Thursday, January 10, 2013

Tips for Effective Leadership

Another day in which I begin here in Blogland not sure of what I'm going to say, so I'm going to just start writing (hint ... just write if you feel blocked). How about the idea of getting in action to solve problems. What's the difference between a leader and a worker? Leaders take action. Followers ... well, they follow the leader's action. I also lead by getting out ahead of potential problems. How does that work? You think through a scenario and you get out ahead of your client's thought process. Let me give you an example. One thing I do with books during the editing and production phase is to keep the client in the loop. If I were to just start editing a book and focus exclusively on the editing process, which takes weeks and not show any progress to the client, the client would not see the value in their investment. Instead, I always edit chapter by chapter. That way, the client sees the work being done on a continual basis. He or she knows (because they see some results) that the money invested is producing real results. The key is communication. I am getting out ahead of any potential problems by keeping the client in the loop and communicating.

So as a leader, here are three things to be effective:

1. Take action -- don't let problems fester. Don't ruminate or worry about problems. Think it through and take an action to resolve the problem.
2. Communicate -- always stay in communication with your team and/or clients. When you communicate on a continual basis your staff is apprised of what is going on. Clients feel informed and are not questioning whether you're doing your job -- or they understand what is going on that is perhaps delaying a job. People are extremely understanding if you effectively communicate and explain the situation.
3. Get out ahead of the problem -- if you have enough experience as a leader then you can often see a problem coming and head if off. Think about possible outcomes and take the lead to solve anything before it happens. Your life will stay happier and smoother, too. It always feels much easier to get out ahead of problems rather than be "in reaction" to problems after-the-fact.

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