Leadership is a huge responsibility that requires a tremendous deal of patience, intelligence, courage, people management, and several other skills to play the role effectively. Whether at the workplace or other, you cannot underestimate the significance of good leadership. It is perhaps why about 83% of employers believe leadership development is crucial at all stages of professional life. Change is also an inevitable aspect of life and will be required for growth to occur. And especially in the digital age where change is rapid, it is also vital to show effective leadership to reap the benefits fully. Here are some things leaders do to drive change wherever they are.
Communication is the driving tool for change. People need to listen, understand, and buy into the ideas you propagate, which successful leaders know. The secret behind effective communication is the packaging of the ‘whats’ and ‘whys.’ Unfortunately, people without a clear understanding of this fundamental element turn their focus only on ‘what,’ without seeing the need to involve the other.
Moreover, it makes a lot of sense when the communicated message carries values that ‘followers’ can identify with. Indeed, communication is an art as well as a leadership act. By mastering it, leaders find it easier and even convenient to channel ideas and thought patterns that others can grasp and hit the ground running.
- Identify problems quickly
Often, people see leadership as the final point where solutions originate, and it is rightfully so. In another breath, it also means that people expect leaders to have the skill to identify problems before they escalate. Admittedly, anticipating potential snares can be a bit of a challenge, especially when you have inadequate experience in that regard. For others, though, this comes as a natural character trait. In other words, they are more proactive than reactive.
For example, a startup company realizes that its operations will depend on electricity more than other businesses. Therefore, as a preemptive measure, an entrepreneur with good leadership traits will quickly realize that their operations may need an alternative power source to complement business. It makes sense to contact solar providing companies to see how their intervention can help in this situation.
Understandably, problem-solving is a laudable trait, but a more crucial skill is the ability to anticipate a bad situation. Undoubtedly, this seems to be a trait that successful leaders possess which helps them excel in their various roles.
Apart from mastering the art of communication, influential leaders seem to possess a natural flair to bring people together. For this to happen smoothly, it is vital to include people in the decision-making process. Once they feel like a crucial part of the establishment, it becomes easier to bring them together to achieve a joint mission. Engaging people helps drives productivity and creates a sense of purpose. Collaboration also makes it easier for people to brainstorm and work as a unit to resolve problems that need attending to.
Successful leaders essentially know that shirking the responsibility of bringing people together breeds the ‘silo attitude.’ This is when people feel better working alone and refuse to involve any member of the group they are supposed to associate with. This is unhealthy for any team and can become the conduit for disunity, discord, and unwelcome competition.
- Initiate positive actions
It is not far from the truth to assume that taking the initiative should always start from the top. A leader who initiates positive action builds a significant following. In the business setting, this involves the targeted action that follows words. Indeed, words without action are interpreted as empty promises. That explains the need to evaluate the existing situation before initiating any action.
Usually, inexperienced leaders will stop at the communication part and leave initiation to the team. Although more experienced leaders sometimes use this, it can be pretty disruptive when used by novices. Therefore, when initiation starts at the top, it can become the guide or blueprint for others to follow.
Strategizing refers to planning, organizing, and managing steps and actions to arrive at a targeted goal. Again, strategizing has elements of timelines, setting priorities, making resources available, and delegating tasks. Indeed, there is more to it than mere planning without knowing what the overall purpose is. Successful leaders ensure that their action plan fits into the original message communicated from the beginning.
They understand that by veering from the message and communicated purpose, they risk creating confusion and awkwardness. A good leader knows that an effective strategy creates a strong foundation for objectives and missions. Without it, it could be challenging to attain positive results either in the short or long term.
- Challenging and testing standard approaches
What’s a good leader if they cannot test or challenge standards? This has nothing to do with being disruptive. Instead, it is the character trait that moves an excellent leader to check for existing practices to see how they can be changed for the better. Sometimes, people settle for the standard way of doing things only because it has been the status quo for years. Unfortunately, this attitude has the potential to reduce or stop creativity.
Effecting positive change is to establish better processes, methods, and procedures for the general good. The exciting bit about this point is that the masses usually follow without argument when it’s successful. Indeed, in the world of leadership, nothing is carved in stone.
- Building trust
This has more to do with nurturing people’s perceptions to a degree where trust and loyalty can be built. When people trust good leadership, it is a signal that the message communicated initially has been understood. It is also a sign of confidence in their leaders. It is not easy to have others build their trust in you. Therefore, the best you can do when you have it is to put it into good use as a leader. Losing that trust could jeopardize all the hard work you put in to earn it in the first place. Trust is a critical tool to effect change, and the sooner you acknowledge that, the better.
- Open to change and self-development
As the saying goes, ‘there is no end to learning new things.’ As a leader, this is something you cannot play around with. Experienced leaders know that one of the secrets to effecting change is being open to ideas and learning new ways of doing things. Society is dynamic, which explains why change is the only constant. Therefore, it might be impossible to excel at your role without self-development as the years go by.
Several decades before the computer became a tool for change, and society had peculiar ways of effecting change. Today, however, things have changed. Digitization is leading transformation and innovation. Therefore, as a leader who intends to effect positive change, you will find it helpful to adapt to the new ways of doing things.
Making these timely adjustments makes it more convenient and even easier to use new knowledge to your advantage. Successful leaders never take on the I-know-it-all attitude. Therefore, if you want to become someone people admire for all the right reasons, it helps to see the positives in being open to change.
To conclude, becoming a good leader is not arriving at your destination. On the contrary, it is a continuous learning process to keep getting better at the role. If you rest on your oars now, you may miss out on the opportunities to enhance your leadership skills.