive the organization forward.
Leaders such as Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, and Sakichi Toyoda come to mind.
It is not far-fetched to state that leaders influence organizational effectiveness. Get a sloppy or incompetent leader, and the same will be replicated across the organization.
This calls for those in leadership positions to master effective leadership skills.
Leadership is both the art and science of leading a group of people to desired objectives. It is an art due to the human element, and science is the practice due to advancements that have made leadership a study area.
Leadership can be implemented in different ways: Democratic leadership, Autocratic leadership, participatory leadership, and Bureaucratic leadership, among others.
To be a good leader and deliver successful leadership, one must understand what effective leadership entails. This way, they can effectively lead teams.
Broadly speaking, Leadership effectiveness is the ability to influence a group of people(employees, stakeholders, etc.) toward achieving strategic objectives.
Many researchers have studied leadership effectiveness on how it plays a role in societies, companies, and politics. With varied viewpoints, one thing stands out: entities led by effective leaders have favorable outcomes.
Leadership effectiveness determines organizational success; thus, leaders must create accountability for themselves and management.
When evaluating leadership performance, most organizations focus on results, not the process. This often can lead to wrong outcomes as processes often take time to materialize.
Moreover, with so many different ways to evaluate leadership effectiveness, it’s easy for leaders to become disoriented and lose track of what is most important for their specific team and organization at this current stage in its development.
To avoid falling into that trap, it helps to clearly understand which metrics will give you the insight you need. Let’s take a look at some options:
Improving leadership effectiveness often combines many factors, some of which are learned from mentors, through training, and practice. Here are some ways to improve leadership effectiveness and lead your team to success:
Nurturing a culture of accountability for team members and yourself as a leader ensures that everyone becomes responsible for their actions. This leads to honest feedback when doing team development assessments and eliminates the culture of blame gaming that often passes the buck around without any tangible solution.
Setting smart goals- (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) ensures that everyone is on the same page regarding what needs to be accomplished and their specific role working individually or in teams.
To ensure positive outcomes, communicate goals clearly and ask for feedback before the commencement of a quarter or when doing specific programs.
Closely related to accountability is the culture of feedback. This makes it easy to learn how direct reports, management, or other team members view your leadership performance.
This will enhance leadership effectiveness, as one learns their weaknesses, making them a better leader.
Enhanced training, such as executive coaching, can help boost a leader's emotional intelligence, self-awareness, effective team dynamics, and ability to relate effectively with their team. Additional training is particularly important in understanding the science part of leadership on issues such as behavioral complexity, group dynamics, and effective leadership styles for particular settings, among others.
To increase leadership effectiveness, you need an empowered team. Such as, a team works with little supervision, enhances a leader's ability, shows greater accountability, and is likely to make smarter decisions.
Some tips for empowering your team members include: offering mentorship lessons, offering constructive criticism, encouraging effective communication, and regular training.
Inclusive leadership is characterized by clear communication, empathy, encouraging participation, relationship building, and facilitating inclusive meetings.
This form of leadership leads to success as teams feel appreciated vital in fostering a leader's effectiveness.
Leaders lead best by walking the talk. This way, they set an example and inspire teams to deliver on targets. Walking the talk can entail practicing emotional control, empathy, punctuality, integrity, and encouraging participation.
Managing expectation is a vital skill for leadership effectiveness. The best leaders know how to set and manage employee and stakeholder expectations. For example, they offer clear and concise instructions, don't beat around the bush on expectations, and are ready to be held accountable for promises.
A leader's effectiveness is underpinned by four pillars: Integrity, accountability, bravery, learning, and knowing how to motivate.
When evaluating leadership effectiveness, it’s important to understand which metrics will give you the insight you need. Each of these metrics indicates a different aspect of team culture and performance.