Dwight D. Eisenhower once said,
The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.
Leadership has got multiple facets, each one of which plays a key role in the success of the leader. Everyone wants to become a leader. Leaders are responsible for the success or the failure of the organisation and if they effectively manage the people, culture and work in the organisation, no one can stop the organisation from achieving heights. All these facts have been well documented in various business books.
We have enlisted 10 leadership tricks that have been well documented in top business books and which all the budding and aspiring entrepreneurs must inculcate and imbibe in their daily routines.
1. Empathise with your employees and see the results
Daniel Goleman in his book Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence relates Emotional Intelligence with leadership. He describes how leaders can positively influence the people they lead so that they can work at their best potential.
If you empathize with people and understand their emotions you can learn about things like ‘what motivates them?’, ‘What are the different problems faced by them’ and ‘How can you help them grow?’ It you want to become an effective leader, you need to influence your employees which is possible only if you are emotionally intelligent.
Being empathetic to your employees, you can get the insights about inside the organisation as well as outside it by developing a healthy equation with your employees.
2. Develop your employees’ strength
You employees are front ending your business and hence it is your top most responsibility to make sure that you build their strength. Tom Rath and Barie Conchie in their book Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, And Why People Follow explains that effective leaders focus on developing strengths of the people instead of managing their weaknesses.
By understanding their strengths you can use them to become successful in academic, career and personal success. It can help you become a successful leader because now you will be able to identify strengths of other people and recruit them accordingly.
3. Motivating your employees is better compared to demotivating
Daniel Pink in his book Drive: The Surprising Truth about what motivates us, mentions about how to connect the dots between motivation and Organisation Effectiveness.
The reason behind the continuing success of an organisation is the Motivation. Not just external motivation of the employees is important, internal motivation plays a crucial role in the long term success of the organisation.If the employees are internally motivated they’ll trust the values of the organisation, put in extra effort and be ethical.
4. Leadership must be a value imbibed into the team
Leadership is not just for the top management, it must be inculcated in the entire team. Becoming a leader and leading a team is an achievement, but when the responsibilities of the leader becomes overwhelming, the achievement can soon turn into a nightmare. Rather than having a single leader loaded with work, developing a team of leaders with each member acting as a leader can help in developing a team with excellent team coordination. By growth of each employee ultimately the organisation grows. This idea is suggested by Paul Gustavson and Stewart Cliff in their book ‘A team of Leaders’.
5. Storytelling and Character Building help get followers
Joseph L. Badaracco Jr. in his book Questions of Character: Illuminating the Heart of Leadership through Literature tries to emphasize the storytelling is an effective way of making a resonating effect in the minds of the employees where by relating themselves with the characters of the story they can modify their behaviour according to the needs of the organisation.
If you want to be the inspiration of others, develop character and trust among people, and only then you can help others to grow.
6. Keep in mind the future uncertainties and your course of action
Alfred Lansing in his book Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage tells the story of the leader Ernest Shackleton and his crew of 27 members voyage across the Antarctic Circle in a very difficult environment of extreme cold, no food and stormy winds.
There will be times when you face opposition from people against your decision, but staying confident, firm and strong with your decision will help you gain followers slowly and exponentially.
7. Adopt a holistic approach and contribute towards the growth of your employees
Jim Collins in his book ‘Good to great’, studies the reasons behind the sustained success of the great companies like Kimberly-Clark, Nucor, Walgreen’s and Wells Fargo. These companies could move from below average to successful company’s status only because of the vision and guidance of their leader.
Leadership is not about micromanaging or making your employees scared of you, it has multiple aspects. Each and every aspect is important. You become a successful leader only when you adopt a holistic approach and contribute in the growth of others. Don’t dictate people because of your positional power. Instead influence them with your leadership power.
In the book ‘Only the Paranoid survive’, Andrew Stephen Grove emphasizes that it is important for long term success of the business to be prepared for changes in the market by anticipating them. The earlier and more accurately you identify these changes, the more freedom you have to choose your response, because your original business will provide the resources to jump-start the new business.
8. Expand the Pie
Doris Kearns Goodwin in his book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln explains the reasons behind the success of Lincoln who took the risk and appointed his competitors to his cabin as he considered them to be the best men whose service is needed by the country.
Understanding the human behaviour and knowing what motivates them can work wonders for a leader and turn enemies into allies. You can talk and analyse the situation of conflict with other person to find a way that ensures benefit of everyone.
9. Building a culture of Innovation
Tony Hsieh in his book Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose by telling about his journey from selling Linkexchange (his first company) to getting Zappos (second company) out of bankruptcy and selling it to Amazon, highlights the effect of culture and core values of the organisation on the creativity and productivity of the employees.
Employees when given freedom, equal powers and responsibility become more loyal, confident and creative. When people who are more intelligent then you are hired, commanding them may result in reducing their efficiency. They are smart enough to manage their work and innovate independently.
10. Be patient during your leadership journey
Maxwell in his book Developing the Leader within You and The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership explains the different laws and steps to be followed to become a successful leader.
It requires patience, commitment and learning from your mistakes. Along with personal development if you can contribute to the development of others you are an effective leader. Leadership is about influencing the people and gaining followers which can’t happen in a day. By prioritizing effectively both people and tasks it is possible to become an effective leader.