Sunday, February 17, 2013

Three “E”s in Effective Leaders

Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.” –Peter Drucker

Perhaps “EFFECTIVENESS” is the most popular word to describe leadership in positive way, though it seems to be fundamental, doesn’t mean to be easier or tedious as an effective leader, because it takes character to do right things, it takes vision to pull up the future, it takes insight to understand deeper, it takes adaptability to learn, and it takes creativity to do things in better way. There are many “E” words in leadership, here are three key “E”s in the effective leadership.

1. Envision 

“Envisioning the end is enough to put the means in motion”    --Dorthea Brande

 Leadership starts with having a vision, then developing a plan to achieve it. In all cases, a vision of the future is the key to getting started as a leader. An effective leader will first envision the future of business, also help other people to see themselves for not just who they are today, but who they want to be tomorrow

Leadership is forward-looking, to make progress. And progress is the realization of the “impossible,” vision is driving such progress in business, society, and the world.  Effective leaders solve problems by creatively envisioning different ways the world could and should be.  With their imagination, creativity, passion, and energy, they are the greatest creators of widespread change in the world.  They are able to see new possibilities and enrich the lives of others by creating things that never existed before.

2. Empathy 

It's got to do with putting yourself in other people's shoes and seeing how far you can come to truly understand them. I like the empathy that comes from acting.  -Christian Bale

Empathy is defined as - The power of understanding and imaginatively entering into another person's feelings; or the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.  

At today’s multi-generational, multicultural working environment, an effective leader need understand how people behave, what they desire and what their fears are, you have to not just see through the eyes of someone who is different, but you have to think through that person's brain. It's a mindset shift. Just because you disagree with someone doesn’t mean that person has an enormous ignorance of history and lack of knowledge of the difference between good and evil. Therefore, the heterogeneous leadership team is needed at today’s dynamic working environment and workforces: 

  • Engagement: Leadership is to focus the Power of teams towards COMMON PURPOSE, elevating their SPIRIT AND ENGAGEMENT. 
  • Enablement: Leadership means creating enabling mechanisms to encourage the right kind of action. Serendipity or chaos is not usually enablers, except for the briefest moment. 
  • Empowerment. Leadership means empowering people to achieve the vision. Leaders Energize. Leadership means energizing people to act. 

3. Execution 

“Execution is everything.”  –Jeff Bridges

An effective leader has to execute well, however, execution doesn’t mean “just do it” blindly. Execution is part of the good business strategy, execution  first starts with strategic focus and leverage paradox. An effective leader measures the activities most connected to achieving the goal or break down big goals into smaller, measurable goals.

The second is a discipline of leverage. effective leadership in the 21st century is about the management of paradox. For example:
  • Do we want visionary plans or pragmatic plans in business,? Yes.
  • Values or hard-edged business decisions? Yes.
  • Interdependence or independence? Yes.
  • Long-term goals or short-term goals? That would be yes.
  • Creative or disciplined organizations? Yes.
  • Do we want to build trust, or change everything?
  • Shatter bureaucracy, or standardize processes?
  • Better development of people, or boosting productivity?
  • Do we want excellent strategy or perfect execution?
  • Accelerate sales growth, or get costs down?
  • Build market share, or grow profit margins? Yes, yes, yes! 
The only way a leader can answer "yes" to all is to become a first-class orchestrator and embrace the seemingly impossible, leadership is influence, an effective leadership’s influence is to ensure “doing right things”, besides efficiency-“doing things right”; Leadership is also a process, and effective leaders will align key business processes, talent and latest technology to deliver high-performance result and build high mature business for long term.


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