Leadership is the age-old art of guiding others toward a common objective, destination, or desired outcome. At the most fundamental level, you understand that a leader motivates, inspires, and guides others toward a common goal. Effective leadership practices are timeless, but the context in which they are applied varies over time and even from situation to situation.
A leader is accountable for defining direction through strategy and for guiding and motivating others. You will notice that the leader guides others in executing the strategy; this is independent of the leader's position or designation within the organization.
The following are the five critical roles that you, as a leader, must fulfil:
1. Communicator: The most effective leaders communicate with their teams at all levels. You will actively promote information sharing within the team. All forms of communication, whether verbal, written or electronic, convey consistency and clearly define the organization's values. You will develop the art of selecting personal communication styles that are open, honest, fair, and appropriate for various situations and audiences as a successful leader. Additionally, as a leader, you will develop the ability to actively listen to others, including those who hold contrary views. You will make necessary course corrections with care and consideration.
2. Strategic thinker: An effective leader must be able to think strategically. You must understand how the organization's various functions interact. Additionally, you must ascertain their team's strengths and weaknesses, as well as the opportunities and threats they face.
3. Decision-maker: A leader should be able to make sound decisions on behalf of their team and the organization. Prior to making significant decisions and implementing them, you as a leader must consider the impact on the team and on all team members in general. The decision maker will apply their expertise to resolve any issues. Additionally, the decision-maker will provide a platform for evaluating a variety of solutions prior to selecting the final one, ensuring that the chosen solutions align with the organization's mission and goals.
4. Team-builder: An effective team-builder empowers team members to succeed and provides timely support and feedback to encourage employee initiative. When a team member is low on energy, you will motivate them.
5. Image-builder: Consistently demonstrating fairness, integrity, and professionalism strengthens a team leader's image, thereby promoting professional success. You will conduct business and personal transactions ethically, establishing the foundation for trust, credibility, and influence among peers and team members.