The driving force behind any successful organization is strong leadership. In its simplistic form, leadership involves leading teams and motivating and inspiring them to do their jobs well. However, effective leadership encompasses various skills, abilities, and actions that drive business performance.
Additionally, effective leadership looks different today. As the world of business evolves, and the Great Resignation of 2022 continues, it’s more challenging than ever to keep talent on staff. This puts greater pressure on leaders to keep team members engaged.
In fact, according to Gallup, managers account for 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores across business units, yet only 36% of employees in the United States are engaged in their work.
Of course, there are numerous leadership theories, all defining various leadership styles that should be leveraged, depending on the situation and the team. However, above all, effective leadership needs to be a priority to ensure the longevity and sustainability of the business.
In this article, we will provide you with some tips on how to embrace effective leadership to future-proof your organization.
5 Ways to Become an Effective Leader
1. Put people first.
First and foremost, effective leaders prioritize and value people and communicate this to them. Effective leaders care about their teams, encourage them and provide them with the resources they need to reach their full potential.
2. Practice effective communication.
Effective communication is the ability to encode and deliver a message, information, or conversation to the right person or stakeholder at the right time with little time, energy, and effort.
In addition to ensuring your message gets from Point A to Point B accurately, effective leaders also need to show understanding, encouragement, and compassion within their communications. Effective leaders are present and actively listen with the intent to learn from their teammates (regardless of their “status” as a leader).
Additionally, leaders will also learn how to perform a communications assessment for their teams. This allows leaders to understand how their team members prefer to communicate and what styles and formats best meet their needs.
3. Adopt a collaborative mindset.
Today’s most effective leaders are inclusive leaders and recognize the importance of human capital. This means building a culture of collaboration that harvests different viewpoints, opinions, and cultures and ensuring everyone in the group feels heard and valued. In order to build a culture of collaboration, effective leaders must have a high level of emotional intelligence.
Leaders can invest in their own personal emotional intelligence (EI) by improving self-management and self-awareness and relationship management competencies. In fact, according to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide, Sixth Edition, research suggests that project teams that succeed in developing team EI or become an emotionally competent group are more effective. The results? A reduction in employee turnover.
4. Improve your decision-making.
One of the most important—and arguably the most difficult—leadership skills is decision-making. Even the most experienced and professional leaders struggle with “decision fatigue” and ensure that they make the best decisions for the team and the organization. They also need to ensure those decisions are based on facts and guiding principles, rather than on biases, emotions, opinions, fear, or other reactions.
The best way to do this is to employ various decision-making tools and techniques and to build a process for decision-making. This can include the following steps:
1. Think about the decision or issue.
2. Write down the pros and cons.
3. Write down the facts.
4. Write down your emotions (to acknowledge them and help you remove them from the decision-making process).
5. Build a decision matrix.
6. Review core values, ethics, and principles. (Before making company decisions and actions, ask the following questions: Is this decision ethical and legal? How will this decision impact clients/organization/team?)
7. Consider the impact or timeliness of such a decision.
8. Make a decision.
9. Develop a process for executing the decision (if necessary).
10. Measure the outcome/results/impact of the decision.
5. Operate according to Organizational Theory.
Organizational theory provides information regarding how people and teams behave and work together. Depending on your organization, of course, the organizational theory may suggest flexible or “agile” leadership styles (such as “servant leadership”) to adapt to the changes in a team’s maturity level.
How to Become a More Effective Leader
The most effective leaders are always looking for ways to improve, especially in a world of continuous business transformation.
There are many programs, workshops, courses, tools, and platforms available to help you become a more effective leader. And one such vehicle is the PMP certification.
Yes, the PMP exam is the gold standard in project management, however, the PMP also shows you possess the knowledge, abilities, and skills to be an effective leader in your organization.
So if you’re reading this and thinking, “Do I really need to earn my PMP?” The short answer is no, but the truth is that by earning your PMP, you not only stand out from your colleagues, but you also stand out as an effective leader.
In fact, individuals and professionals spanning 200 countries have earned and maintained their PMP credentials over the course of their careers. Less than 50% of these professionals have ever been or plan to be project managers.
Where to Find PMP Certification Courses
The PMP exam is one of the best ways to expand your knowledge as a leader. Many of the questions on the PMP Exam are related to various leadership styles, including servant leadership, so taking a PMP Exam Preparation course can significantly increase your chances of passing the PMP exam on the first try.
If you’re looking for the best PMP Exam Prep course in the world, then look no further than Project Vanguards. Project Vanguards provides you with lifetime access, free PDUs to maintain your PMP credential, and live training within the customized Learning Management System. All resources available to you from Project Vanguards are designed to meet your specific schedule and needs, so you can build a path to success when it is convenient for you.