THREE PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP
Are you committed to energizing your workforce and thriving as a leader? I find that leaders who drive peak performance abide by three important principles.
#1 – Imagination, creativity, and innovation create new opportunities.
Historically, our nation’s greatest strength has been a combination of our creative force, our ability to imagine possibilities, and our innovative strides. It’s the bedrock of our culture that led us to be a world leader in the areas of commerce, science, and technology. The same is possible for our future if people’s full potential is unleashed, organizations are free to operate at full capacity, and initiatives are aligned with the goals of every enterprise. Otherwise, organizations in both government and industry could waste their greatest resource – human creativity. Knowing that creative innovation is one our most precious assets for creating new opportunities, effective leaders free the work of others to evolve toward innovative heights. These leaders achieve meaningful success by: creating what few dare to imagine; thinking beyond what seems possible; and helping others to do the same–imagine boldly and think innovatively.
#2 – Managing time, stress, and information enables sustainable improvement
Effective leadership takes a lot of time, but time is not the enemy of stellar leaders. Instead, it’s a precious resource to be managed as carefully as any project, especially when one is committed to offsetting stress. The best way to make the most of limited time and to reduce stress is to become more efficient. Efficiency is a choice. More accurately, it’s a collection of hundreds of minor choices about how we behave from day to day. Efficiency depends on a moment-to-moment conscious evolution in our behavior concerning time. As leaders, our time management skills have far-reaching collateral impact. By consciously respecting the use of time in the workplace, we are treating those around us as precious resources. Time management modeled by leadership is especially important in demanding work settings where time challenges are exacerbated by funding shortages, assignments that disrupt work life balance, and inflexible schedules. Time management for leaders is about respect for others, and managing time promotes the values and vision of leadership. Effective time management also puts into action one’s commitment to using sound information to make decisions. This involves making time to frame the right questions and get good answers, walking around and listening, and being visibly open to new ideas.
#3 – Encouragement, inspiration, and mentoring help people grow and flourish.
Another way to imbed effective leadership throughout the enterprise is to get everyone involved. Effective leaders encourage folks to achieve more than what’s thought possible by setting high and realistic standards and through ongoing discussions that keep those standards on everyone’s radar. They make it their mission to inspire people to question their own commonly held assumptions, think for themselves, reframe problems, and approach matters in innovative, collaborative ways. Effective leaders pay focused attention to people’s personal needs for achievement and development. They look at their reflection to take responsibility for poor outcomes, never blaming other people, external forces, or bad luck. But, when great things happen, great leaders give others the credit. Effective leaders also act as caring, compassionate, and empathetic mentors. Agencies and companies that have the highest workforce satisfaction ratings have top leaders who listen and work on resolving matters that cause employee stress and unhappiness. These leaders achieve meaningful outcomes by thinking, speaking, and acting from the heart as catalysts for improvement at all levels.
Possibilities for Our Future
By leveraging these three principles, tomorrow’s most influential national and international leaders can tap into and leverage the power of others in order to welcome a dynamic creativity and encourage openness among all participants on the world scene. This will ensure that cooperation is maximized and all of our best talent is guided toward shared goals for the greater good. This is how leaders will transform chaos into peace even as stress escalates around the world. This can happen when leaders commit to being beacons of energy and inspiration with the intention to make a positive difference. Every leader, including you, possesses the potential to make this commitment. As our future unfolds, leaders who energize and inspire will, by example, feed the sustainable transformation of our global economy and culture.