For the vast majority of business owners and management personnel, the concept of leadership can be an elusive goal; an ongoing search for greatness that, unfortunately for many, ends in confusion, frustration and limited success. Indeed, research across the corporate world points to ineffective leadership as the culprit behind the demise of many business operations.
For sure, thousands of books have been published on this topic, the majority of authors offering solid step-by-step guidelines that would – or should – help anyone become a great leader. So with these vast resources available to business folks across the globe, why do men and women continue to struggle with the simple concept of leadership?
Let’s look at the root cause of ineffective leadership and some suggestions to create a solid foundation to build leadership both on a personal level and throughout the team.
For most individuals who struggle with being in a leadership role, the path to one’s own success is as simple as seeing the gaps that exist in their own personality or within the framework of the workplace and then mapping out a plan to close the gaps, ensuring that one’s leadership skills are properly cultivated and allowed to prosper.
Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to create a foundation for leadership greatness in your workplace:
• State Your Purpose: apply the first principle of leadership: clarity of purpose; align at a personal level, then be sure to align the business and key stakeholders with the purpose.
• Identify Your Values: individualize and articulate the second principle of leadership: cultural and strategic values. The reality is a company without an identifiable culture for success and clear values is doomed to fail.
• Define Your Mission: clearly define the third principle of leadership: mission statement, document and communicate effectively.
• Clarify Your Vision: create the fourth principle of leadership: vision; share the picture with your associates, management team and key stakeholders
• Determine Your Strategy, Part I: Think Strategically – learn critical questions to ask in order to design effective strategies to achieve the vision; distinguish between tactics and strategies
• Determine Your Strategy, Part II: Perform a SWOT Analysis – analyze strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and make strategic decisions based on these findings
• Determine Your Strategy, Part III: Identify Your Driving Forces – understand the realities of business and the environment in which it operates; draw strategic conclusions based on these ‘driving forces’
• Determine Your Strategy, Part IV: Analyze Your Competition – conduct a competitive analysis and use this information to impact strategic decisions
• Simplify with the Seven R’s: leaders must constantly strive to simplify; apply the seven R’s to life and business.
7. Regaining Control
• Personal Leadership: Manage Stress: leadership requires a calm, clear mind and objectivity; control stress by understanding sources and how to overcome them.
• Personal Leadership: Take Responsibility: to become a great leader, responsibility is not optional; develop a positive attitude characterized by the elimination of negative emotions. If you are a leader who looks to pass the blame onto others under your direction, it may be the perfect time to look in the mirror and ask this simple question, “am I putting my employees in the best possible position to succeed.” If the answer is no, that person in the mirror could very well be the fly in your ointment to success.
• Execute: When you reach the point of clarity by applying the above strategies, put your plan in action. Success will follow.
For more information about leadership and success strategies, call FocalPoint Business Coach Jerry Covella at 1-800-844-8631 to set up a free consultation.