Shemeka Brathwaite, MSED is a peak performance strategist, keynote speaker, and coach. She is often invited by organizations, associations, and educational institutions to provide inspiring programs on productivity, leadership, and executive presence. Her immersive training programs help professionals learn how to implement new systems that streamline the demands on one’s time, so they can achieve more at work, increase their influence, and live intentionally.
When you’re in a position of leadership, both the amount and quality of your work output depend on your team and, consequently, your skills as a leader. Luckily, these skills can be developed. All it takes is learning the keys to effective leadership and practicing them.
Becoming an effective leader is certainly not an overnight task, but what's really going to matter is consistency in the process. A good starting point is using the following four steps towards becoming an effective leader.
Once you've mastered this approach, you'll be more than capable of going after whatever leadership roles you desire.
The Four-Step Approach to Effective Leadership
1. Believe in the vision. Knowing the vision of the team and actually believing in it is perhaps the most significant step towards becoming an effective leader. At the end of the day, leading a team means inspiring the trust of your team members. And the best way to do that is to prove to them that you believe in the vision.
What you should first do is develop a good understanding of what the vision is, and determine whether or not it's something you can live up to. Next, use every chance you get to "sell" that vision to the team. Show them that you live and breathe it and they'll eventually realize it's something to grab on to.
2. Be a good team builder. As a leader, you'll need the support of your team. In selecting your team members, seek people who can understand the vision and support it. Then, identify those who fit the roles they're required to fill.
Be careful to select the team based on merit, not emotions. Sometimes, when people recognize you've given them an opportunity based on an emotional position, they use every chance they get to play on your emotions for favors. You want team members who know they've been given an opportunity based on merit.
3. Be a good negotiator. Once you've been able to gain the trust of your team members, your next step is to master your negotiation skills. As a leader, that not only means negotiating with the team so the best results are achieved, but also succeeding at external negotiations in the best interest of your unit.
Negotiate fairly so others continue to trust you.
Negotiate smartly for the well-being of your unit.
4. Be a good delegator. Identifying an ideal team is a success in itself, because you know that the persons you've selected are capable of excelling in the tasks assigned. Now, it’s up to you to assign tasks effectively. Becoming a good delegator will involve the following activities:
Studying the strengths of each team player so you can effectively match tasks with the skill set.
Analyzing the potential success capabilities of your team so you can make a wise choice when assigning responsibilities.
Becoming an effective leader is an achievement you'll undoubtedly be proud of! You have what it takes to earn the title of outstanding leader. By using this guideline, you'll be able to sharpen your leadership skills and prove why you're the best person for any leadership position.
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