14/05/2010

By William Montgomery, CEO of TEN

The key to truly effective leadership lies in mastering a wide range of skills from implementing and administering process to inspiring others to achieve excellence. To be an effective leader you need to make the most of opportunities to learn to lead, whether by observing others, through formal training, or through careful evaluation of practical experience.

Here are ten actions for mastering leadership:

1. Focus on quality. The aim of leadership is to help others to achieve their personal best. This involves setting high but realistic performance goals for yourself and your team, finding ways to improve operations and procedures and striving for quality in all areas.

2. Develop your strengths. All the attributes that you will require as a leader can be developed, even drive and energy. Self-confidence and self-determination, combined with an ability to manage people and money, will make you as strong leader able to attain your targets.

3. Exercise your authority. The role of a leader is to ensure that everyone understands instructions and carries them out effectively. Since it is rare for everything to go according to plan, put in place reporting systems that enable you to deal with any deviations swiftly.

4. Delegate tasks. As a leader, you should concentrate your time on activities that nobody else can do. Delegation is a form of time management. It is a way of exercising control and meeting your own responsibilities more effectively while developing the skills of your team.

5. Communicate clearly. The ability to communicate with your team is essential in leadership. To ensure that messages are received and understood all the way down, flatten the hierarchy of your team structure. To keep communication two-way, invite feedback from your team.

6. Make a decision. All decisions involve a series of other decisions, notably when to settle the issue, who else to involve in the decision-making process, and what alternatives to consider. Get these decisions right and you will be able to make the correct move.

7. Set goals. Goals are the essence of planning, whether for the long, medium or short terms. They should be ambitious but achievable. Set stretching, hard-headed, but feasible sub-goals to help your team attain their ultimate goal.

8. Motivate others. People are capable of remarkable achievement if they are given the right motivational leadership. To mobilise a team’s inner drive, enthusiasm, and vigour effectively, you need to be a credible leader who sets and inspiring example.

9. Generate ideas. The leader does not have to be the most inventive person in the team. But as leader, you need to release the potential for generating ideas that exists in each individual. This will help in both achieving a vision and resolving day-to-day issues.

10. Be competitive. Entrepreneurs, people who spot and take a new business opportunity, are inspirational leaders who know that it is vital to accept the risk of failure to achieve anything worthwhile. Emulate such people by seeing risks and threats as opportunities.

William Montgomery
CEO of TEN

Through his workshops, William Montgomery has helped hundreds of organisations and schools plus thousands of people to achieve their potential. To discuss your continuous improvement requirements, please call 0117 325 2010 or send a message to mail@askten.co.uk