Effective Leadership More Than Just a Job Title

Leadership is often confused with authority or a job title. But authentic leadership doesn’t come from a job title or pay scale.

True leaders in the workplace move things forward through social influence, not authority. So what are the commons traits that make up a high-performance leader?

:: Leaders persuade

Leaders are masters at focusing on vision and winning support through conviction and skilful communication. That means selling, not telling. Effective leaders paint a picture of the future, then repaint the picture time and time again adding new colour and imagery. They remain steadfast and focus on benefits not the costs because they understand that patience and persistence are better tools than mandating or forcing compliance.

:: Leaders care

People feel cared for when they are recognised as individuals. We tend to trust people who genuinely care. Ever heard the phrase – ‘treat people as you want to be treated yourself’. Don’t do this! People are individual and, whilst we all have common emotional needs, what motivates each of us can be rather different.

One may love public recognition whilst another may reject the thought! Effective leaders understand that success should be a collective triumph. Your challenge is to demonstrate authentic care at an individual level, create clever team projects with measurable, achievable goals – and then step out of the way.

:: Leaders instil confidence

Followers chase glory – leaders demonstrate humility. Humility should not be confused with thinking less of yourself but more about thinking of yourself less. Yes, read that again! Thinking less of oneself creates more spare capacity to focus on others and more specifically, how your communication ‘lands’ with the people around you.

:: Leaders address what’s not working

Finally, your people need courage in their leader. Courage is not being without fear – it just not being stopped by it. Leaders can have difficult conversations and don’t step over unworkability in the workplace. It’s not always easy to address underperformance with a senior manager or valued employee who produces strong results in many other areas of their job.

It takes courage and confidence one the part of the leader – and their commitment to zero tolerance for unworkability. We know from our work in neuroscience that people who experience being genuinely acknowledged are more willing to listen and take action to address concerns. Effective leaders acknowledge good and exceptional performance in the workplace. This lays the foundation of receptiveness when they need to speak straight.

The thread that links all of the above is communication – both verbal and non-verbal. Humans have very sophisticated brain functionality which tends to pick up (sometimes mistakenly) what we perceive to be true.

Effective leaders are aware of how they occur to others around them. They manage this, they engage positively, they listen attentively and acknowledge openly. When they do this, they instil confidence in others and become accessible.

:: Dr Kevin Donaghy is director of Creating Collaborative Organisations (CCO)

Source: irishnews.com