13 Steps A Great Leader Takes
Success of any organization (whether it’s a business, political or social) solely depends on effectiveness of leader of the organization. You might have experienced that a great organization heads for disaster once there is change in leadership and a failing organization starts doing great once the leader is changed. Following are the 13 steps that every great leader takes and reason of success or failure is hidden in the effectiveness of these steps:
1) CoV – Clarity of Vision: A long term vision is the first step for leader. Great leaders can see an entire jungle in a single seed. If the vision of leader is not clear, entire organization will head to a direction which is not intended for. Final destination must be decided first before embarking journey. Stephen Covey’s 2nd habit (7 Habits of highly effective people) very nicely defines Begin With the End in Mind.
2) ARS – Adopt Right Strategies: Climbing Everest is not about just taking one path; rather sometimes no path is visible. Still based on facts, try to explore as many as possible options to reach your final destination. Because only the right strategy will decide how soon you reach to your goal.
3) GSR – Gather Sufficient Resources: Every project requires certain resources for its smooth completion. Resources may be men, material, machine or money. Many a times leaders fail to realize their dreams because sufficient resources are not available. At least minimum resources to run the project should be guaranteed.
4) ACM – Appoint Competent Manpower: One great American business leader said, “You take away my all businesses but leave my top 5 persons with me, I shall build the empire again very soon”. Leaders are very selective in appointing key people. Great leaders never compromise on quality and competence of their employees. One American organization replaces bottom 10% of man power strength every year.
5) CES – Create Efficient Systems: Most of the problems in organization are because of inefficient systems and not because of inefficient manpower. Even mediocre employees have been found giving great performances where systems are robust and efficient. People bring effectiveness but system brings efficiency.
6) ECR- Establish Cordial Relationships: Organization is a group of people which interacts with several other organizations and individuals such as employees, customers, suppliers, bankers, contractors, society etc. Cordial relationship among each other can reduce lot of hassles and increase productivity and performances of each one involved. Sometime systems can create bureaucracy but cordial relations can overcome inefficiency of systems. People have human tendency to deal with people whom they like and avoid people whom they dislike.
7) CAE – Clarify Ambitious Expectations: People particularly employees shall know what leader is expecting from them. Clear expectations helps people perform accordingly. Everyone involved shall be clear about their short term and long term targets and periodical review shall be there to make sure that everyone is heading in right direction.
8) AAR- Allocate Appropriate Resources: Resources are always scarce. It is leader’s duty to allocate resources based on priorities. To bring the cost saving in organization, optimum use of resources is must. Most of the times leaders gets bogged down in increasing revenues so much that proper utilization of resources get neglected and leads to un-availability of product and services.
9) SAB – Set Appropriate Boundaries: It is important to tell your people about what they need to do but at the same time it is equally important to tell what they should not do. Defining the rules of the game is necessary. Defining values and principles is important to have long term benefits.
10) LTW – Let Them Work: Once you have decided your vision, strategy, expectations and values, allow employees to work in their own way. Leave the HOW part of action with them. Do not do too much of interfering the way they work unless and until employee is fresh and needs experience.
11) ERS – Enforce Reporting System: Giving freedom to work does not mean absence of control. Devise proper reporting system. Daily reports, weekly reports, monthly report, quarterly reports and yearly reports. Proper reporting system keeps necessary check on performance and also avoids last minute surprises.
12) GCF – Give Continuous Feedback: I read a book One Minute Manager which advises giving feedback to your people instantly whether it is negative or positive. If a person is continuously breaking discipline, better to tell him immediately rather than waiting for the time of performance appraisal.
13) PEL – Promote Effective Leaders: Most of us fail in developing our own successor and that results into break on scalability of our own potentials. Bad leaders always live with a fear that if they develop someone, he will take over and they will become redundant. Great leaders identify talents and nurture them to take higher and higher responsibilities and once they find someone equally or smarter a person, they handover reigns to him and carry on for bigger purpose.