When it comes to being an effective leader, there are plenty of things to consider. Fortunately, this is something that John Dockendorf knows a lot about, having started several companies with renowned work cultures.. As a person who is seasoned in leadership and has worked in the outdoor leadership and educational sectors for four decades, he has built many good habits over the years. Moreover, as someone who loves to give back, he wants to impart his knowledge to up-and-coming leaders across the globe. Here is a list of 5 tips to become a more effective leader today.
Productivity is Key
One of the top tips for becoming an effective leader is to focus on productivity. No matter how great of a leader you are, it won’t matter if you can’t produce results. Therefore, one of the top things you need to focus on as a leader is getting things done. It’s important to go above and beyond expectations to ensure you are achieving results. This requires you to be aggressive in goal-setting while setting reasonable goals and planning for success. Getting up early (or setting aside time in the evenings if you are not a morning person) and accomplishing the most important, mostly big-picture things before day-to-day distractions take center stage is key. This allows you time to focus on people and facilitates their success during the work day.
Hone Your Emotional Intelligence
Another critical element to becoming a more effective leader is honing your emotional intelligence. Being a leader begins with building relationships, mediating, and communicating without bias. It means owning your mistakes while relentlessly focusing on the metrics determining the organization’s success. Focusing on being your best person, developing a growth mindset, not letting other people’s junk affect you, and staying true to purpose are habits that take time to develop and can be enhanced by reading, coaching, and constantly soliciting feedback.
Improve your Interpersonal Communication
Yet another tip for becoming a more effective leader is to focus on improving interpersonal communication. Numerous workplace surveys suggest that strong communication skills are the most important attribute of a good leader. Good communication begins by setting up a culture and environment that values feedback and growth. Building this culture begins by seeking first to understand your employees, learning about their backgrounds, mindsets, families, goals, dreams, and experiences. Once you have built an open and honest relationship and they know they have your support, you have paved the way to give and receive open communication.
Another tip is to address problems early, not allowing time for small things to ferment. And when giving constructive feedback, plan out what you will say ahead of time, moderate your tone, use questions whenever possible, and bring everything back to shared values and agreed-upon goals. Know the outcome you want before having the tough conversation and find a way to end the conversation where the individual understands the “why” behind it and feels good about how the conversation went.
Even seasoned veterans can improve their communication skills. The final point is to keep your public communication simple and easy to understand. Constantly focus on a few key themes rather than frequently changing your message.
Lead by Example, and Build Strong Culture
Another great tip to help you become a more effective leader today is leading by example. John Dockendorf asserts that leading by example has been one of his best leadership tools because it shows those around him that he’s serious about the values, mission, and goals he is promoting. It means exemplifying the habits you want in your employees; especially integrity, caring, curiosity, challenging the status quo, constant improvement, and taking thoughtful risks.
Warren Bennis says it’s best. To be a good leader, It’s not how much you know but how much you care! When employees know you care about them and the organization’s value, they are more eager to respond favorably to you and do their best work.
Leadership begins with the ability to thank employees for constructive feedback, establishing a culture of feedback and personal growth. The culture should emphasize being kind and helpful, prompt and courteous, and taking time out to have fun in the office. It means celebrating beating deadlines and delivering projects under budget, and focusing on the bottom line without losing sight of the needs of the organization’s people. Building the habits of celebrating others’ success and helping employees feel good about their relationship with the company, its leaders, its goals, and its mission are all key to creating a successful organization and culture. .
Seek a Mentor
Lastly, to be a good leader, you must be able to follow. One way to become a better leader is by seeking advice from a qualified leader or friend in your circle who has time to be a formal coach or mentor. Focusing on improving your leadership skills, and talking over the challenges you face, will allow you to learn how to be a better leader. This means you can discover your mentor’s best leadership tips and tricks. You can also ask them for feedback and perspective on your leadership skills.
Overall, becoming a more effective leader doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out process. In fact, it’s more about constant tweaking and self-awareness, says John Dockendorf. By taking the time to work on honing these skills, you will find that you can become a much more effective leader relatively quickly. In addition, no matter how effective of a leader you may already be, focusing on self-improvement before trying to improve others will easily earn you more authority and respect among your peers and subordinates.
If you want more information about being an effective leader, contact John Dockendorf at Dockendorf Consulting today.
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