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Nigel Risner’s top 10 steps to become an effective leader

Every year we read about yet another buzz-word regarding leadership. But what is effective leadership, anyway? Is it always being IN CHARGE or IN CONTROL? Is it making sure that the pack is doing what it’s supposed to? Is it micro-managing every detail?…

Do it first.
If you can tell your staff, team or kids that you’ve BEEN THERE, DONE THAT you have more credibility and will gain more respect for what you want.

Take the Best of what you’ve done and improve it.
After you’ve established your credibility, sort through the best of your experience and improve it to suit THIS situation.

Be reasonable in your expectations.
Remember that it took you a long time to get to your current expertise level, so be reasonable about what you expect others to accomplish for you.

Give Direction and then back off.
Let people do what they need to do. If you have a staff let them do their jobs, don’t micro-manage every detail. Most people work best when they’re given autonomy.

Offer support on an as-needed basis.
Let those you manage know that you’re there for support when the going gets tough, but don’t do their jobs for them.

Build in accountability.
With autonomy comes accountability and responsibility. Make sure people know that you expect them to “own up” to what they have to do.

Be crystal clear about your goals.
It’s amazing what people hear. Be definitive about where you want your team to go and time line for getting there. No one likes to flounder in a haze of unclear and ambiguous direction.

Reward in public, reprimand in private.
You won’t gain respect for chewing someone out in front of others. Remember, the ultimate responsibility is yours and if your people KNOW that you back them up, they’ll go the extra mile for you.

Credit the team.
If your department or group has been successful in meeting the goals set, acknowledge them in open forums and public opportunities. Do this even when you know that one or two of the members have not fully pulled their weight. You’ll gain their respect and they’ll be more willing to follow you the next time.

Be sensitive to unusual circumstances.
No matter how much you’d like to think that the company or department comes first, people do have private lives and personal circumstances can affect their focus. Be sensitive and, within a reasonable period of time, call them if they are not functioning up to par.


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