How to be an Effective Leader!
1) Do not plan to plan. Plan to do.
It’s unavoidable in this current era to skirt around the corporate procedures of creating spreadsheets, agendas, schedules, emails, meeting planners etc. Used in the correct context, all methods can be beneficial and efficient. It is imperative that you do not go overboard and neglect the actual implementation of your overall goal. If you continue to assign and over assign your employees to create planning guidelines, this may boggle them down to create the sheets and not actually allow them time to complete the assignment at hand. The best thing to do before delegation of assignments is to have a realistic timeline of when your employees can create the pre-planning assignments along with completion of projects.
2) Talking about yourself doesn’t make us like you more.
If you were selected to be a leader, your past qualifications and current work ethic were most likely considered and acknowledged. That does not mean you have to remind your employees of how great you are. The key is to try to connect to your employees by listening and understanding their needs. Leading is a skill and quality that you have to work at every day. If you keep focusing on talking about yourself and past accomplishments, you may lose site in how to effectively lead your employees on a path of success.
3) Telling your employees that you are much faster and better than them doesn’t really qualify you to win “Motivator of the Year”.
You might be the greatest worker in the universe. If your goal is to lead others, you may not want to tell them that you are better and faster than them. Being faster does not necessarily make you more efficient and able to provide a quality product. Your employees are yearning for a leader that leads by example. If you are fast and efficient, try to teach the qualities rather than a braggadocios way to illustrate how you can demean your employees. Be a motivator and try to encourage productivity.
4) If you mention there are communication problems, doesn’t that mean there is a problem with how the leader leads?
A phrase that is used so often in the workplace is “There is a lack of communication”. I am not sure with the advent of emails, social media, intranet sites, memos, and voicemails how lack of communication is consistently brought up. It is the responsibility of the leader to find ways for employees to retain the information necessary to implement any policies and procedures that are necessary to conduct business. The leader is responsible to ensure that the employees are in sync.
5) If you say you are too busy to manage, maybe you shouldn’t be a manager.
Being busy is actually a great thing. Not being busy might mean there is a lack of work or potential for eliminating positions. Being too busy to manage employees can be counterproductive to being hired to be a leader. Delegation is a management skill that could alleviate the pressure of being too busy. Telling your employees that you are too busy for them is a surefire way to create a barrier. If you are too busy for your employees, always find a way to make time and cater to their needs.
6) Don’t gobble your food in 5 minutes or imply you have too much work to take a break.
I have witnessed so many newer managers who say that have too much work to take a break or eat lunch. Lack of food makes people grouchy. I am not sure if that is scientific or just personal observation. When you malnourish yourself, others have to suffer because you cannot step away to eat and reflect on your day. Give yourself at least 30 minutes or whatever is permissible by law to take that time and refresh yourself. If you can, try to eat with your employees. This works in two ways. The first is that it could alleviate office gossip by everyone sitting together. The second is that is can create camaraderie and avoids the manager from appearing to be a separatist.
7) Talking louder doesn’t really mean that you are right. It just means that you are hurting someone’s eardrums.
There is no need to escalate the tone of your voice unless you’re a DJ at a nightclub. Raising your voice in a business discussion in the workplace is totally unnecessary and unprofessional. Shouting, yelling, and being argumentative will not endear you to your employees. Being respectful will always earn points amongst your employees. If you find yourself becoming angry, step away and save the discussion for a later time.
8) It cannot be the end of the world every day! And if it is, find something else to do.
Do not panic for every little thing. If you make a big issue out of every subject, you are most likely going to lose your audience. It is perfectly acceptable to have a sense of urgency, but please ensure you are not panicking or making others feel that doom is lurking. If you do this every day, you will lose the respect of your subordinates. You may also be seen as the boss who cried wolf.
9) Try not to recite a famous quote for words of inspiration. Create your own!
Using inspirational quotes is not a bad thing. Inspiring is much better. If you have to rely on Helen Keller, John F. Kennedy, or Eleanor Roosevelt to motivate your employees, you may be doing something wrong. Quoting other leaders lacks the creativity that you may have to create a special moment to inspire your employees. If you do lack the creativity to think of something witty or motivational, speak from your heart. You may want to tell a personal story of how you overcame an obstacle. People like other people. Being a manager does not mean that you have to turn in to a robot or do as others in the past have done.
10) Telling good employees that you could find other employees to do their job might ensure that your good employees may start looking for other jobs.
Using phrases such as “There are so many people who would be grateful to have your job” or “I may need to evaluate if someone else should fill your position” is not only a dagger in your employee’s confidence but it is also a threat. Good employees do not need to be threatened to do their jobs. I have observed many good employees decide that this a queue for them to start looking for other employment. Tough love techniques are not necessary if you are an effective communicator and leader.