To be an effective leader, there are seven principles you must incorporate into your leadership behaviour and activities.
* Clarity – This is perhaps your most important responsibility. You must be absolutely clear about who you are and what you stand for. You must be absolutely clear about your vision and where you want to lead your people. You must be absolutely clear about the goals and objectives of the organization and how they are to be obtained.
Especially, you must be absolutely clear about the values, mission, and purpose of the organization and what it stands for. Everyone around you and below you must know exactly why they are doing what they do and what their company has been formed to accomplish.
* Competence – As the leader, you must set a standard of excellent performance for the organization as well as for every person and function in the company. Your goal must be for your company to be as good as, or better than, your very best competitor. You must be continually seeking ways to improve the quality of your products and services to your customers.
* Commitment – The leader is absolutely committed to the success of the organization and believes completely that this organization is the best in the business or will be the best in the future. This passionate commitment to the organization—and to success and achievement— motivates and inspires people to do their best work and put their whole hearts into their jobs.
* Constraints – The job of the leader is to identify the constraints or limiting factors that set the speed at which the company achieves its most important goals of revenue and profitability. The leader then allocates people and resources to alleviate those constraints and remove the obstacles so it can perform as one of the best in the industry.
* Creativity: The leader is open to new ideas of all kinds and from all sources. The leader is continually encouraging people to find faster, better, cheaper, and easier ways to produce excellent products and services and to take better care of customers.
* Continuous Learning – The leader is personally committed to reading, listening, and upgrading his or her personal knowledge and skills as an executive. The leader should attend additional seminars and courses to improve his or her skills and abilities.
At the same time, the leader encourages everyone in the organization to learn and grow as a normal and natural part of business life. The leader provides time and resources for training and development. The leader knows that the best companies have the best-trained people. The second-best companies have the second-best trained people. And the third-best companies have the least-trained people—and are on their way out of business.
* Consistency – The leader has the self-discipline to be consistent, dependable, reliable, calm, and predictable in all situations. One of the great comforts of business life is for an employee to know that the leader is completely consistent and reliable. An effective leader does not change from day to day. The leader is not “blown in the wind” by each new situation, problem, or emergency that arises. Instead, the leader is calm, positive, and confident.
The only thing that is inevitable in the life of the leader is the crisis. When you rise to a position of leadership, you will experience crises repeatedly—crises that are unpredictable, unbidden, and often capable of seriously damaging the organization.
It is in the crisis that the leader demonstrates his competence. In times of crisis, the leader becomes calm, cool, objective, and completely in control. The leader asks questions and gathers information. The leader assesses the situation accurately and makes whatever decisions are necessary to minimize the damage or cut the losses.
Great leaders discipline themselves to keep their fears and misgivings private.