Eric Jacobson

Posts Tagged ‘Effective Leadership’

Effective Leadership Means This

In Eric Jacobson Leadership, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership Traits on August 15, 2014 at 5:58 am

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I was recently asked, “What five most important traits must a leader have to be effective?”  I could reply fairly quickly, but I did take a moment to remember that when I asked a similar question in a LinkedIn group discussion, group members offered up nearly 100 different adjectives to describe an effective leader.

But, for me, I contend the five most important traits are:

  1. Good communicator. That means effectively communicating timely and consistent messages during good and bad times. And, knowing how and when to be a good listener. Communicating is critical. Employees must hear from their leaders. And, hearing from their leaders in person versus e-mail and written memos is even more effective.
  2. Being a servant leader. Put your employees and your company first. A top manager who makes decisions that are self-serving will lack followers and will bring the company down.
  3. Adaptable. Today, more than ever, a leader needs to adapt. That means adapting to competitive and industry situations. It also means being willing to change your decisions if new information or circumstances warrant the change.
  4. Decisive. Leaders who aren’t decisive and who can’t make a decision will spin their organization into a frozen state where employees are unmotivated, wasting time, and discouraged.
  5. Motivating. Smart, decisive, engaging, tough yet fair, personable and encouraging leaders are motivating. These leaders motivate employees to deliver their best for their leaders and for their company.

What is your list of five traits?

 

5 Traits For Effective Leadership

In Eric Jacobson On Leadership, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Education, Leadership Skills, Leadership Traits, Management on July 13, 2013 at 7:26 am

 Eric Jacobson Leadership

I was recently asked, “What five most important traits must a leader have to be effective?”  I could reply fairly quickly, but I did take a moment to remember that when I asked a similar question in a LinkedIn group discussion, group members offered up nearly 100 different adjectives to describe an effective leader. 

But, for me, I contend the five most important traits are:

  1. Good communicator. That means effectively communicating timely and consistent messages during good and bad times. And, knowing how and when to be a good listener. Communicating is critical. Employees must hear from their leaders. And, hearing from their leaders in person versus e-mail and written memos is even more effective.
  2. Being a servant leader. Put your employees and your company first. A top manager who makes decisions that are self-serving will lack followers and will bring the company down.
  3. Adaptable. Today, more than ever, a leader needs to adapt. That means adapting to competitive and industry situations. It also means being willing to change your decisions if new information or circumstances warrant the change.
  4. Decisive. Leaders who aren’t decisive and who can’t make a decision will spin their organization into a frozen state where employees are unmotivated, wasting time, and discouraged.
  5. Motivating. Smart, decisive, engaging, tough yet fair, personable and encouraging leaders are motivating. These leaders motivate employees to deliver their best for their leaders and for their company.

What is your list of five traits?

70 Ways To Be A Better Leader

In Company Culture, Effective Communications, Employee Engagement, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Education, Leadership Skills, Listening Skills, Making Decisions, Management, Mentoring, Motivating Employees, Soliciting Feedback, Team Building on July 9, 2011 at 4:57 am

This list of 70 ways to be a more effective leader is one I like to review every couple weeks:

1. Don’t micromanage
2. Don’t be a bottleneck
3. Focus on outcomes, not minutiae
4. Build trust with your colleagues before a crisis comes
5. Assess your company’s strengths and weaknesses at all times
6. Conduct annual risk reviews

7. Be courageous, quick and fair
8. Talk more about values more than rules
9. Reward how a performance is achieved and not only the performance
10. Constantly challenge your team to do better
11. Celebrate your employees’ successes, not your own
12. Err on the side of taking action

13. Communicate clearly and often
14. Be visible
15. Eliminate the cause of a mistake
16. View every problem as an opportunity to grow
17. Summarize group consensus after each decision point during a meeting
18. Praise when compliments are earned

19. Be decisive
20. Say “thank you” and sincerely mean it
21. Send written thank you notes
22. Listen carefully and don’t multi-task while listening
23. Teach something new to your team
24. Show respect for all team members
25. Follow through when you promise to do something
26. Allow prudent autonomy

27. Respond to questions quickly and fully
28. Return e-mails and phone calls promptly
29. Give credit where credit is due
30. Take an interest in your employees and their personal milestone events
31. Mix praise with constructive feedback for how to make improvement
32. Learn the names of your team members even if your team numbers in the hundreds
33. Foster mutual commitment
34. Admit your mistakes
35. Remove nonperformers
36. Give feedback in a timely manner and make it individualized and specific

37. Hire to complement, not to duplicate
38. Volunteer within your community and allow your employees to volunteer
39. Promote excellent customer service both internally and externally
40. Show trust
41. Encourage peer coaching
42. Encourage individualism and welcome input

43. Share third-party compliments about your employees with your employees
44. Be willing to change your decisions
45. Be a good role model
46. Be humble
47. Explain each person’s relevance
48. End every meeting with a follow-up To Do list
49. Explain the process and the reason for the decisions you make
50. Read leadership books to learn

51. Set clear goals and objectives
52. Reward the doers
53. Know yourself
54. Use job descriptions
55. Encourage personal growth and promote training, mentoring and external education
56. Share bad news, not only good news
57. Start meetings on time

58. Discipline in private
59. Seek guidance when you don’t have the answer
60. Tailor your motivation techniques
61. Support mentoring – both informal and formal mentoring
62. Don’t interrupt
63. Ask questions to clarify

64. Don’t delay tough conversations
65. Have an open door policy
66. Dig deep within your organization for ideas on how to improve processes, policies and procedures
67. Do annual written performance appraisals
68. Insist on realism
69. Explain how a change will impact employees’ feelings before, during and after the change is implemented
70. Have face-to-face interaction as often as possible

What It Takes To Be An Effective Leader

In Company Culture, Employee Engagement, Employee Satisfaction, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Skills, Leadership Training, Leading By Example, Listening Skills, Management, Team Building on March 25, 2011 at 6:27 pm

I was recently asked, “What five most important traits must a leader have to be effective?”  I could reply fairly quickly, but I did take a moment to remember that when I asked a similar question in a LinkedIn group discussion, group members offered up nearly 100 different adjectives to describe an effective leader.

But, for me, I contend the five most important traits are:

  1. Good communicator. That means effectively communicating timely and consistent messages during good and bad times. And, knowing how and when to be a good listener. Communicating is critical. Employees must hear from their leaders. And, hearing from their leaders in person versus e-mail and written memos is even more effective.
  2. Being a servant leader. Put your employees and your company first. A top manager who makes decisions that are self-serving will lack followers and will bring the company down.
  3. Adaptable. Today, more than ever, a leader needs to adapt. That means adapting to competitive and industry situations. It also means being willing to change your decisions if new information or circumstances warrant the change.
  4. Decisive. Leaders who aren’t decisive and who can’t make a decision will spin their organization into a frozen state where employees are unmotivated, wasting time, and discouraged.
  5. Motivating. Smart, decisive, engaging, tough yet fair, personable and encouraging leaders are motivating. These leaders motivate employees to deliver their best for their leaders and for their company.

What is your list of five traits?

Six No-Cost Ways To Be An Effective Leader

In Company Culture, Employee Satisfaction, Leadership, Leadership Books, Leadership Education, Leadership Skills, Leadership Training, Leading By Example, Management, Motivating Employees, Team Building on February 3, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Kansas City-based author and consultant Leigh Branham says the good news is that the most effective things a leader can do don’t cost money; they just cost time and effort.

Branham says a leader should:

  1. Make the commitment to create a great place to work.
  2. Inspire employee confidence in decisions and clear business direction.
  3. Work to build trust based on honesty and integrity.
  4. Practice open, two-way communication, especially in times of uncertainty.
  5. Look out for the organization before you look out for yourself.
  6. Believe employees should be developed and retained; not burned out and discarded.

These six leadership skills topped the list of what leaders routinely do in companies that have won “Best-Place-to-Work” competitions in 45 U.S. cities, according to research conducted by Branham.

“Overall, our research confirmed that the culture that senior leaders build is even more important than how immediate managers manage because it so profoundly influences how those managers manage,” added Branham.

Branham is the author of the book, The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave.

And when it comes to employee retention, Branham explains that there is something an employee can do, too, to help make his/her job more rewarding and fulfilling, even if their leader lacks the best of leadership skills. 

  • I recommend that the employee focus on finding unmet needs in the organization where they can use the talents they most enjoy using to do something that is meaningful and significant to both that employee and the organization,” said Branham.

Branham’s latest book is called, Re-engage.

4 Ways To Be A More Effective Leader

In Company Culture, Employee Engagement, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Books, Leadership Skills, Leadership Training, Making Decisions, Management, Motivating Employees, Setting Goals, Team Building on November 25, 2010 at 9:09 am

Roger Fulton’s book, Common Sense Management, offers these quick tips for how to be an effective leader:

  • Don’t Blame Others — When in a position of power, everything that occurs is your responsibility, even the errors. So, rather than spending effort in placing the blame on others, your job is to minimize the damage and to take the steps necessary so that the problem does not recur in the future.
  • Create Commitment — Supervisors supervise and managers control.  Leaders, on the other hand, create commitment and are absolutely essential in times of chaos, crisis or change.  In those times, leaders take charge.
  • Be Consistent — Don’t enforce the rules today and ignore them tomorrow.  Being inconsistent with rules will leave your employees unsure of what is truly expected of them.
  • Make Decisions — Make sound and timely decisions.  Gather all the facts you need to understand the situation.  Analyze the facts and review them objectively.  Formulate possible strategies and consider the consequences of each.  Choose the best strategy and make a plan to implement it.

Leadership Tips From Good Boss, Bad Boss

In General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Books, Leadership Education, Leadership Skills, Leadership Training, Listening Skills, Management, Motivating Employees on November 9, 2010 at 5:45 am

Robert Sutton, author of Good Boss, Bad Boss, provides these leadership tips:

  • Create an environment that encourages people to challenge each other’s ideas, but set a few ground rules. Don’t allow personal attacks or criticism. 
  • Really listen to the people under your supervision–don’t just fake it. 
  • Start your meetings on time, and don’t cut into employee’s personal time at lunch or after work.
  • Invite your employees into your office to give you feedback on how the ship’s running.

How Will You Be Remembered As A Leader?

In Company Culture, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Skills, Leading By Example, Management, Motivating Employees, Team Building on June 8, 2010 at 7:46 pm

As a leader, you likely have asked yourself, “How do I want to be remembered as a leader?”

But, perhaps the more important question is, “How will I remembered as a leader?”  The answer to that question is likely going to be based on the valuable lessons you shared with those you led.

The Kansas City Star newspaper recently featured a story about Marion Laboratories and its 60th anniversary.  In its heyday, Marion had 3,400 employees with sales of nearly $1 billion and in 1989 merged with Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals. 

Mr. Ewing Kauffman, fondly known as Mr. K, led Marion during its peak, and is remembered as one of the most effective, influential leaders ever in the Kansas City area.

Former employees quoted in the newspaper article remember Mr. Kauffman as a leader who shared these lessons with them:

  • “You can do anything you want if you set your mind to it and if you study your competition.”
  • “You can’t be afraid of trying something”
  • “Treat people the way you want to be treated.”
  • “Those that produce should share in the profits.”
  • “It doesn’t really matter if you have all the money in the world because you can only eat so much lobster and drink so much champagne.  But what you cannot do is get back the day you just lived. So celebrate every day, live life to the fullest, and be thankful for those with whom you work and love.”

What lessons will you leave behind?  Will the way you be remembered match the way you want to be remembered as a leader?

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