Leaders are not always the executive, the senior manager or someone in a supervisory position. A leader is the individual that has the ability to motivate and influence. Leaders turn an organizations vision into a reality by guiding others to their maximal potential. “Being a great leader requires constant personal and professional development, regular transparent feedback from the team, self-reflection and taking action on feedback received. Great leaders are rarely satisfied with their performance” (Gleeson 2016).
There is an old saying you will catch more bees with honey than vinegar. Having a leader who possesses positivity makes the team happy. Being positive promotes enthusiasm and inspiration. Framing communication in a positive light promotes motivation. Negativity diminishes and demoralizes a team. The organization continually changes the process for improvement, and at times it is frustrating. Joe an Executive Vice President within my organization puts a positive spin on the process improvements by communicating how this makes the organization more effective and less prone to bad audits.
Empathy is not sympathy. Empathy is being self-aware and aware of how others are feeling. You can be empathetic and be able to agree to disagree with someone. “Empathy is the ability to understand another person’s experience, perspective and feelings. Also called “vicarious introspection,” it’s commonly described as the ability to put yourself in another person’s shoes. But make sure you are assessing how they would feel in their shoes, not how you would feel in their shoes.
One of the essential elements of effective leadership is creating a culture where an open line of communication is the norm for your team and group. A leader needs to be able to clearly explain to employees everything from organizational goals to specific tasks. Being approachable is key for a leader to receive open and honest feedback. Along with excellent communication, a leader’s active listening skills must be on point as well to fully understand employees.
I have learned that employees need to trust their leader, and if that does not happen, you are not adequate for the organization or the employees. “When your team trusts you as a leader, it increases commitment to team goals” (Halvorson, n.d).
Written by: Shawanda Legall
Project and Program Management, class of 2021
Gleeson, B. (2016). 10 Unique Perspectives On What Makes A Great Leader. Retrieved from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/brentgleeson/2016/11/09/10-unique-perspectives-on-what-makes-a-great-leader/?sh=c0ce02b5dd19
Halvorson, H. (n.d). The Most Important Skill for Great Leaders? Trustworthiness. Retrieved from: https://99u.adobe.com/articles/32883/the-most-important-skill-for-great-leaders-trustworthiness