Are You an Effective Leader?
Leadership roles and workplace environments have changed over time, and what was once effective no longer applies to the successful modern business. Businesses that used to survive using traditional management structures and run-of-the-mill techniques for their operations no longer can maintain their success in the rapidly changing business environment.
Effective leadership is the key to a successful business as the workplace environment becomes more and more driven by technology and business innovation. Everyone from the ground up in an organization needs to be able to change with ease, take appropriate action, and consistently institute innovation to be on the creative edge of business.
Leadership is no longer about being at the top of a pyramid and making decisions that have flow-on effects for the whole company. An effective leader engages across all areas of a business and looks for what can be changed and chosen, in order to build something different. Think of the workplace as an information network that can be used as a feedback system. Using this feedback mechanism, an effective leader identifies what can be changed, chosen, and instituted to “create greater” for everyone involved.
For example, there may be people in your business who are in direct communication with your customer base. These are the people who are getting daily updates of what people are interested in, what works, what doesn’t work, what could be changed, and what the general trends are in an industry. This is all vital information for your business—it helps you identify where changes can be made to increase effectiveness across the board. Sometimes your customers are the ones with the innovative ideas, but you will never know if there is no one listening and taking action to make improvements.
Modern workplaces no longer can afford to be inefficient. When leaders are empowering the people they work with, employees can easily identify areas where something can be changed for greater results. Everyone has been in a workplace situation that drives you mad: a door that doesn’t shut properly, systems that are so outdated they don’t make any sense anymore, or a colleague who insists on being right as he or she digs his or her grave deeper and deeper. The modern workplace demands these things be identified and dealt with. Vitally, this process must involve the people on the ground, so they can provide input on how things can be done more effectively.
When a leader is effective, he or she is able to do these three things:
- Identify: It is important to identify where something is not working as well as it could as soon as possible. It’s not about waiting to see what problems will occur, it’s about a constant state of asking, “What else is possible here that we haven’t yet considered?” A leader will always look for feedback from customers and staff, as this provides the information required to identify what could be done differently.
- Change: Change is about what can be done differently to constantly improve processes, ideas, and products. It can be as easy as asking, “What can we change here?” Effective leaders must be able to change quickly and easily. It’s not about getting it right; it’s about choosing something different, seeing what results arise from your choice, and choosing again. Change is a constant state of motion and movement—not a result.
- Take action: This is about taking action to bring something into fruition. It is the constant process of actualizing different ideas, concepts, and possibilities. Taking action is the constant question of “Who can I talk to, where can I be, who can I be, what can I be, what can I do, what can I add, and what can I institute to bring this into physical reality?” Taking action is not linear. It’s being willing to take each moment on its merits and asking, “What requires my attention today?”
Importantly, effective leadership is about being willing to choose what no one else will choose. If you look at all the great leaders throughout history, they have been willing to carve a different path, regardless of whether anyone else was coming with them or not. Mediocrity as a leader never gets you anywhere. You have to be willing to step outside the box of what people consider possible, true, or effective to create something that inspires people to new heights.
With these four elements, you, as a leader, cannot help but be successful and effective at whatever you do.
Gary Douglas is an investor, business owner, and multi-millionaire. He’s also a psychologist and an international speaker who empowers people to know they are the source for creating a life that goes beyond the limitations of popular beliefs and conditioning. Douglas founded Access Consciousness 25 years ago—a $10 million-plus global movement that now is practiced in more than 173 countries. It advocates a more human focus to business life as the only way to sustainable financial success. He’s written several best-selling books on finance and business, including “Rich Riches for You,” “Beyond the Utopian Ideal,” and “Money Isn’t the Problem, You Are.” Follow him on Twitter at: @garymdouglas.