Effective leaders inspire their employees, drive growth, increase productivity and add value to a company. None of these are epiphanies, in fact, they're just a reiteration of the same things you've always heard. What's often lacking from this description of effective leadership are the behaviors that are needed to become an effective leader. In a recent study performed by McKinsey & Company, a leading global management consulting firm, it was revealed that there are four key behaviors that effective leaders engage in.
Massive Leadership Study:
What Really Matters in Leadership?
After first researching and developing a list of 20 distinct leadership traits, they surveyed nearly 200,000 people in more than 80 organizations around the globe. The objective was to discover which behaviors were most often applied within organizations. What they found were four distinct behaviors that account for 89% of leadership effectiveness.
Leaders Have Effective Problem Solving Skills
One of the most important skills any leader can possess is the ability to solve problems effectively. Information gathering, analysis, and careful consideration of the steps to be taken are imperative. Although it seems like a simple process, it's actually more difficult than one might think. Problems, to an effective leader are simply challenges that must be overcome. What's more, those with honed problem solving skills are more apt to make decisions that are beneficial to the organization and its stakeholders.
Leaders Drive Results
Every organization needs to set goals to work toward. Whether that's increasing production, improving customer service or expanding into new territories. However, goal setting is only one part of the equation. Without follow through, goals are meaningless. Therefore, effective leaders drive results by focusing on the work with the highest value in terms of accomplishing goals. Strong results orientation puts a significant emphasis on improving efficiency and productivity, without sacrificing quality.
Leaders Accept Input
A single individual cannot possibly see everything from every angle, they can only see things from their own perspective. Leaders who realize this are more likely to not just allow, but encourage input from sources outside of themselves. Whether information is being obtained from others in the industry, environmental groups, employees or shareholders, the input is welcomed. That said, it is vitally important that leaders base their ultimate decisions on a combination of this input and thorough analysis of the situation.
Leaders Show Support
Supportive leaders are empathetic, encouraging and willing to take charge of situations when needed, but still allowing autonomy. Effective leaders show a true interest in others, which builds a trusting relationship. They are also able to inspire employees and offer encouragement to overcome challenges and to become more efficient. This type of nurturing environment helps eliminate conflicts, alleviates fears and draws teams closer together so everyone becomes more successful.
Effective leadership, is by no means, solely driven by the attributes mentioned above, however, these four traits are most common in the best leaders. If you want to learn more about effective leadership, or you want to discuss anything else, please contact us. We appreciate your input.