A strong organizational culture—consisting of shared beliefs and values—is a common denominator in successful companies and has been linked to effective leadership. Effective leaders live their corporate culture every day by leading by example with a clear purpose and going out of their way to build trust and communicate their cultural identities to their employees and prospective new hires. To be successful in 2023, consider adopting these four components of effective leadership.
1 – LEAD BY EXAMPLE: Leadership is a process in which an individual influences the behavior and attitudes of employees within their organization. Leading by example helps employees see what lies ahead and allows managers to act swiftly to counter any challenges along the way.
Below are ways through which effective leaders lead by example.
- Listen to your team: A good leader accepts that he or she does not know everything. An effective leader forms a team of individuals that excel in different areas, gives them the tools to succeed, and listens to what they have to say. Steve Jobs—co-founder of Apple Computer, Inc.—once stated, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”
- Get your hands dirty: One of the most effective ways to lead by example is to model the behavior you want to see in your team members. Demonstrate excellence and create an example of what’s possible within your organization.
- Take responsibility: Growth mindset leaders realize that being vulnerable and putting themselves out there is part of growth and self-improvement. They also embrace challenges and feedback. Instead of deflecting, choose to take responsibility by owning and fixing the problem.
2 – LEAD WITH A CLEAR PURPOSE: A leader must have a purpose to effectively lead his or her employees in the right direction. Good leaders don’t just share a vision and get their team excited; they also help clarify the path for the future. Employees need to know what they’re working toward each day to remain engaged in the process. A Gartner Research survey found that organizations are striving more than ever to create a shared purpose and that while 77 percent of executives agree they feel like they are a part of something important at their organization, only 59 percent of employees feel the same.
Below are ways through which good leaders lead with a clear purpose.
- Share your vision: One of the core characteristics of a strong leader is the ability to provide a clear path for the future. As a leader, you need to communicate your vision and make sure each team member knows his or her role in helping achieve the vision.
- Know your people: To get your team excited, it’s important to understand each member as an individual. Relationships matter and play a large role in employee retention. Find out what makes each employee happy and motivated to do great work. What is a great day at work for them and how can you contribute to more of those?
- Help your team grow: A great leader does more than just help his or her reports in their current position. Identify career paths and provide the necessary professional development and training to be successful to help your team members grow.
3 – COMMUNICATE CLEARLY: Every employee’s motivations are different, so knowing how to tailor your communication is essential to influencing others and reaching organizational goals. As a leader, it’s your job to figure out how to get each member of your team to share in your vision. Communication is critical for keeping employees aligned and on track to reach strategic goals. When leaders are open and honest with their employees, they make them feel valued by being receptive to their feedback.
Below are ways through which successful leaders communicate.
- Communication style: The first step to effective communication is to be self-aware. The Predictive Index has found that manager self-awareness contributes directly to employee engagement.When conveying a message, you need to deliver it in a manner in which the receiver will understand. Therefore, you may need to adapt your communication delivery style and message to each team member.
- Active listening: Effective leaders know when to talk and more importantly, when to listen. Show that your care by asking for ideas and feedback. Then sit back and listen!
- Transparency: A transparent leader values honesty above all else—even though it’s sometimes difficult and uncomfortable to deliver. When leaders are transparent, it builds a sense of trust and provides employees with the information they need to make informed decisions. To be transparent, consider communicating less by email and more through face-to-face and video interaction.
4 – BUILD TRUST: Trust happens when leaders are transparent. And to be effective, leaders need their team’s trust. According to research from an article written by Paul J. Zak for Harvard Business Review, when companies dedicate time toward building trust, their employees experience exponential results. People reported 74 percent less stress, 106 percent more energy at work, 50 percent higher productivity, 13 percent fewer sick days, 76 percent more engagement, 29 percent more satisfied with their lives, and 40 percent less burnout.
Below are ways through which effective leaders build trust.
- Don’t micromanage: A leader that micromanages is communicating that you don’t trust your employees enough to work on their own and still produce positive results. Micromanagement can negatively affect retention, engagement, and morale. Gallup has estimated that employee disengagement costs companies at least $2,246 per year per disengaged employee.
- Set clear expectations: Building trust is more likely to happen when people have clarity around what is expected of them. If you continually move the goal post, your employees are going to lose trust in you.
- Consistently follow through on your commitments: Trust requires predictability. Effective leaders know that to build trust, they must deliver on their promises and commitments to keep their words and actions in sync.
Effective leadership is one of the fundamental building blocks to a great organizational culture. A good leader cares about and brings out the best in his or her employees through coaching, mentoring, and listening. Strong leadership and successful corporate cultures help organizations thrive and stand out over their competition. If you’re not sure where to start the growth and development process, consider investing in coaching services. Help from a dedicated coach can enhance a leader’s performance and assist in building stronger teams.
This blog was written by TalentRise’s Leadership Coach Kristen Lampert.