Defining Effective Leadership — What Is It, Really? [Part Two]

In our last post, we talked about two of the four characteristics that account for 89 percent of leadership effectiveness, as determined by McKinsey. This post will discuss the other two characteristics on this list: seeking different perspectives and supporting others.

Seeking Different Perspectives

The best leaders recognize that they don’t have all of the answers. They actively seek input from others, and they are willing to admit when another person’s idea is superior. Leaders who possess this quality eliminate bias as much as possible and base their decisions on sound analysis. Below are some tips leaders can use to develop and exercise this characteristic.

  • Differentiate between important and unimportant issues. Learning to determine which issues are important to the future of the company and which are not worth your time, is essential.
  • Encourage employees to contribute their ideas. Employees often have ideas that can improve the performance and productivity of the company. Leaders should actively seek their input.
  • Consider the concerns of key stakeholders. When evaluating problems and making important decisions, leaders should always consider the views of the company’s key stakeholders.

Supporting Others

A good leader should be compassionate and supportive to colleagues and subordinates alike. Individuals who possess this quality can build trust and inspire others to work harder. When a leader actively supports others within the company, this support can go a long way to in the prevention of internal conflicts. Leaders can show their support for others by:

  • Looking for ways to help others. Rather than waiting for others to come to them, leaders should actively seek opportunities to provide guidance and assistance.
  • Listening. When an employee expresses a concern or idea, leaders should listen attentively and empathetically.
  • Promoting conflict resolution. When conflicts occur, good leaders intervene and resolve the problems to the benefit of all parties.

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