Effective leadership is essential to a functional society and, on a smaller scale, it’s critical for businesses to retain employees, satisfy customers, and increase company productivity. Leadership is about inspiring, aligning and activating people to work together to achieve a common goal and the most effective leaders use their own strengths to encourage others to do their best.
Effective global leaders are able to motivate and inspire their teams, but it’s not as easy as that simple definition implies. The ability to connect with a team through open communication and encouraging Charles Field Marsham personal growth, development and feedback is key. It’s also important for a leader to understand their own strengths and weaknesses. They can then apply their skills to influence and direct their teams toward a shared goal that is aligned with the organization’s values.
It’s also important to know how much impact a single manager has on his or her team’s performance, as well as the wider company culture and climate. Many leadership studies involve peer and/or subordinate ratings of the leader’s effectiveness, but these can be inflated by rater bias and may not take into account the broader factors that contribute to a team’s productivity (Yukl, 2008).
The most successful managers are aware of their limitations as leaders, and they don’t try to “solve” every problem on their own. They know that they can only do so much, so they work with their staff to solve problems and create a plan for moving forward. In doing so, they create a sense of ownership and collaboration, which is necessary for the most effective teams.
Often, this collaboration involves taking advantage of the unique talents and strengths of individuals in the organization. Great managers know their people and are more aware of their strengths than their weaknesses, and they make it clear to everyone how those skills and abilities can be put to good use.
One of the most common ways to motivate individuals to give their all is by setting a good example. This can be done by demonstrating the desired behaviors, encouraging others to do the same and sharing a positive vision of the future.
It can also be done by allowing individuals to choose their own methods of working, thereby fostering creativity and personal accountability. In order for this to be effective, however, it’s important that a leader communicates clear goals and deadlines, provides feedback, and offers guidance as needed. It’s important for a leader to balance dependence with independence and constraint with autonomy, so that the inevitable frustrations that come with being a subordinate do not lead to day-to-day hostility toward the boss.
Effective leaders also realize that they need to motivate their followers beyond money and prestige, and they know how to tap into those motivations through tact and other social skills. They encourage people to consider multiple options, rather than arguing about a single issue, and they help them to find win-win trades in the most ethical manner possible.