What is Effective Leadership?

by Marcel van Wiggen

If you read the vast number of books and internet posts on leadership it is easy to become confused. Different terminologies are used every other year to give almost the identical message. Some books talk about the competencies and talents you need. Other books talk about the role you need to take and what your main focus should be. Some books even make a clear distinction between men and women in leadership positions.

But in reality leadership is quite basic. Leadership is not related to being male or female. Leadership is the result of your actions, not your personality or genetically induced qualities (if there are any).

Leadership is always the result of your daily habits.

Your daily habits reflect the person that you are. In leading others this is far more important than your intelligence and expertise in your work field. The generation of today is not impressed by authority or intellect (everything is available on the internet), but is looking for leaders that care, dream big and lead by example.

So if you train yourself on a daily basis to:

  1. Make meaningful connections with others,
  2. Dream and communicate your ideas for the future,
  3. Push yourself to act, even when you are afraid, you are bound to become a good leader!
  1. Make Meaningful Connections with Others

Make sure your agenda is not booked with a meeting after a meeting, but instead invest time in getting to know your colleagues. Making true connections with others is essential for work but also life in general. Be authentic in who you are, how you think and feel. At the same time be curious. Be curious in the thoughts and feelings of others. Truly try to understand people and a meaningful connection will enfold.

  1. Dream and Communicate your Ideas for the Future

Train yourself to think big and think differently. No major breakthrough has ever enfolded from the same type of thinking. Take time to reflect, search information and brainstorm with colleagues. As soon as a spark has settled and an idea has formed, start communicating. People will recognise your passion and enthusiasm and will get inspired. They might not support your idea fully, but your spark will invite them to think with you.

  1. Push Yourself to Act, even when You are Afraid

Different results demand different actions. If you want better results you need to start doing things differently. You need to start changing yourself, you need to start taking risks. Maybe you need to have the tough talk, make the decision or put your foot down. Be authentic about your doubts, fears and struggles, but do it anyway. It is courage that inspires others to follow you.

Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the ability to act in the presence of fear” – Bruce Lee

Leadership is not a role, so do not try to perform as if it was one. Be authentic and work consistently on these three areas. You will soon grow and develop as an individual and achieve the results you aspire.

If you would like to not only become a good leader but also a great leader, stay tuned for the next blog.

You can only lead others, if you can lead yourself.


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