6 tips for more effective leadership

Randy Goruk, Author, "Sparks: A Business Fable"

As a leadership coach, Randy Goruk sees how many managers aren’t as effective as they could be. But he, on the other hand, never personally experienced that, so he saw an opportunity to identify areas where managers could improve to increase their overall effectiveness. He did it through writing “Sparks: A Business Fable.”

Smart Business spoke with him about the six principles in his book that leaders can embrace to be more effective.

He says, “If you can develop these competencies to a point of mastering them, then I believe you will have success in fully engaging your team and success in having your team deliver results for you and your organization.”

Have unwavering character. If you’re able to demonstrate unwavering character, you earn trust and respect from your organization. Be consistent in your words, your actions, your behaviors. If you’re sincere, authentic, truthful, fair and you can be respectful of others — not be hypocritical and give credit where credit is due — those are ways to demonstrate unwavering character.

Sometimes you watch the news, you see there are business leaders that slip a great deal. They have good character, but they didn’t have unwavering character because there were cases where they wavered, and they lost respect.

Genuinely care. If you can demonstrate to your people how much you care about their performance and professional growth and their advancement in their careers and that you can help them achieve their goals, they’ll do anything for you. They will care about you, and if they care about you, they’ll deliver results for you, and that’s what you’re accountable to.

Have stellar communication skills. When you have communication breakdowns in your organization, you end up with an organization that isn’t engaged. (Employees) feel like there’s a piece missing, so why should they care, and they feel like they’re not in the loop, so they don’t know how to contribute to the organization’s success.

There are so many ways in which a leader can improve their communication. It’s everything from the art of asking great questions, creating focal points, learning how to leverage technology and being good at presentations to one that I think of as a personal favorite of mine — the genuineness of writing personal, handwritten notes of appreciation and congratulations to those on your team that have done a great job for you.

Be a great thinker. People say, ‘No, you have to be visionary, but to be visionary, you have to be a great thinker.’ There are too many leaders busy doing things and not spending enough time thinking. Thinking requires work. You need to concentrate on your calendar and set time aside for yourself and just sit there and think about your future and think about the lessons you’ve learned in the past and what is it you need to do in your organization. Things they’re spending time on today need to be what happen three to six, nine months out — not what’s happening this week.

Be mentally tough. When you’re in a leadership position, you’re challenged with all kinds of different situations that can be stressful. You have to remain mentally strong to do the right thing for your business. There’s a balancing act in there between doing the right thing for your business and doing the right thing for your people. It’s stressful. They need to appreciate and recognize the importance of their own personal work-life balance. It can be extremely challenging to balance your family and work, but you have to be respectful of that and find a way to make that happen. You also have to pay attention to the work-life balance of those that work underneath you because if things aren’t good at home, they’re not going to be good at work.

Embrace accountability. We see many places today where business leaders are reckless in their decisions, their behaviors and their actions. If they’re not held accountable, why would anyone else working with them think they should be accountable? A leader has to embrace accountability or others won’t embrace accountability. Leaders also have to learn how to hold others accountable for their results, their behaviors, their performance, because a leader needs to deliver results. Although you can delegate responsibility, you can’t delegate accountability, and you are accountable for the results, so holding others accountable for their behaviors and performance is crucial to your success and your credibility.

How to reach: www.SparksTheBook.com