Monday, August 30, 2010

The Seven Laws of an Effective Leader

1. Delegate don't dictate.
Assign tasks evenly amongst members of the team or committee, provide full explanations verbally and in writing, and provide deadlines for completion with follow-up dates built into the schedule.

2. Communicate don't confuse.
Fully explaining tasks will eliminate confusion down the road. Pay attention to non-verbal cues of confusion (raised eyebrows indicating a surprised look, blank stares, squinting eyes, etc.) this may be a sign that you need to provide additional information. Ask clarifying questions to ensure understanding.

3. Help don't hinder.
Be available to assist with tasks that have been assigned. There may be questions regarding procedures or some clarification needed, provide feedback and explanations; help the person understand what is expected of them and how the task can be completed.

4. Compliment and compensate.
Give compliments on a job well done to members of your team, co-workers, or colleagues. Thank them for their assistance. Compensate by giving rewards for their efforts and accomplishments; for example, publicly acknowledging people for their efforts in a team meeting is a form of compensation and builds loyalty amongst the team members.

5. Guide don't criticize.
Everyone makes mistakes. Guide your team members on the path to correct the errors and learn from them.

6. Prepare don't procrastinate.
Set deadlines and create check-lists and to-do lists and most importantly, stick to them! Procrastination is the root of all evil, team members will lose faith in your leadership, feel pressured, and will not give 110% due to negative experiences.

7. Be open to suggestions.
Letting team members know that you are open to suggestions builds confidence and trust and creates a comfort zone. Team members will be more open to voicing their thoughts and comments if there is a level of trust and comfort. Confident team members are more productive than intimidated or fearful team members.

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