One of the chief goals of this blog is to encourage better leadership, so I normally write about leadership issues. My goal is to help you be more effective – in leadership and management.
In this post, I’m including the term management. I believe the two are different functions, but are both vital to a healthy organization. Therefore, whether you lead or manage a large or small organization or a church there are principles for being effective, which work with either leadership or management.
Who you say you are and what you actually do are often two different things in the eyes of people who report to you. So, effective leaders and managers learn to manage how they are perceived as well as how they perform.
Here are 7 ways to be seen as effective in leadership or management:
To be effective you have to know your team. People are individuals. They have unique expectations and they require different things from leadership. Some require more attention and some less.
Therefore, use personality profiles or just get to know them over time, but learn the people you are supposed to be leading or managing.
It’s not enough for you to know them. Let them know you – as a person outside of the role as leader or manager.
Of course, integrity is earned by experience. Be transparent enough they can learn to trust you.
Responsiveness should be a high value to leaders and managers. People left in the dark – or wondering how you respond – will never be the best team players they can be. Information is powerful.
Therefore, don’t leave people waiting too long for a response. They’ll make up their own if you do – and it’s usually not the conclusion you want them to reach.
You can’t be everything to everyone, and you may not always be available, but for the people you are called to lead or manage, you need to be approachable. They need to know if there is a problem – or a concern – you will be receptive to hearing from them.
Of course, I realize the larger the organization the more difficult this becomes. The key is to build systems – and even more so a culture – which allows you to hear from people at every level within the organization.
Over time, the team you lead or manage needs to know you are going to be dependable. The world is changing fast. It’s hard to know who to trust these days. We certainly need to be able to trust people we are supposed to follow.
To be clear, this doesn’t mean you never change. That would equally be wrong for your team, but it does mean your character and the way you respond to life (change, success and disappointment) should be fairly predictable by the people you lead or manage.
Follow through on what you say you will do. If you make a promise keep it. When you can’t support something say it. Finally, if you know you’re not going to do it say no. Plus, say it on the front end, in clearly understood words, not in a passive way.
Don’t say “we will consider it”, for example, if you know you never will. Let your word be your bond. Spend time building and protecting your character. Be the quality of person you would want to follow.
Recognize you can’t do it alone. Be grateful, rewarding, and celebrate well. Love and care for others genuinely. Likewise, display it by the way you treat people.
Hey, check out my leadership podcast where we try to provide quick, helpful applications. Also, I’d love to hear if you are enjoying it and any topics you would like us to cover. Plus, check out the other Lifeway Leadership Podcasts.