10 tips for effective and sustainable leadership
A checklist for leaders that really helps you improve.
We regularly come across experienced managers struggling with the same issues in various consultancy assignments, coaching conversations or during training sessions. Despite many years of experience, a great deal of knowledge, and often being surrounded by good management teams, it turns out to be difficult to be critical of ourselves. It is ingrained into our system; if something is not working properly, we need to work harder. More hours and new spreadsheets need to be created to get a grip on KPIs. However, working smarter is still better than working harder. We are placing too much emphasis on the manager role when under pressure, while at the same time we need to focus more on the coach and leader roles.
What does this mean? The answer is obvious. Ask more questions and empower our people more. That’s logical, I hear the reader think. And yet this rarely works, despite or perhaps because it is not an exact science. On paper, we all know how things should be done, but if we are actually at the helm ourselves, practice proves a lot more difficult.
Here we share 10 tips on how to get more into that leadership role. Tips that help you continuously improve. Think of it as a mirror that we hold up regularly. Challenge yourself and ask yourself to what extent you comply with these tips. Not just now, but often. Only then are we really improving. Only then are you leading!
#1 Provide feedback
Some time ago, in a coaching conversation with a CEO, I was reminded of an old Indian proverb that is difficult to translate but means something like: you can wash your body with soap, but inside we only wash ourselves with feedback. And it’s true. Everyone needs feedback to grow. The blind spots we all have can only be reduced by asking others what we can do better. Asking for feedback is the first and most necessary step towards personal development. For effective support, take a look at the possibilities with the LiDRS model®. An online tool specially created for effective leadership development.
#2 Regulate resistance
One of the most important indicators for the effectiveness of a management team is the degree of resistance provide. If I present a plan in a meeting and no-one presents a counter-argument, asks a question or comes up with an alternative, then all my alarm bells start ringing. That’s how it should be with you. The fact is, the team knows more than you as an individual. Resistance allows for ownership but also for an improvement of the plan and even for alternative options if it does not work out as planned.
#3 Radiate confidence
Leadership is partly about the perception and acceptance of yourself in a leadership position. You are granted that much. We don’t give you that position because you’re so nice, but because we rely on results. By radiating self-confidence about the result to be achieved, it is easier to gain the confidence of your people. If you lack experience and therefore cannot fall back on authority based on ’factual knowledge’, then it is important that you radiate confidence and, above all, dare to ask. Be curious, keep asking and express confidence.
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