4 Keys to Being an Effective Leader

It is time to step in to leadership.  Perhaps you are going to be training a group of adults for a specific vocation, or perhaps you have to organize a community consignment sale. Maybe you need to find volunteers for a work or church function. There are all kinds of situations where adults need to lead adults. Here are some keys to being an effective leader of your fellow adults.

Know Where You’re Going

No one wants to follow someone who has no idea where they’re going! Having a goal or vision is essential. It’s possible that it may evolve or change as you go forward – it’s good to be flexible, too – but when you start out, having a clear vision can inspire others to follow you. If you really believe in it and know it can be done, your enthusiasm tends to be infectious. People like to get on board with someone who knows where to steer the ship!

Listen

As noted above, it’s good to be flexible, and that’s where listening comes in. As you express your vision and goal, even if it’s just getting things done well and on time, it’s a good idea to listen to the input of others. Someone might point out something you hadn’t taken into consideration, or he/she might have a good point about your choice of venue.

Obviously, a good leader can’t please every person’s whim, but you can take people’s concerns into consideration. If everyone seems to be saying the same thing, maybe you should change your plans a bit! People tend to appreciate a leader who listens, even if it doesn’t always mean change.

Clear Steps

In addition to a clear goal, you’ll need clear steps on how to reach that goal (or multiple goals). Explaining a “contagious” vision is great, but teaching people how you plan to realize that vision is important. It can seem unrealistic if you don’t explain your plan. Break it down into doable steps, and present those to those in your group. A big part of this, of course, is being organized.

Confidence

If you don’t believe in what you’re doing, no one else will, either! Make sure you are confident and certain of your plan and your goals. Sources agree that it’s not a good idea to be overly confident to the point that you don’t listen to anyone or heed their concerns; but confidence, like an exciting vision, is contagious. Be sure of yourself and what you want to accomplish.

8 Brilliant Leadership Lessons from “The Boss”

Bruce Springsteen demonstrates everything, I mean EVERYTHING, you need to know about leadership in just under 9 minutes during a 2013 concert in Germany.

Almost everyone knows Bruce Springsteen is “The Boss,”  a nickname acquired in the early stages of his career for serving as paymaster for his band after gigs.  He may not have liked the moniker at the beginning, but he certainly owns it today.  Heck, even Prince admired Springsteen’s band leadership.

Leadership Lessons from Bruce Springsteen

An audience member in Leipzig, Germany, challenged Springsteen to play “Never Can Tell,” a song his band had never played together.  After consultation with lead guitarist Steven Van Zandt, experimentation with a few different keys, and eventually switching guitars, The Boss was ready to teach the song to the band.  As he coached the E-Street Horns, he invited the audience to take part, until everyone was singing along.  When he was confident the band was ready, he launched into the song, asking members of his band to show off their command of the melody one by one.  It is a toe-tapping display of brilliant leadership in just under 9 minutes.

 

Let’s recap the 8 brilliant leadership lessons in this 9-minute Bruce Springsteen music video:

  1. Say Yes to Challenges
  2. Experiment and Collaborate
  3. Use the Best Tools and People
  4. Coach Your Team and Cheer Them On
  5. Get Everyone Involved
  6. Launch at the Right Time
  7. Trust Your Team and Let Them Shine
  8. Have Fun

C’est la vie!

Source: http://en.newsner.com/crowd-asks-springsteen-to-play-another-singer-s-song-his-response-leaves-them-speechless/about/music

Personality Characteristics of Effective Leaders

Today, as we have since 1983, Americans celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a national holiday.  Students and employees around the country are encouraged to offer service to their community on this, the third Monday of January.

Sharing a birthday with the civil rights icon (January 15th) piqued my curiosity about Dr. King at a very young age, and I have great respect for the man who was assassinated 2 years before I was born.

Without a doubt, Dr. King was an effective leader.  Let’s take a look at some of the personality characteristics of effective leaders, like Dr. King.

Personality Characteristics of Effective Leaders

Whether you think that effective leaders are born or made – or a bit of both – there are still some characteristics that distinguish leaders from others. Have you wondered if you or someone you know is a natural leader? Are you interested in learning some characteristics of good leadership? Here are some personality characteristics that tend to go with effective leaders.

Task-Oriented

Are you the kind of person who likes to get things done? Do people come to you and ask you to do something for them and know you’ll do it? Not everyone is task-oriented, but those who are may end up being effective leaders. Being task-oriented means being a “doer,” the kind of person who focuses on getting something done and not stopping until the task is finished.

Task-oriented people generally follow through. This is important in a leader, because leaders have definite goals to reach and people to lead, and people will stop following you if you don’t get things finished.

Also, task-oriented leaders do not need “babysitting” to get something done. They can take initiative on their own – the task itself is motivation.

Honest Self-Image

Leaders tend to be pretty honest about their weaknesses and strengths, but not to the point of letting either one take over. For instance, a leader can balance between recognizing his weakness and not letting that stop him/her, and a leader can see his/her strengths without getting conceited. Those in leadership positions may find that they garner more respect when they are honest and “transparent” about their flaws than if they pretend to be perfect.

People Person

A leader tends to be a people person – someone who derives lots of energy from being around people. Such extroverted personalities make great leaders, but introverts are not barred from leadership, either. You can have a love for people and be introverted; you just respond differently to interacting with others.

In other words, you can be a “people person” even if you find yourself tired of leading at the end of a day. Extroverts and introverts can both be motivated by a love for people and their wellbeing.

“Infectious” Joy

Have you ever been around someone who just seems happy with life in general? If a person shares an idea or thought and seems really happy about it, do you feel like joining him or her? Leaders tend to exhibit this kind of infectious joy that draws other people to them. Positive-thinking leaders have a zest for life that compels other people to join them.

The general consensus is, characteristics of a good leader can be in-born or learned, or a bit of both. If you don’t have all of these traits naturally, you can learn many of them. No two leaders are the same.

Your Turn

What personality characteristic do you feel make for a good leader?  Do share in the comments.

Bossy Girls Grow up to Be Leaders

Bossy Girls Grow Up to Be Leaders

I will never forget the day Keith Carlson told me our 7th grade Home Economics teacher said I was a bossy girl. We were sitting in our assigned “kitchenette” and I became indignant. That moment could have changed me. It might have crushed my confidence. Instead, I embraced the bossy girl in me.

If you are raising a bossy girl, here are some tips to transition your perception of her bossiness into effective leadership.

Signs That Your Daughter May Be a Strong Leader

Is your daughter a strong leader? Do you suspect that she might grow up to be an effective and proactive leader? Or maybe you aren’t sure what to look for. Still others might wonder why bother – does it matter if you discover leadership abilities early? Actually, some sources say it does matter. Observing leadership qualities early means parents, teachers and caregivers can work to develop those talents so they do not fall by the wayside.

If you want to make sure you develop your daughter’s leadership qualities, here are some signs to watch for. Some of them may surprise you!

Talkative

Does it sometimes drive you crazy that your daughter talks so much? Actually, being talkative may be a sign of things to come. A chatty nature indicates a daughter with excellent verbal skills, which are important for good leaders. Did your daughter talk early and proficiently? This may be a sign that he or she will be a good leader.

Treats Others with Respect

If you notice that your daughter seems to end up in responsible positions – team captain, for instance, or band director – and you know he didn’t get that position because of “muscling” his way to the top or bullying others, then this may be a sign of leadership ability. Notice if your daughter seems to have others “gravitate” toward her and wish to emulate her. Take note whether or not this is due to respectful treatment. If it is, you may have a strong leader on your hands.

Sees Both Sides

Some kids show an ability to understand both sides of an issue. They tend to be peace keepers, helping two arguing kids to see reason, for instance.

In the Know

Does your daughter always know what’s going on? Is he or she always aware of the latest happening at school or in the family? This is not the same as being a gossip (that’s not a good leadership quality), but it does mean that he or she is paying attention and interested in what’s going on with others.

Inquisitive

A good leader is not afraid to ask questions, but he/she is not afraid to go looking for answers on his own, either. Too much questioning may show self-doubt – your daughter is always trying to make sure about things – but healthy questions that spring from a true desire to know more about something may be a sign of leadership ability.