You made it: you’re a leader at your firm, but isn’t effective leadership really your ultimate definition of professional and personal success?
If so, you might consider reversing the telescope through which you targeted your goal. Now peer through the lens and train your eyes on your staff.
Why? Because your company’s product and your customers’ satisfaction are both the fruit of the hands that produce it.
Train those hands and care for the people to whom those hands are attached; and the product will improve and your customer base will grow.
An effective leader strives to make his or her followers their top priority and in so doing they boost productivity and the corporate bottom line organically.
What does it take to build a reputation for effective leadership? A solid foundation of trust is a good starting point. A recent survey revealed that staff members value honesty and integrity above all other attributes in a leader. Trust inspires loyalty and it fuels hard work.
One of the surest ways to build trust is to demonstrate trustworthiness through selfless acts of kindness. In fact, altruism has become an integral part of effective leadership. Popularly called “corporate responsibility,” charitable good works are the new endgame for companies all over the country.
It’s a perfect way to sow seeds of goodwill in your community while sowing seeds of friendship and camaraderie among your staff. You can donate school supplies–pens, paper, and backpacks–to local students. You can assemble and give teddy bears to children in need of a little hug-therapy after a house fire or other family calamity.
Soldiers deployed overseas will welcome your care packages stuffed with toiletries and snacks. Build several bikes, a wagon, or a wheelchair and partner with social service organizations to guarantee that your gifts reach the hands of families who need them most. It takes very little time or effort to make a big difference in the lives of people in need of care and support.
The by-product of your efforts will be a workforce that has learned to speak and understand a whole new language–the language of kindness is universal and in need of greater fluency. When given the chance, people speak it with their hearts, and their lives are made better for it.
And that’s what effective leadership is really all about: making the lives of your followers better for having followed you. Ralph Waldo Emerson said it well: “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”