A little while back I went to a leadership training meeting for 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 for beginning leaders that really stuck out to me.
5 Leadership Principles For Beginning Leaders
As people implement each of the five leadership principles, they will improve their leadership capabilities and become better leaders.
1. Determine Needs
Before much progress can be made, leaders must determine the needs of their target audience. The needs fall into one of three categories. They include the needs of the:
To determine these needs, ask and/or 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, be observant to recognize the unstated needs. Once the needs of the specific groups are identified, determined how to best fill those needs.
2. Plan and Organize
The age old adage, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” is definitely true for beginning leaders. Through planning and organization, identify the approach you will take to your leadership. Also, identify actions you will take in given situations.
As you plan and organize, set both short and long term goals that lead to addressing the needs of the three groups. With the goals in place organize your efforts to make the most effective use of your time in accomplishing the goals.
To accomplish more in less time work with others by practicing delegation. Many tasks and subtasks must be completed daily. If you have to do each of these tasks, they will distract you from the big picture goals.
To effectively delegate, select a fully capable team you trust. Each team member must be able to complete the tasks they are assigned effectively, efficiently, and in a timely manner.
As you delegate tasks to others, focus on your most productive activities and delegate everything else. That allows you and others to focus on the meeting the needs that fall in the three categories.
4. Help, Support, and Counsel
As the leader, its common to fill as though you need to solve everyone’s problems. Or, you may feel you need to help your followers by doing their responsibilities for them. This is not the best approach.
Instead, help by coaching, supporting, counseling, guiding, and leading them in the right direction. Don’t accomplish the task for them. As you help, support, and counsel those you lead, you influence and develop the future leaders.
Finally, evaluate and review your progress. Evaluate what went well so you can repeat it. And, review what went wrong so you can learn from it. Identify the problems that occurred, and make course corrections to prevent them from recurring.
As you follow each of the five principles for beginning leaders, you will become a better leader. Your ability to recognize the needs of others will expand. You will learn to become better at planning and organizing, delegating, and will become a help and support to others. Most importantly, evaluate everything that happen in each situation so you can learn and become better.
Question for the Readers
What leadership principles do you follow? How do you follow each of the principles outlined above? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.