Effective Leadership by Adam Gramling
About a year ago I was asked what I saw as the most important characteristics of an effective leadership. After pondering this topic for a week or so, here is my answer.
To me, the most important characteristics of an effective leadership are the ability to empathize, negotiate, and implement. Each of these qualities reflects a crucial part of a leader’s position, regardless of the task at hand.
A critical characteristic that separates many effective leaders from ineffective leaders is simply listening to the other ideas spawning from the group. In order to receive the best outcome for the final desired result, options must be considered. Take for example a CEO who wants to do everything his way, no other ways considered. If his idea has defects, and due to his leadership position, the entire group will suffer. Just because a person has been elected or otherwise obtained a powerful spot, does not mean they always have the best ideas.
Once ideas have been put forward and heard by others, negotiation is important in creating an effective product. Through debate between others, the best ideas are brought forward and can then be presented and agreed upon. In multiple instances I have witnessed that without negotiation and debate, the end product is usually outfitted with unintentional errors and defects. Negotiation allows for ideas to be questioned down and nit-picked, leading to increased planning and design. An effective leader is able to guide this process and determine what the final product should be.
To accomplish the final goal, effective leaders must be gifted in the implementation of a plan. In almost all leadership positions time is a factor and therefore should not be wasted. To be effective a leader must be able to realize how much empathy and debate is productive, and when it becomes inefficient. As we can see in our political system, gridlock stalls progress when a leader is unable to push the group through negotiation and thereby cannot implement a plan. In personal experiences I have witnessed fantastic leaders take a product through these first two leadership characteristics, but stall on the pushing through of the product and thus the overall picture fails. Implementation must be put into place by a leader or the entire plan will fall.
For an individual to be an effective and successful leader, three criteria must be met. To face a task ideas must spawn from numerous people and be considered for action. Consideration leads way to negotiation where the ideas are analyzed, debated, and guided by an individual until the best idea remains. From there the individual must be able to move the idea from concept to reality through implementation in a timely manner. These three tasks reflect the characteristics that make the difference between a leader and an effective leader.