How To Be An Excellent Leader

Leadership is an ongoing challenge. It is the bane of many a family, community, nation and corporate organizations. No family, community, nation or corporate organization can advance beyond the vision and capability of its leadership. So much hang on leadership it is important to address the issue often using varied media.

Repeatedly, those in leadership positions see themselves as lords and masters rather than servants showing others how to serve better. This is where the concept of servant-leader emanated. He who would be the leader, said Jesus Christ, let him first be the servant.

Here are a few tips that can help leaders to be effective:

• Begin with praise and honest appreciation: Everyone in the families, communities, nations and corporate organizations has something to contribute to it and something they are contributing. Find what it is your team members are doing well, praise them for it, and show an honest appreciation for it. There is a saying that if you deal well with the woman who brought salad, she would bring more. Everyone is moved by praise and appreciation into nobler acts. Leaders should tap into this age long secret.

• Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly: Nobody is perfect. Those who work with you would make mistakes. In fact, if people in your team are not making any mistakes, they are not working towards your organization or common goal. Mistakes are usually a good sign of activity. Mistakes should not be ignored. However, as a leader, when calling attention to people’s mistakes, do so tactfully and indirectly. Nagging about people’s mistakes would only achieve one thing, make them jittery and susceptible to more mistakes.

• Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person: It is good to let those you lead know that a mistake is not the end of their career with you. Since mistakes must be pointed out, though tactically, you could do so by pointing out your own mistakes in similar or other circumstances. When you review or talk about your own mistakes, it makes it easy for you to help those who have made a mistake, instead of criticizing them.

• Ask questions instead of giving direct orders: It has been discovered that when you ask for people’s opinion about a task you want to extend to them, they answer themselves into the solutions you are looking for. The leader and his team members in this scenario find the skill and commitment required to solve problems, provide or produce the goods and services required. Instead, therefore, of giving direct orders, talk people into accepting responsibilities by questioning. If you were…? How would you…?

• Let the other person save face: Wherever there is need for people to gather for a common cause such as in a family, community, national, religious, social or commercial settings, there are bound to be issues. Some of these would be the source of embarrassment. As a leader, you can get more from your team if you could help them to save face during these embarrassing or agonizing moments.

• Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement: Most of the time, what you would see in your team is small improvements. Leaders should be able to recognize these little improvements in performance, personality traits and other aspects of life of your team members and praise the efforts. Slight or simple improvements, praise every one of them. That way, you would have all your team members touched by your presence of mind and recognition.

• Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to: There is a saying that if you call your drinking water calabash useless, your neighbors would use it to cart away trash. The same goes for dealing with team members. If you set them up for being important and reliable, they would grow to fit it. It is a lot like raising children. If you give your children a high target, they would naturally aim for it to meet your approval.

• Use encouragement: Focus on encouraging your team members to excel. Even when a mistake is made, make it appear easy to correct rather than making it appear as if it is the end of the world. Help team members push for their best in spite of everything.

• Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest: A leader is a person who wants his vision and goals pursued and achieved. One of the ways to succeed here is to make other person see himself as a success in playing in your team, in pursuit of your vision. Let your team members see how they are benefited when they pursue the achievement of corporate goal. This is a lot better than dishing out commands and promising fire and brimstone to those who failed to follow.

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