Being an Effective Leader

Written May 7th, 2021

Post Tags: leadership

One question I often get is “What are habits of individuals seeking a leadership position?” Having spent time in the military and years in the consulting world, I have seen my share of good, and bad, leadership habits. Here are a few good habits I would like to share.

photo: Miguel Á. Padriñán

Lead by Example

Be willing to follow the same rules and practices you expect from your team. This habit will help establish expectations and build trust with your employees and teammates.

The recent workplace changes in response to COVID-19 have presented many opportunities to lead by example. All of us have had to adapt to remote work and stressful video meetings with kids or pets in the background. On more than one occasion my dog Sadie has popped her head into the conversation. I’ve also learned through frequent check-ins with staff that they are tending to work longer hours and experiencing burnout from never leaving the workplace. As a leader, we need to recognize how these changes impact work life balance and encourage employees to factor in breaks and establish boundaries between work and home life.

Communicate Vision and Goals

It is very difficult to lead a team if they don’t grasp their larger goal and vision. Refresh and remind your team why their work adds value and where they fit into the bigger picture. Be transparent.

Stay Calm Under Pressure

Challenges arise every day, and how you respond makes the difference. People often feel that they need to be perfect in every situation – but they don’t. Letting go of this expectation helps everyone to reframe challenges and stay focused on what’s important, especially during stressful situations. When facing challenges, practice responding overreacting. Take a deep breath, ask questions to understand the problem, and guide teams
through effective solutions.