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21 tips for successful leadership

You can bet that you find hundreds of leaders everyday, But we agree with you that successful ones are little!.

  1. Set aside one hour each day to absorb new information. Don’t let yourself be the person who is unaware of a major development or situation that needs attention.
  2. Recognize the power of questions. Stop thinking in terms of what you have to say and start thinking in terms of what you have to ask. Managers and employees will respect you for asking their viewpoints and you are likely to learn more in the process.
  3. Send powerful nonverbal messages. Consider how you can make better use of body language and how to modulate your voice for greater impact.
  4. Learn to laugh at yourself. Stop taking yourself so seriously. Whenever you say or do something foolish (and we all do), be the first to see the humour in it. Laugh at yourself in front of your direct reports, and they won’t laugh at you behind your back.
  5. Learn to speak with conviction. If you don’t sound as if you believe in what you’re saying, don’t expect anyone else to believe you. An executive once said, “Your managers and employees will never get any more excited about the organization’s mission than you are.”
  6. Light fires inside your employees. Assign employees to jobs and orchestrate the job environment so that your management team receives the greatest number of important intrinsic rewards as they perform the work.
  7. Don’t use performance measures that sacrifice the long term. When you can quantify performance, be careful that employees don’t become so consumed with making a short-term measure that long-term value suffers.
  8. Offer a sincere simple “thank you.” We all want to feel needed and appreciated. Gratitude endures long after checks are cashed.
  9. Solicit an employee’s advice for solving a problem. You’ll make the employee feel important and you may wind up with a solution that never occurred to you.
  10. Take a member of the support staff on a sales call. People in support roles might otherwise never meet any of their organization’s customers. They’ll learn more about customer needs and the experience may leave them motivated to see that those needs are met.
  11. Inspire ethical behaviour by showing willingness for incurring the costs. Exhorting your managers and employees to be ethical is a less powerful message than showing them your willingness to pay a price for ethics, like losing money by exchanging new merchandise for damaged goods. In other words, walk the talk.
  12. Link exit interviews to employee development. Employees are never so honest as when they decide to leave an organization. Ask defectors what problems should be corrected.
  13. Let yourself be seen by staff and colleagues. Demonstrate that you care by visiting your managers and their employees.
  14. Communicate up, down, laterally, within and outside the organization—verbal, written and listening are all critical. One size does not fit all. The message must meet the needs of the listener.
  15. Accept that progress cannot be monitored from the office. By being present, you will be able to offer praise when it is warranted.
  16. Eliminate that which no longer adds value. It’s tough enough to identify products, processes and activities that no longer provide significant benefit, but it is even more difficult to do away with dated strategic thinking.
  17. Before a management planning session, get input from employees. Survey managers and employees before the meeting. At the meeting, after the group has exhausted their ideas on an item, reveal the suggestions from the people you polled.
  18. Conduct an external environmental assessment and an internal organizational assessment. Look for opportunities that major trends (political, economic, social, technological) offer your organization. Determine, too, what your team does well and its weaknesses and other internal opportunities and shortcomings. Now, make plans to shore up the negatives and leverage the positives.
  19. Create an accountability document. List each action plan in chronological order and who is responsible for what and when. At weekly staff meetings, track progress on the tasks based on the document.
  20. Communicate the results of the strategic planning session down the line. Share the results with all employees. Tell them what they can do to support the action plans.
  21. Share your mission and vision statements with customers and suppliers. They will help define the relationship with both over time.

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