Every conscientious leader strives to be more effective. I want to get better and so do you. That’s why we work on our approach to leading ourselves and others, not just doing whatever we do. If we mostly work with our heads down (doing the work), we often miss the big picture – the effective way of getting things done.

Extensive research has revealed the most effective leaders follow eight practices:

  • They ask, “What needs to be done?”
  • They ask, “What are the most important things for the organization?”
  • They create a consistent playbook, which includes clear action plans.
  • They take responsibility for decisions.
  • They take responsibility for good communication.
  • They focus on opportunities rather than problems.
  • They run well-planned and productive meetings.
  • They think and speak “we” rather than “I.”

Peter Drucker in his book The Effective Executive dives into each of these eight practices.

A leadership priority is to block time to consider your ways and ask yourself transformational questions. Here’s a short list of good questions:

  • What is my philosophy of leadership?
  • What do my team members expect from me?
  • When was the last time I kept an accurate record of how I used my time?
  • What is my very best strength that can be leveraged for the good of the organization?
  • Do I really know what motivates my team members?
  • When was the last time I admitted a leadership failure?

Investing time in developing your leadership is a moral responsibility. It is vital to the success of your organization, your personal growth, and perhaps most importantly: investing time in improving your leadership is the same as investing time in improving the lives of those you lead.

Everyone has skills for which they can be recognized but becoming a student of leadership will add value to everything you do and every person you engage.

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