Last July 15, 2013 (Monday), I attended a leaders’ congress where prestigious speakers talked about how to be an effective and successful leader. Our guest speakers were law students and CPAs. They really delivered their talk very well—the content and the delivery was excellent—like how a good leader should. But I’m not here to talk about the Leaders’ Congress, I’m here to talk about the things I learned from that conference: HOW TO BE AN EFFECTIVE LEADER.
COMMUNICATE. Communication is the exchange of thoughts and ideas from one person to another. It is a two-way channel. In leadership, it means that it will not only be you (the leader) who has the right to speak out. Your people (the followers) also have the right to give out suggestions and speak their thoughts, and as a true leader, it is your responsibility to listen and understand each and everyone’s opinions.
Communication is very important in leadership because this is how you will get your people to work. You will have to tell them what to do; whether they are doing a good or a bad job; whether they need to be out of the group for some reason; etc.
SET GOALS. Once you set your goals, you will now know what and how to do it. Setting goals is like finding a map. It will give direction, making it easy for you to reach it. Once your goals are reached, set up new goals. Never run out of goals. Always aim for the better.
BE HUMBLE. As a leader, you are not above the rest. You are a leader because the people believed in you, and when they believe in you, they will listen and follow. But that does not mean that you are superior to them. A true leader is a servant-leader. Servant in a way that you (the leader) will serve the people to make the community a better one. Leader in a sense that you will lead them on what to do to make the community better, and guide them on how to do it. Never think that you are on top of them, because you are just human like everyone else. The sole reason why you’re the leader is because the people chose you.
SET ASIDE EMOTIONS. There will come a time when you will have to let go of someone in your group because for some reason, he/she did not comply with the requirements of being a member of your group/community. And I know that the first thing that will come in your mind is, “I don’t want to hurt his/her feelings”. Being friends and being work mates are two different things. There should always be a sense of professionalism in the place. If the person really isn’t working well, let that person go. No questions asked. No community/workplace needs someone who does not work or does not do their work properly.
Also, never bring your personal problems at work. Work is work. Sad or not, you still need to work.
SHUT UP AND LISTEN. Shut up when others are giving out opinions. What they say might be really helpful. Listen to them as they speak because when you speak in front of them, they also listen. Be open-minded to their suggestions because you are not always right. Listening to them will also be your guide into how to serve them; how to make your community happy.
RESPECT. As much as you want people to respect you, you (the leader) also have to respect your followers. They are also human like you and they also have that want to be respected. They are also sensitive like you. They have emotions and feelings like you. Respect is earned not given. So in order to earn respect from others, you have to show them that you respect them too. Once you’re respected, the rest will follow—they will start to listen, start to follow, etc.
WATCH YOUR MORALS AND VALUES. No one wants a leader with a bad attitude, right? No one wants a leader that swears in everything they say. If you (the leader) have bad morals and bad values, there will come a time when the people will rebel and put you down. A bad person never deserves to be a leader.
POSITIVITY. As the leader, people will always look up to you. People will always think that everything will be okay because the person they chose is you. And when things get rough, do not think negatively. Always remember that when you believe that things will happen, it will happen because you will work hard for it to happen. People will start to help you when they see your passion into something. Never give false hope to your community, so when you say that something will happen, make it happen. Believe that it will happen.
But in cases when what is promised is really impossible to happen, explain to them why and apologize to them. There’s nothing they can do about it anyways, and most especially, there’s nothing you can do about it. Everybody will just have to understand the situation. But KEEP POSITIVE! It is not the end of everything! There are more opportunities out there.
SELF-DISCIPLINE. Before you disciple others, you have to discipline yourself first. Always remember that everything starts from you. You want people to work efficiently? Then you yourself will have to work efficiently first, so that when you tell people to do their work properly, they will not question you because they know and they see that you yourself is a hard-working person. Once you discipline yourself, you set standards in how people should work. You see if they work as efficient as you do. You see if they are just as well-disciplined as you.