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  • 1. How to Become a More Effective Leader by Leif H. Smith, Psy.D.Leadership is an oft-discussed but seldom understood concept. Common definitions center of concepts ofvision, planning, and action. Vision is important, and it is necessary for todays leaders to envision thattowards which they are leading others. Planning, which I define as the current implementation of a future-oriented strategy, is also important, though it tends to be an over-emphasized aspect of leadership.Planning is synonymous with managing tasks and people, which is drastically different than leadingothers forward towards excellence. Good managers do not necessarily make good leaders. In fact, mostmanagers make wholly ineffective leaders, as they are limited by both vision (they are intimately focusedon the current state of affairs) and action (they tend to be less "risky" or aggressive in their actionstowards goal fulfillment when caught up in the mundane tasks of managing). Action for the sake of"keeping busy" is entirely ineffective, and a waste of time for those in positions of influence.That being said, todays leaders face some important obstacles. These obstacles are magnified bycurrent technological advances, which allow for instant-communication via cell phones, pagers, instantmessaging, text messaging, and various other improvements in the way society keeps in touch. Thesecommunication devices, thought to increase our effectiveness, have in fact had the opposite effect ontime management. Therefore, the biggest obstacles for those in positions of influence today include timemanagement, resource management, and communication. What follows are explanations of eachobstacle, as well as techniques for avoiding the perils of each such obstacle. 1. Time management One of the most common complaints I hear from others revolves around "not having enough time to complete tasks." I am always perplexed upon hearing this. Do those who effectively lead others have greater amounts of this precious resource available to them? Of course not. What they do have is better time management skills. Therefore, to improve time management, change paradigms. Once you realize that we are all distributed equal number of hours in our days/weeks/months, you can better understand that your methods of spending time need to change. Some tips for improving your time management abilities: Schedule your priorities. Most people prioritize their schedule, and wonder why they never get anything done Forget about dividing time management into sections (according to your personal life, professional life, and family life, etc...). You have "one" life, of which you spend your time in different areas. These areas will expand and contract with regards to the demands placed on you. Sundays might be spent going over company reports, while Wednesday might be the perfect day to take your child to the Zoo for some quality time together. Remain flexible and schedule accordingly. Schedule on a weekly basis instead of a daily basis. How many times have you made out a daily "to-do" list and ended up not getting to even half the items on that list? Daily hassles emerge, and sap your effectiveness. Scheduling your priorities on a weekly basis allows for essential flexibility in your planning. Not getting something done on Monday means that you have the rest of the week to get to that task. Dont sweat it. 2. Resource management Resource management in the area of leadership involves people management. Those in positions of influence must be aware of what author Warren Bennis describes as "The Unconscious Conspiracy," which is the tendency for society to elect leaders and then inundate these elected leaders with mundane, everyday tasks that thereby dramatically decrease these
  • 2. leaders effectiveness. These tasks and daily hassles serve as major impediments to those attempting to lead others toward a compelling future. Coaches become bogged down by trying to settle disputes between players. University presidents lead at the speed of molasses as they attempt to assuage donors worries. It happens. What follows are some ways to improve your ability to lead others: Assign all unnecessary tasks to others. Learn to value the art of delegation. The more time you can free up, the more time you have to put into leading others. Surround yourself with "no" people. Find people with dissenting views, or those that will challenge assumptions you hold from time to time. People that can challenge us to think differently are worth their weight in gold. Get all the facts available, make a decision, and move on. Try to avoid fretting over decisions. Doing so is a waste of time. If you have the facts, make the choice, then move on. 3. Communication Communication is essential with regards to leadership. Great leaders are able to communicate effectively with those around them. Leadership without communication fails to instill purpose-the fuel for goal attainment. .What follows are some methods for increasing your communication abilities: Take personal responsibility when giving opinions or decisions. It allows room for others to disagree, and also sets you up as a person who is not afraid to go out on a limb. If your message is not "heard" by others, it is your fault. A good rule to live by is to take responsibility for others understanding your message. Explain things in terms that others can understand. Thats what metaphors were invented for, right? Use them. Connect feelings with behaviors in your discussions with others. It allows for them to learn that there is a cause-and-effect relationship between their actions and your perceptions. A good technique for doing this is as follows: "when you _______ (fill in the behavior here), I feel______(fill in emotion here)". Youd be surprised how effective you can be when you communicate in this manner. It enables you to keep lines of communication open, which is always a good thing. Services | Products | About | Articles | Newsletters | Contact | Home Personal Best Consulting, Inc. Box 1478 Hilliard, OH 43026 Phone: 614-870-8742 Fax: 614-870-8743 info@personalbestconsulting.com99 Ways to Become a Better LeaderJuly 12th by Chris Winfield inShare14
  • 3. Do you consider yourself as someone who’s “in charge?” Do you manage and motivateother people to accomplish a task or get work done, other than yourself? If so, you’reprobably in some sort of managerial role.But are you a leader? Believe it or not, there is a difference. Managers, well, managepeople. They sort out what it is that has to be done, and then make sure the right people doit. Leaders, however, share a unique vision with people and supply the necessary valuesand skills to move people to really want to accomplish things; leaders touch peopleemotionally. If you consider yourself a leader, or are interested in becoming one, you mustfirst understand that becoming a good leader is a process, one that never ends. Here’s afew tips (actually 99 of them) to guide you on your journey to becoming a better leader andmanager. Planning & Strategy1. Understand what the core principles of being a leader are. It’s not about power, but ratheraboutinstalling direction and influencing others to follow that direction.2. Do you have the character traits to be a successful leader? If not, can you learn them?3. There are different ways of managing people; Develop a leadership style.
  • 4. 4. As a leader or manager, you’re constantly soaking up information. Know how toproperly collect that information.5. Know how to use proper coordination between people and technology.6. As you build your machine, know how to maintain it.7. Constantly analyze progress.8. Be prepared. Not every disaster will involve nature, but the process of preparation can bethe same.9. Use prevention methods, keeping filth out of not only your trash cans but out of youremployees as well.10. If a bomb does drop, be ready to recover from it and move on. Team Building11. Know how to hire good employees.12. During the interview process, make sure to ask the right questions.13. Compensate: know when and how much to pay your team.14. Build trust; this has to work both ways (you trust your team and your team trusts you.)15. Develop and communicate your vision so the team can help achieve goals.16. Show commitment to those goals and ask the same from your staff.17. Understand the core value of employee inclusion and it’s effects.18. Interdependence – making sure your employees are sharing responsible principles.19. Guide your team by being a strong influence, and let yourself be influenced by otherleaders.20. Control the climate or the feel of your organization.
  • 5. Communication21. Make sure you are aware of proper etiquette, especially amongst other business elite.22. Ethics play a huge role in both the workplace as well as your company’s image in yourindustry.23. Strong public speaking abilities will help you get the message across to larger groups.24. Keep your employees up-to-date with things they need to know.25. Don’t be shady with your team.26. Be aware of not only your body language but everyone else’s as well.27. Improve your listening skills.28. Speak clearly and concisely.29. Develop your ability to negotiate.30. Make sure to keep your cool when dealing with difficult situations. Build Trust & Confidence31. First, be sure to really understand the definition of trust.32. Try to believe in your team, and work extra hard to find the good in people.33. Reduce your sense of competition, as well as the same within the company.34. In order to accept new people, things, and ideas into your life, you’ll need to have anopen mind.35. Appear more creditable and real by allowing yourself to show a little vulnerability.
  • 6. 36. Be prepared to face your fears, because doing so will conserve your energy andempower you.37. Know your strong points and when to use them.38. Work hard to improve on your weak points and shortcomings.39. Look at yourself in a different way.40. Exude confidence and your charisma will draw people to you. Time Management41. Setting goals will help you focus on getting important things done first.42. Have an action plan you can use to achieve those goals.43. Stop procrastinating, and you’re attitude about work will change.44. You can’t do it all yourself; know when and how to delegate work.45. Get rid of any and all kinds of distractions while working.46. Keep track of your life by writing things down.47. Learn to say no; you’ll save lots of time focusing on the most important tasks.48. Just like in college, you can’t party and study at the same time. Try to keep a schedule.50. Know your bad habits (and how to break them). Being Responsible51. Show character by being responsible for your actions.52. Be responsible for your name, brand, and company.53. Make sure you practice what you preach.
  • 7. 54. As a responsible leader, you must always be aware of what you’re saying.55. Create responsible employees, but also be responsible for their actions.56. Assume responsibility, even if something is not your fault.57. Take care of your health. If you don’t care for yourself, why would anyone think you careat all?58. Teach responsibility to others, including your children.59. Constantly work on building a strong team.60. Showcase social responsibility. Never Stop Learning61. Continue to build your leadership skills by reading management and leadership books.62. Subscribe to some of the many business and management magazines on thenewsstand today.63. Keep a leadership blog to document your learning.64. Don’t feel ashamed to take some online leadership courses; it’s always good to brushup on things.65. Attend management seminars.66. Find yourself a mentor; their wisdom will prove to be priceless.67. Hone your skills through community involvement.68. Don’t be afraid to learn from your employees and associates.69. Embrace new technology, for it will only help you grow smarter.70. Understand and learn from yourself.
  • 8. Become a role model71. Maintain a positive attitude – always.72. A great leader portrays strength before power.73. Lead by example.74. Demonstrate acts of chivalry.75. Treat customers and coworkers with respect.76. Be sure to dress for success.77. Always encourage others; they will probably encourage you back.78. Be calm and show patience in your efforts.79. Know how to properly manage life’s disappointments, both inside and outside of work.80. Value all life. Know When to Be Real81. Show your employees (and customers!) that you really do care about them.82. Know that it’s okay to share your emotions from time to time.83. Allow people to see your shortcomings.84. Try not to sugarcoat things because you’re afraid of conflict.85. Do not lie to your employees about what’s going on.86. Times will come when you have to put your foot down and correct employees when theyare wrong.87. Be sure to look and learn from your employee’s vantage point.
  • 9. 88. Promote job “ownership”, even if it entails seeing the ups and downs of business.89. For everybody’s sake, make sure you have a life outside of work.90. Have fun at work! It will show.. Give Back91. Make it a point for you and your business to donate to charity.92. Or, start your own charity or benefit.93. Help your employees learn and develop.94. Good leadership means sharing your knowledge95. Give raises to your team; just be mindful of how you do it.96. Recognize good performances and award it.97. Give your employees discounts and perks.98. Use your skills and knowledge to write a book.99. Reach out to youth and become a teacher.You may be thinking to yourself, “how can I learn how to be all of these things?” You can’t,at least not all at once. Understand that becoming a better leader can only be done bygrowing, learning and practicing. It will take a lot of time and even more effort, and is notgoing to be learned overnight. Just make sure each and everyday, both at work and in yourpersonal life, that you take the time to better yourself as a person and strive to make theworld around you a better place as well. People will start to take notice, and before youknow it, you’ll be well on your way to becoming that great leader you always wanted to be.