SIGNS OF EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP
Effective leaders plant and cultivate seeds of energy. In an energized enterprise led by an effective leader, we see possibility thinkers who say, “Sure, we can do that!” or “How can we do that?” Their attitudes are, “We’ve got each other’s backs.” People offer help when they know you need it or even if they are not sure you need it. They have a high level of self-confidence. They’re awake, alive, alert, and open to whatever is going on in the world.
They’re always wondering what’s next. They’re never satisfied or content with the status quo. They’re thinking about how to move on to better or different. They laugh a lot. They invite their colleagues to do social things. They are other-aware in that they notice that their colleagues are stressed or upset, and offer to listen or help. Titles and formality don’t matter that much. There’s a clear decision hierarchy, but all ideas are valued.
You can find this energy in people everywhere. You meet them often, and you can see they have it. You can choose to find the people who are already awake and help them get brighter and shinier. In turn, your people will in part be a reflection of the attitude, traits, and behaviors that you as a leader display. Be the energy that you wish to see in your organization. Set expectations for what is acceptable. Model a positive attitude and communicate impeccably. People will follow in your footsteps, and you’ll notice the signs.
There’s more. One of the first things my colleagues and I notice when we’re in an energized enterprise with effective leadership at the helm is buzz. You can feel the buzz. There’s a higher pace and energy level. People are much more likely to be proactive and do things ahead of time. They offer ideas. There’s speed and proactivity that causes them to make things happen. That’s how they get more results.
Alternatively, it isn’t unusual for some people to underperform in any work setting. However, I assert that organizations don’t typically create deadwood overnight. In a seminar featuring Dr. W. Edwards Deming more than twenty years ago, a man in the audience asked, “All this sounds good, but what do we do about the deadwood in the company?” Deming replied, “Was the wood dead when you hired it, or did you kill it?” Everyone in the audience got the message. I’m sure you get it too. My point is that effective leaders bring life, vibrance, spirit, and vitality to their people. There are some people who are determined to add value and have a good life regardless; they just do it. Even if everyone around them is complaining, they’re happy, pleasant, and get the job done. What makes them stand apart is perspective and determination. They’ve chosen to be that way. They have decided the type of experience they want for themselves and for those around them. Those people are excellent role models and naturally fill the shoes of effective leadership. You may have decided to be one of these people. If so, I applaud you. If not, it’s never too late to change. You can decide today.