Thursday, 11 November 2021 20:30

Being a More Effective Leader

Is leadership innate or something that can be developed over time? The answer is probably both! For some, leadership comes easy, but there’s plenty of evidence suggesting that those who aspire to a leadership role can grow into that role as well.leaderal

We believe in a servant leadership model here at American Lumber. But what is “servant leadership”?  To put it simply the leader exists to provide guidance, direction, and assistance while the employees are empowered to work and make decisions on their own. 

Principles of Servant Leadership 

Servant leaders lead within a core set of principles.  A few of these include: 

· Every individual is deserving of trust and respect.
· Actively encourage participation and feedback and listen to what others say.
· Serve as a mentor to others.
· Be persistent in your efforts to guide and inspire others.
· Hold individuals accountable for the commitments they make. 

Servant leaders want to make every colleague successful. They show a deep understanding of management by walking around and engaging with members of the team. As a result, throughout the team, members feel valued and perform at a higher standard.

How Can You Practice Servant Leadership?

Give credit when credit is due. An effective servant leader encourages and supports new ideas coming from their team members. They also make sure that credit for a great idea goes to its source. 

Communicate. The best way for leaders to stay connected to team members is by developing relationships with them. The best way to accomplish this comes from a steadfast commitment to always be communicating. 

Listen! As we have noted elsewhere, active listening is a key quality practiced by effective leaders. To improve your capacity for listening:

· Listen with the intention to fully grasp the other person’s meaning.
· Maintain eye contact and give your full attention.
· Repeat back (in your own words) what the other person has said.
· Ask clarifying questions to ensure you understand the other person’s point.
· Refrain from interrupting to get your own point across.

By practicing the art of active listening you can lead to a deeper understanding of the needs, concerns, and desires of your team.  

Have Collaborative Meetings. The key to collaborative meetings is to allow everyone involved to have the opportunity to contribute. While your more outgoing team members may be more open about sharing, ask for feedback from everyone,  perhaps starting at one end of the table and then working around.  

Get Feedback from Others. The most effective leaders welcome feedback from other members of the team. Great leaders are always open to the idea that feedback will help them improve in their ability to lead everyone in the desired direction.

The key to this, however, is that a leader must absorb and reflect on this feedback and take the necessary action to improve the quality of their leadership style, with an overall goal to better serve their team and the organization. 

You don’t always have to be a born leader to practice effective leadership. Whether it is someone at our one of our sawmills, a new lumber trader, or someone on our Forestry team, anyone can become a leader. What’s truly important is embracing the principles of servant leadership, putting them in action, and inspiring others to do the best they can. In this way, everyone benefits and the organization grows.

American Lumber
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Last modified on Thursday, 11 November 2021 21:58

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