Leader

A series on becoming a more successful leader.

There’s no doubt about it. Being in a leadership position is a very difficult job. We are required to do so much and to be all things to so many people. The advice we get is often great in theory, but falls short of the mark in practice. We need practical strategies that will help us, and those around us become, or continue being successful.

There seems to be a myth that having been a successful leader once, we know all there is to know about leadership. All we need to do to dispel this myth is spend one day when things don’t go as planned. Just as coworkers, customers, and clients come in all shapes and sizes so do they come with all sorts of attitudes, temperaments, personalities and experiences.

One thing is certain. Unless parameters for successful operations are in place, no progress is made. You can have a dynamic business plan, an awe inspiring mission statement, an a precise instrument for measuring success, but without proper parameters and a procedural system in place, you are spinning your wheels.

Here are a few givens.

  • Most behavior is learned.
  • The cause and effect relationship of behavior usually determine if the behavior will continue.
  • That which is learned can be relearned correctly.

There are some things we can do as leaders to help prevent problems from arising.

  • Maintain a full agenda of activities. This will limit down time and inefficiency in your operation.
  • Be consistent in your delivery and expectations.
  • Have a contingency plan in place before the next day of business.
  • Communicate with language that is positive, yet firm.
  • Create a pleasant, safe working environment.
  • Communicate with customers, coworkers and clients on a regular basis.
  • Intervene early when difficulties arise.
  • Teach your coworkers problem solving techniques.
  • Communicate and coordinate with peers, even those in other organizations.
  • Determine staff ability levels.
  • Identify appropriate motivational tools.
  • Constantly reevaluate your procedures for appropriateness and possible improvement.
  • Maintain high supervisory mobility within the workplace.
  • Use shaping and fading strategies to gradually change non-productive staff behaviors.
  • Involve your staff as much as possible, in day to day decisions and long term planning.

This guide is not intended as a panacea for all staff and work related problems. It is intended to be a place to start so that as leaders we can continue to facilitate positive change within our organizations, thus allows us and those around us to continue to succeed.

Keep in mind that your customers and clients should be foremost in your mind and not every strategy will work with every individual every time. It is important to pick and choose techniques that might work with that individual at that given place and time. By applying these principals you will help to create a productive, creative, and positive environment for all involved.

Reg Adkins writes on behavior and the human experience at (elementaltruths.blogspot.com).

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