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Sunday, 29 January 2012

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Common sense for superlative leadership

You may say that it's impossible to be an admired leader given the tough environment today and that you cannot please your subordinates all the time, but push them to get the best. Leaders are always looking for ways to become more effective which usually ends up in pressure on team members.

The best way is to try and improve people's skills by following a common sense approach that is simple, reliable and more importantly sustainable. If you want high productivity from your staff consider these suggestions to better manage subordinates. Engage and show compassion if you are always yelling, busy, distracted, unfocused or generally miserable, get over yourself first.

Engage your staff, in conversation, show compassion, be a cheer-leader, smile, motivate and communicate. Never forget that you set the tone for the team.

It is your job to establish communication with your people not the other way around. Remember that a boss who is approachable is one whom the staff can trust and will more likely perform better without the fear factor.

Consistency in direction

There is nothing more frustrating to an employee than bosses who change their mind every other day. No one wants to follow someone who is chaotic, unsure, and unpredictable. Good leadership requires a clear and consistent direction and message. Not only set clear goals, but have proper follow-up too. If the staff thinks that you will give orders ,but never check back, you do not know what you are missing.

Set high standards

Don't let actions or undesirable work habits get established. Nip it in the bud. Always set standards.

If employees recognise that you will accept substandard performance, then that is what you will receive. Holding high standards will consistently send the message that quality of work is just as important as quantity of work.

Favouritism only based on performance

It is certainly fine to show favouritism towards employees, as long as it is based on performance. Promotions, rewards, and favours should be given to high performers who do their job well. Rewarding misaligned behaviour will be counter productive to effective business. It sends the wrong message to the wrong doer, and it will also create resentment from the rest of the staff.

Reward good performance

When you accomplish your goals, know that it did not happen accidentally. Reward those who participated and contributed to the success. When you reward those who already know that they were part of this success, it motivates them to continue to do better, increases the likelihood to repeat this good performance, and instills pride.

Make it a goal that everybody wins, the customer, the employee, and of course the business. You will lead a successful team if you are an approachable leader, who is consistent- a goal setter who leads with a plan, sets reasonable expectations and always support. One who is fair, and who shares success. Use your common sense!

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