10 Tips for Effective Leadership

As an effective leader, you are responsible for the well being and productivity of your staff. You are the liaison between the workers and the upper levels of management. You may be responsible for one person or for hundreds, but either way you have a responsibility. Here are some tips to becoming a more effective manager.

1. Recognize your workers

You have a great team. They work hard for you most of the time and they deserve recognition. There are a lot of people who will work just as hard for a pat on the back as they will for the salary. When one of your employees does something that is exemplary, recognize them for their efforts. You don’t need to have a sticker chart, but a simple ‘nice job’ is a great motivational boost.

2. Accept the blame

You are the shield for your employees. You defend them from upper management’s whims. You take the heat when your customers are angry. When something goes wrong, immediately accept the responsibility and blame for the failure. A great manager will accept the blame and then study the system to prevent that mistake from reoccurring.

3. Be clear with your expectations

Are you a mind reader? Neither are your employees. It is your responsibility to give your employees structure. Do not be vague about the parameters. What does perfection look like? What are the acceptable losses? Tell your employees what you expect from them.

4. Be fair

You set the expectations. Make sure that the consequences for mistakes are the same from coworker to coworker. If you have more than one employee who is continually late, do not slap one on the wrist and bring your wrath to another. Establish your reactions beforehand.

5. Show your passion

Let your coworkers see the passion that you have for the company and the position. Passion travels from worker to worker, and you are at the front of the line. That enthusiasm shines through your pores, through all of the words that you speak, through all of the tasks you perform. If your excited for something, your peers will follow.

6. Learn to get dirty

You need to know how to perform the duties of all of your employees. You might not be as proficient as they are, but you need to be aware of their function. You should also be willing to sweep the floors and get dirty with your coworkers. This is an essential part of team building.

7. Keep your anger in check

Your anger spreads like wildfire through your coworkers. You might be mad at the situation rather than a specific employee, but you need to keep that anger under control. When you are angry, your anger sparks the anger of your employees and unnecessarily escalates situations.

8. Trust your staff

You hired your employees to perform specific duties. After reassuring yourself that your new hire can do the job, allow them to perform their duties unhindered. Informing tenured workers about their job responsibilities on a continuous basis does not work very well. It damages morale. When you trust them, they trust you.

9. Talk with your staff

Keep the lines of communication open. Talk with your staff about personal items. Talk with your staff about plans that the company is pursuing. If the only time that you talk with your staff is when you’re assigning blame or work, your employees will give you exactly the same response. You want your employees to feel at ease about speaking with you, offer suggestions and also care about the company. An open environment where everyone feels comfortable is much more productive.

10. Be private

Your employees are going to make mistakes. When they do make a mistake, don’t confront them in public about their errors. This is something which damages morale for everyone. If your employee makes a snap decision that goes against company policy, make a point to speak about it in private.

You should encourage your staff to strive for perfection. You provide an example for your staff, whether it be good or bad. Remeber, your mood affects that of your coworkers. Happy employees are more productive employees!

What tips do you have for effective leadership?