The art of effective leadership

Did you ever see an engineer rushing?  No, I haven’t either, from the pits in a Formula one race to the construction of an astonishing multi level skyscraper.
Someone recalled a well-worn statement, yet nevertheless true, to a colleague earlier in the week.  You can choose how you behave or what thoughts will define your day, if you really want to.  He went on to say, it’s a bit like choosing what to wear in the morning.  It’s a cognitive choice, wallowing in whatever current upset or perceived disaster that may or may not be around the corner or just taking the day in hand, what comes with it and with an open heart. 
Uh oh  – I realize, I may have just left a few readers cold.  With an open heart, at work, in my professional environment, at a tough board meeting, in a challenging sales negotiation, on an oil rig, in the desert under fire.  Yes, is the short answer.  Having had the privilege to work with individuals that run oil rigs, race teams, engineers, those the boards of Fortune 100, FTSE 250 companies and decorated servicemen amongst others, I’ve observed first hand that the most effective leaders are very aware of their people ( and of course themselves) and have an ‘open heart’ and an ‘open mind’. 
So, what do I mean by this: –
Anyone who gets to a leadership position has not made it  (yet!).  It is only the beginning.  Being a leader doesn’t make you one, however by doing the things that great leaders do and influencing and encouraging your teams behaviour you’ll be 9/10’s of the way there. 
Effective leaders establish values, model behaviour, encourage, nurture and support, reward, are firm when necessary and give feedback. Great leaders will foster self-leadership in individuals, teams and the wider organization. 
One very good way of measuring a leader’s success is by measuring the success of his or her people.  A strong leader will facilitate the self-leadership in others.  After all, the first step is self-leadership and if there’s none of that, the leadership of others is going to be mighty difficult. 
Set the vision:-
·      Face reality  – how are your thoughts going to command today
·      Focus on the future
·      See change as an opportunity
Be who you are:-
·      Live & breathe your values, lead by example
·      Create a positive self-image and believe in it
·      Display integrity and openness to learning and discovery
Build capability:-
·      Build infrastructure
·      Leverage diversity
·      Leverage skills
·      Build teams
·      Enable change to happen
·      Allow people to think, challenge and experiment
Enable individuals:-
·      Believe in people especially when you don’t agree
·      Allow emotions and listen in the moment
·      Manage attention, pay attention
·      Share power and authority
·      Build collaborative relationships
And ……..enjoy!
And as for the rushing……we all have to sometimes, even engineers I’m reliably informed(but it’s rare?!)

Advertisements