Becoming an effective leader

Why is it that certain people seem to naturally inspire confidence, loyalty, and hard work, while others ( who may have just as much vision and smarts) stumble? It is a timeless question and there is no simple answer.  Why is it that Let your passion be a part of who you are as a leader. Lead with both your head and your heart. Do you know how to set direction, align people, motivate and inspire? Effective leaders periodically take stock of their personal strengths and shortcomings. They ask: “What do I like to do? What am I really good at?” 

Inspirational leadership is very important skill and you have to provide meaning and challenge, painting an optimistic future, molding expectations that created self-fulfilling prophesies, thinking ahead, and taking the first step, often with risk to oneself.

What are my areas of weakness, and what do I dislike doing?” Knowing your areas of weakness does not make you weak; on the contrary, it allows you to delegate to others who have those abilities, in order to achieve the common goal. Rather than clinging to the false belief that they can do it all, great leaders hire people who complement, rather than supplement, their skills. Working on your areas of weaknesses will improve your leadership ability – and recognizing them makes you more human. 

I talked to respected people in my organization and they said couple interesting things about leadership: it is important to have point of view, be effective and drive execution most of the time. Some leaders don't understand what they are doing, for instance they can bully people and be nible with blind spots. Most important thing is to listen for feedback and adjust while managing others and to improve as a leader of other leaders. You have to develop people, look what needed, understand where we came from and what do you want to do next, this is only way to grow with retrospect on the past. Purples of wisdom will show up and mentors with core belief will give you direction if they see leader in you, so you have to understand that people don't change, but you have to find strong sides and put pressure on people to improve, however it will not last for a long time and you have to be ready for this in the weak areas. We should always ask for debate on anything, ask quite people to participate. Constant feedback from mentors, teacher and people that you trust is crucial, but authentic feedback to others that follow you is even more important, because this represents you as a leader. Crucial conversations with coaching and talking about next steps in career are necessary.

On the other side, you have to be an example to do better, to be consistent and so much better than others. You have to take over leadership role if it is necessary and you truly believe in it. You have to treat people with integrity, honesty, trust and put them on the spot of ownership and responsibility, however your role is not to fix or change direction, but to stretch they thinking and ask what if type of questions, for instance: "What if system that you are building will be used by millions of people?". Microsoft has strong execution in our culture, but couple years in a row we lacked strategy. Company is too big and people are striving to ship something in the own organization, but they are scared to share responsibilities and delegate own projects to others, so they have dependencies on you and you have on them. We have to trust other people from time to time. Microsoft is building a culture founded in a growth mindset, creating an environment where everyone can grow and develop.

After this I stop being obsessed with trying to be the next Steve Jobs, and ponder how I can take inspiration from Gandhi's life instead. With this new perspective, I have more compassion for myself and others. Instead of judging myself harshly for not being special enough, I wonder how I can be even more loving, even more patient, even more ordinary. I begin to cultivate deep, close relationships with a small handful of people, instead of superficial relationships with many. The closer I get to annoying family members, troublesome coworkers and quirky friends, the more I begin to see - in myself - all of their faults. I realize I could be loved not only in spite of my faults, but sometimes because of them. My greatest weakness - my feeling of brokenness - becomes my greatest strength. It affirms my humanity and, ultimately, my true ordinariness.

Put your brevity to work not only in meetings and in emails, but also when interviewing, sharing bad news and making small talk with your colleagues. Even if you don’t consider yourself an expert in the subject at hand, be conscious that getting to the point is a clear indication of professionalism and respect. Another important thing is active listening and asking pointed, open-ended questions is the key to unlocking many doors. An essential to saying less is letting others around you talk more. Effective leaders take extra time to prepare the point they want to make before delivering it. Start by reviewing outlines and creating rough drafts of your key ideas in advance. Be direct and say what’s on your mind; don’t carelessly or inadvertently unleash everything that’s in your mind. Be disciplined to know the story you want to tell and how it connects together beginning to end. Effective leaders are great storytellers who love to share good, short and relevant stories while always avoiding the hard sell. Illustrate ideas with the personal and practical anecdotes people crave.

Winston S Churchill: We Shall Fight on the Beaches

Leaders develop a unique sense of professionalism about their image, their actions, and their communication. They conduct themselves in a way that sets them apart from their employees, yet, in spite of this separation, they still draw respect and admiration from them. To distinguish yourself as a manager, lead by example. Dress professionally, be knowledgeable about your entire organization, and when you speak, speak intelligently. When you've cultivated your own managerial image and become comfortable with it, you'll know, because you'll walk the walk and talk the talk of a manager without feeling self-conscious about it.

Great leaders are honest people. They genuinely treat people how they like to be treated, because they respect themselves and take others' feelings into consideration. Do you strongly believe honesty and ethical behavior form the foundation of success? If so, you too can join the ranks of other outstanding leaders who manage very successful organizations.

Great leaders are self-assured and very confident in themselves. Employees are naturally drawn to them, as they impart a strong sense of self-confidence. You know you possess this type of confidence when you don't shy away from challenges. Your confidence conveys a sense of calm during turbulent times, and great leaders do not waver once they commit to a course of action.

When you practice these leadership skills, you can become more effective at any stage of your career, regardless of the size of your organization. There are opportunities to learn leadership skills all around you; take advantage of them to improve your career and leadership prospects. You can be sport coach, volunteer in Nepal while disaster or a nurse. The new leadership narrative is not a set of competing alternatives, but a still-to-be articulated hybrid of both art and science, individual vision, and the voice of a broader community of stakeholders.

Any Given Sunday Al Pacino Pre-Game Speech

Self management skills include self-awareness (knowledge of your weaknesses and willingness to discuss them), self-regulation (the ability to control your impulses and channel them for good), and motivation (a passion for achievement for its own sake). Relational skills include empathy (the capacity to take others' feelings into account while making decisions) and social skill (the ability to build rapport with others or find common ground, win their cooperation, and move them in the direction you desire). To boost your emotional intelligence, commit to making the changes necessary to becoming an effective leader, ask colleagues for feedback on your leadership, and practice the five skills.

Changing your action logic requires significant shift in your thinking process. Asking yourself a series of questions to generate insights into the changes you must make to become a more effective leader. The questions: 1) Am I results-centered? Have you articulated the results you want to achieve? 2) Am I internally directed? Are you willing to challenge others' expectations in order to act consistently with your own values? 3) Am I other focuses? Have you put your organization's needs above your won? 4) Am I externally open? Do you recognize signals suggesting the need for personal change?

Being a product manager or team lead is about making compromises between what your team can accomplish within a given period of time and what your customers absolutely need. You will continually be torn between your team, customers, and business in an impossible race against time. The minor victory is in balancing short- and long-term product strategy, no matter if your product was conceived today or twenty years ago. Being a product manager is not about getting wrapped up in the fact that you have “manager” in your title. Sure, you get to call the shots. But you also get to be accountable for every up and down of your product. 

If you really want to know what people think, just ask them. You may receive feedback that you’re not listening or showing appreciation as well as you could be. If you’ve established an environment of honest and open communication, you should be able to ask about your good qualities and the areas you need to improve on. Your staff will appreciate your effort.

Being perceptive can also help a leader be more effective in knowing the needs of the team. Some teams value trust over creativity; others prefer a clear communicator to a great organizer. Building a strong team is easier when you know the values and goals of each individual, as well as what they need from you as their leader.

There is little doubt that great leaders communicate persuasively. They have a knack for imparting the right messages at the right time. Strive to deliver messages that inspire, motivate, reassure, and, when required, direct. When you stir an idle organization into action with your communication, you have communicated persuasively, passionately, and honestly.

Leaders take responsibility for their people's performance. When things are going well, they praise efforts publicly. When things require attention or blocking issues arise, they find ways to fix things quickly and get things back on track. When you can do this without singling out people for errors, or assigning blame to others to avoid taking responsibility yourself, you're being a responsible leader. Most reliable indicators and predictors of true leadership is an individual's ability to find meaning in negative events and to learn from even the most trying circumstances. Put another way, the skills required to conquer adversity and emerge stronger and more committed than ever are the same ones that make sure extraordinary leaders. For years, organizations have lavished time and money on improving the capabilities of managers and on nurturing new leaders. US companies alone spend almost $14 billion annually on leadership development. The skill that mattered most was the ability to persuade and motivate peers without the formal authority of 3 direct line management.

Setting direction, align people, motivating and inspiring. Leadership's function is to produce change. Setting the direction of that change, therefore, is essential work. It's also inductive work: leaders must search for patterns and relationships among market and competitive forces. Setting direction results in a compelling vision and the overarching strategies for realizing it.  Leaders must look for the right fit between people and the vision. They need to use communication to get a large number of people ( inside and outside the organization) to believe in an alternative future and then to take initiative based on the at shared vision.  High energy is essential to overcoming barriers to change.

Transformational leadership involves motivating others to do more than they originally intended and often even more than they thought possible. This can happen when a person goes from doing a task for the money to doing it because she or he identifies and takes pride in what is produced. What is good enough to be paid for is not always good enough to take pride in. This gap is what transformational leadership tends to reduce in individuals, teams, and even organizations. In sum, true transformational leaders raise the level of identification, moral maturity, and perspective of those they lead. Over time, they develop their followers into leaders. They broaden and enlarge the interests of those they lead. Their shadows are much deeper and longer in terms of their effects on others, and by and large they are very positive shadows over time.

Leadership is idealized when followers seek to identify with their leaders and to emulate them. The leadership inspires followers with challenge and persuasion by providing meaning and understanding regarding the actions required. At the core is identification, which drives people to achieve the vision. The leadership is intellectually stimulating, expanding the followers' use of their abilities to question not only other people's perspectives but also their own, even the most deeply rooted ones. Finally, the leadership is individually considerate, providing followers with support, mentoring, and coaching. Often, an idealized leader is perceived as being the central force in moving a group forward and the person who sees what she or he should be doing next: both with them and ahead of them.

The transformational leader pays special attention to each individual's needs for achievement and growth by acting as coach, mentor, teacher, facilitator, confidant, and counselor. Followers and colleagues are developed to successively higher levels of potential on a continuous basis, paralleling the type of continuous process improvement that is sometimes observed in highly effective total quality/ lean systems.

Since the 1930s, democratic and participative leadership has been pronounced as the modem way to build the intelligent, learning organization. Indeed, most managers have learned that, before making a decision, it pays to consult with those who will implement the decision, although fewer pursue a democratic vote or strive for consensus in a participative discussion with all those involved and affected by their decisions. There are many good reasons for encouraging shared decision making, empowering followers, and self-managing, not least of which is that it is your job as a leader to develop followers into leaders.

 "It's not what you tell them; it is what they hear." We must make sure that what was heard was what the speaker intended us to hear. Such leaders may not always get the concerns right, but you have to give them credit for trying.

References

http://www.wingclips.com/movie-clips/the-adjustment-bureau/authentic-speech?play=1 (Links to an external site.)

http://amj.aom.org/content/55/5/1053.abstract

Summary

So leaders have to know how to touch people at their deepest levels - by stirring in them a sense of belonging, idealism, and self-esteem. Lastly, business professionals know that in order to achieve success, they must commit to lifelong learning and skill building. Enrolling in online business courses is one route to improving your leadership skill set, and earning valuable leadership certification. So I decided to pursue TMMBA program to expand my leadership skills and get valuable diploma. Becoming an effective leader is not a one-time thing. It takes time to learn and practice leadership skills until they become a part of you. Just as a coach would view an athlete’s muscle pain as a proper response to training, leaders who are stretching themselves should also feel some discomfort as they struggle to reach new levels of leadership performance.

becoming an effective leader

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