4 ways to improve your leadership Abilities
Being a leader is a life time process,you will need to have check and balance everyday to ensure that your leadership qualities are still in track.There are four signs that may help you to determine whether you are still moving in the right direction or you need to reposition yourself;these signs can be used as a means to improve your leadership abilities for higher impact:
Warning Sign #1: A Shift in Focus
Leaders are usually distinguished by their ability to “think big.” But as their focus shifts, their thinking shrinks. Often, leaders simply lose sight of what’s important. They micromanage, get caught up in minutiae, and succumb to perfectionism in trivial decisions better left to others.
Even more subtle is an obsession with “doing” rather than “becoming.” A leader’s greatest influence flows from inner vision and integrity, but it’s possible for a leader to become infatuated with action and, in the process, lose touch with the all-important development of character. Busier isn’t always better. What is your primary focus right now? If you can’t write it on the back of your business card, then your leadership suffers from a lack of clarity.
Warning Sign #2: Poor Communication
Lack of focus disorients a leader and sets the stage for poor communication. Followers can’t possibly understand a leader’s intent when the leader isn’t even sure what it is! Sometimes, leaders delude themselves into believing that committed followers can sense their goals and carry out their wishes without being told.
When misunderstandings arise, managers blame their people for lack of effort (or commitment) rather than recognizing their own communication negligence. “Say what you mean, and mean what you say” is timeless advice, but it must be preceded by knowing what you mean! Clarity of purpose is the starting point for all effective communication.
Warning Sign #3: Risk Aversion
Past victories create pressure for leaders: “Will I be able to sustain outstanding performance?” The longer a leader is successful, the higher his or her perceived cost of failure will be. When driven by the fear of failure, leaders are unable to take reasonable risks. They limit themselves to tried and proven pathways. Attempts at innovation—key to their initial success—diminish and eventually disappear. Which is more important to you: the journey or the destination? Are you still taking reasonable risks? Prudent leadership avoids reckless risk, but neither is it paralyzed by fear.
Warning Sign #4: Ethics Slip
A leader’s credibility depends upon two qualities: what he or she does (competency) and who he or she is (character). Deficiencies in either create an integrity problem. The highest principle of leadership is integrity. When ethical compromise is rationalized as necessary for the “greater good,” a leader is on the slippery slope of failure. All too often, leaders see their followers as pawns, mere means to an end. As a result, they confuse manipulation with leadership. Such leaders rapidly lose respect. To save face, they cease to be people “perceivers” and become people “pleasers,” using popularity to ease the guilt of lapsed integrity. Are there areas of conflict between what you believe and how you behave?