What are the Best Leadership Strategies?
The best leadership strategies typically encourage initiative, create a common purpose, result in teamwork, and minimize friction. Many trends and fads exist in the search for leadership strategies, as this usually is a complex subject. There is no specific method that will produce the same results each time. In fact, a strategy that is very successful in one situation may have a completely different response in a different setting.
It can be important for a person to always remember that the purpose of leadership is to encourage others to contribute their best efforts toward a common goal, and to remain united in the face of adversity. The definition of good leadership usually varies depending on the culture, local expectations, and environment. This is an important point, as it can become very difficult to judge the success of different leadership strategies in other countries due to this gap in expectations.
The best leadership strategies always encourage initiative and creativity. There is a balance, however, between creativity and the structure of the organization. The initiative must be to help the organization fulfill the mission or goal. Any creativity that does not further the overall goal typically is not supportive of the organization.
Maintaining this control sounds complex, but it mostly is based on clear communication. A leader who can clearly communicate the short- and long-term goals, along with their expectations, typically will have few issues. Given clear boundaries and a mission, most people direct their energy toward furthering the overall organizational goal.
Creating a common purpose is an example of successful leadership strategies. People will come together despite personal differences or disagreements when united. The most common example of this is when people come together in the face of a shared adversity. This same result, however, usually can be achieved with a goal that requires input from everyone and represents a shared value.
The most effective leadership strategies continue to influence behavior when the leader is not present. Teamwork, group projects, and active participation are all signs of effective leadership. The ability for people to work together and meet the overall need is essential in any organization.
In any group of people, there always will be situations of friction and conflict. A strong leadership presence, however, usually provides a clear mission and behavioral guideline that minimizes this type of conflict. When everyone is aware of their responsibility and role in the process, there usually is an overall increase in productivity.
@Mor - A leader often has to work harder, and study longer than the people under him or her in order to get to where they are. They are often involved in organization development as well so what they do affects more people and has more stress attached.
I don't feel like it's a bad thing that leaders get paid more. And often being put in a position of power as a reward makes sense, since it's a reward for being good at what you do, good enough that you can help others to do it more efficiently.
@umbra21 - You don't want to go the other way and become arrogant though. There's nothing worse than a leader who thinks too much of himself and isn't willing to listen to other opinions and weight them fairly.
And I mean that literally since that's the definition of a dictator.
Leadership communication strategies have to include an open door policy, even if the leader has the final say.
It's good to have confidence, even essential, but you have to keep sight of the fact that even a leader is still just one facet of the whole team, with a job to do.
I think it's a shame that often leadership is used as a final reward rather than just treated as a different kind of job to what the other people do. Sure, leaders often have to work harder, but not always and usually not enough to justify the treatment and leeway they get.
Being in charge of other people has always made me nervous. It took a long time to realize that the reason I never seemed to be very good at it was because I didn't think I was very good at it.
You really have to either have confidence or at least fake that you have confidence in order to make a good leader.
If you are too nervous to tell people what to do or where they should go, then they won't be willing to listen to you either.
I think developing leadership skills is important, but really when it comes down to it, you have to tell yourself, I'm in charge. Better to possibly get in trouble over doing something wrong than lose control of the situation and definitely get in trouble for doing nothing right.
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