The only way for someone to be the most effective possible leader is to never settle for anything less that his personal best, always. I have heard many explanations and excuses for their attitudes toward leadership.
Consistently, less effective individuals in leadership positions seem to aim for trying hard, or say they will do their best (while usually consciously or subconsciously settling for less. While effective leaders hope to motivate followers to do more and take more action (get more involved), even the best leader has limitations of what he can expect from others.
On the other hand, true leaders never settle for less than their personal best, and must demand their own personal maximum effort and commitment. My observations of leaders have demonstrated that the vast majority in leadership accept far less commitment from themselves, often having some sort of excuse or explanation for why they could not do so.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Make the most of yourself, for that all there is of you.” A true leader must lead by example, and others will observe anything less than a complete effort from the leader. Without that effort, most potential followers will adopt the attitude that why should they commit themselves if even the leader doesn’t totally immerse himself. As Ray Kroc wrote, “The quality of a leader is reflected in the standard they set for themselves.”
1. A primary quality for effective leadership is emphasizing communication skills. This means that a true leader will expand his comfort zone, and not simply rely on methods of communication that he finds easiest and least stressful, but will do all he can to maximize communication.
A common example that I have observed in leaders over the years, especially in the last decade or so, is many in leadership neglect all but digital forms of communication (e.g. email, texts, etc.). I believe that this has been a major contributing factor to the dwindling in membership numbers, because digital communications, while effective for certain circumstances, is generally cold and impersonal.
I have observed leaders who rather than pick up a phone and speak to a member who has either questions or issues, only sends him an email, expecting an already disgruntled and/ or disappointed/ disillusioned member to respond. On the other hand, the effective leader calmly discusses the matter on the phone, in a one- to- one, personal matter, and almost always gets better, more satisfying results.
2. An event organizer often needs to make adjustments “on the fly,” because everything does not always come out as planned. The planner/ leader who takes the attitude that he’s done all he can and it will all work out, is doing a disservice to the role of an event planner. An effective leader always has contingency plans, and always thinks of ways to do more, better, and more efficiently and effectively.
Anyone can call himself a leader. However, only someone who commits fully to his best efforts and refuses to settle for less from himself, is a real leader, with the chance for greatness.
By Joseph Coffey