A little while back I went to a leadership training meeting. The training was for a new leaders. My role was to support the new leaders I oversaw. As part of the training, they discussed many topics related to effective leadership. One of the speakers mentioned five leadership principles that really stuck out to me. They are discussed below.
I. Determine Needs
Before much progress can be made the leader needs to determine the needs. In a corporate culture, there are three areas of needs that must be identified. These areas include the needs of the customers, the needs of the employees, and the needs of the corporation.
Two approaches you could take to determine these needs are to ask and observe members of each group specifically. By asking what the needs are, you get direct feedback. When you cannot ask what the needs are or they are not explicitly stated, it is very important to be observant so you can recognize the unstated needs. Once the needs of the specific groups are determined, you can determine how to best fill the needs.
II. Plan and Organize
You must always plan and organize. Through planning and organization, you identify the approach you will take. The old adage, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” is very true. You must always determine how you are going to move forward. You must set both short and long term goals that lead you to the overall goal of filling the needs of the three groups. With the goals in place you can then organize your efforts to make the most effective use of your time in accomplishing the goals.
As a leader it is very important to master the art of delegation. There are always many tasks and subtasks that must be done daily that, if done by the leader, take away from the big picture goals. The leaders should stay focused on assuring each aspect of the big picture falls into place and is completed properly. They must delegate the specific tasks to their employees/followers so they can stay focused on the big picture. In order for a leader to effectively delegate, they must have good employees/followers that they can trust. They must trust that their employees can complete the tasks they are assigned effectively, efficiently, and timely.
IV. Help, Support, and Counsel
As the leader you must help your followers in their specific responsibilities. The help you give should be guidance to leading them in the right direction, not accomplishing the task for them. As you help, support, and counsel you will influence and develop your followers so they can be the future leaders.
The evaluation step is very important. It is extremely important to review the progress you make. You must review the things that went well so you can repeat them. You must also identify the problems that occurred, so you can fix them in the future. Another aspect of the evaluation is that you should request feedback from all the parties that were involved. Through feedback and evaluation, you learn how to eliminate the failures and continue the successes.
Each of the five leadership principles mentioned above will help you to be a better leader. What leadership principles do you follow? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.