Among leaders, some stand out as effective.  This usually does not come easy no matter how these leaders seem to ease along. It takes a lot of work and effort to be one of the best, just like in any field in life.  The goals and survival of the group depend on you and your style of leadership.  You must work hard constantly to be the better version of yourself and know what it means to be a leader among other things, some of which will be discussed below.

Here are some of the steps you can take to become more effective as a leader:

  • Be confident

Followers look up to and respect you when as a leader you know what you are doing and do not linger in the valley of doubt and self-pity.  A leader is someone who provides solutions and delegates.  If you are always cowering, whining, and second-guessing yourself, people will not put their trust in you.  They will not look up to you as a strong figure that can help solve their problems.  Confidence plays an essential role in how people perceive you.  Keep your chin up and stand tall.

  • Expand your knowledge and develop your skills

For one to lead, they must know what they are doing and have the right set of skills and knowledge of the field they are in. Leaders have to continuously hone their skills, move with the times, and expand their knowledge to serve effectively.  Many solutions require a multi-disciplinary approach and the more one reads, the more they can know of various sustainable ways to solve a certain problem or execute a certain task.  Do not become obsolete like an anachronism in your field. Never stop learning.

  • Work on your communication skills

A leader needs to have effective communication techniques.  Since they have to delegate and command, they have to be great at communicating with others.  Know when to give constructive criticism and when to give praise.  Know how to give clear instructions and motivate others.  If things get lost in translation, it can jeopardize the whole project.  Your communication skills will determine if you become a good mentor or not.

  • Be a person of vision

Vision is what drives a team forward…  It gives essence to the work that is being conducted. Without vision, people tend to lose sight or perspective of what it is they are doing.  As a leader, you aim to give your team something to work towards.   If you have no vision, there will never be progress. Inspire others, motivate them with a sense of purpose, unfurl their sails and let the headwind of purpose drive them to some daring feats.

  • Do not shy away from responsibility

One does not become a leader if he or she constantly shirks responsibility. Being a leader means that you have to carry some extra burden.  You are responsible for the lives and well-being of others.  Be a responsible person and lead by example.  Don’t let others do the job for you.  Always be ready to carry the burden that comes with leading.

  • Surround yourself with a great team

Your team will determine how far you go and how many projects you will tackle.  Surround yourself with motivated, driven, creative and diligent people.  If your team is full of lazy sloths, no work will ever be done.  Also, you have to work with people of integrity- people who can work without needing much supervision.  Learn to bond with your team and nurture them so that they can fully blossom under your wing.

  • Be versatile and creative

The world is in flux, and as a leader, you have to be flexible and creative enough to always be up to date with new technologies and research.  Boost your creativity and always be flexible. Listen to experts and team members.  Do not be obdurate.  There are many ways to approach an issue.  Do not dismiss ideas without mulling over them.

  • Know your limits

No man is an island, and no one can do it all.  As a leader, you have to know your limits and accept that there are things you cannot do.  Do not let this eat you up.  Do not drive yourself mad over things beyond you.  Know when to stop, when to seek advice, and admit when you are wrong.  Ego can compromise or put your team in peril.

  • Be humble

Humility is a quality required in leaders.  Arrogance is a deplorable trait, and you have to avoid falling into that pit.  As a leader, be humble and listen to the counsel of others.  You cannot know it all.  Being a leader does not mean you are the most intelligent person in the room.

In conclusion, being a great leader is a journey.  It means you have to reinvent yourself and work on yourself constantly.  It takes courage, humility, and great self-knowledge to lead others effectively.

Copyright 2021 Terry H. Hill

Terry H. Hill is the Managing Partner of The Seaplace Group, LLC. is a veteran chief executive, his three-plus decades of work with business owners, executives, and employees of privately held companies have been instrumental in helping them deal with the challenges they face in each stage of their business life cycle. Terry is the author of the book, How to Jumpstart Your Business, a practical guide for down-to-earth answers to questions and challenges that every business owner and executive faces.