How to Become an Effective Leader

“Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” – Sam Walton

Qualities of an Effective Leader

To build an effective team, you need an effective leader. Anyone can perform managerial or supervisory duties, but not everyone has leadership qualities. An ineffective leader can make or break any work culture and ultimately ruin a business, while an effective leader can build a strong team that can turn a failing business around and transform a fledgling business into a force to be reckoned with. There are several important qualities that effective leaders must possess; let’s examine some of them.

Great communication skills. This is essential for effective leadership. Great communication is as much about listening to your people as it is about talking to them. Communication between leaders and team members must be open and honest to be effective. Team members must have the freedom to express their concerns and desires without fear of repercussion. Each person on your team, regardless of their role, must feel that their voice is heard.

Inspires others. Good leaders have team members who want to follow their lead. Set a good example for people to follow, and you will build respect among your team. Good leaders are trailblazers — bold, confident, motivated to create a great working environment that everyone enjoys. Great leaders inspire their people to dream bigger, reach higher, and achieve more.

Maintains a positive attitude. Part of being an inspiration to others is maintaining a positive attitude, even in the face of adversity. Life happens, and things go wrong, but maintaining your equilibrium and staying positive in the midst of a negative situation models a “Can Do” attitude your team will adopt. Negativity is contagious, but an effective leader will find the positives in any situation and focus on what’s good, inspiring others to do the same.

Sets clear goals/ expectations. If a leader does not set clear goals and expectations for team members, it stands to reason that they won’t be met. A leader cannot expect a team to deliver if the objective isn’t clear. There’s an old adage that says you hit what you aim at; if the target isn’t obvious, odds are it won’t be hit.

Teaches others. You can teach your team members how to give you what you need, or you can demand it from them. An effective leader teaches and inspires, but doesn’t demand. When leadership is done right, you won’t have to demand performance from your team – they’ll gladly give you what you need.

Invests in others. As a servant leader, the good of the team comes first. Andrew Carnegie once said, “No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it.” It’s important for an effective leader to realize that no man is an island, and the success of the team depends on each individual. It’s wise for a leader, therefore, to invest in each team member and remember what Sam Walton said, “If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.”

Tackles challenges. You can’t be afraid to take risks and still be an effective leader. The key is to see the opportunity in every challenge and be willing to fail a few times on the road to success. If you’re willing to risk failure, you will eventually succeed if you learn from your mistakes and don’t give up. Stay open to constructive criticism and look at every new challenge as an opportunity for greater achievement.

At Gilkey Restaurant Consulting, we can help you find and develop effective leaders for your food and beverage business. We offer our clients the professional restaurant management recruitment services that will help ensure your business has strong, effective leaders. Our experienced staff brings a unique depth of industry knowledge and experience to every project and will help you ensure quality in every aspect of your business. Contact us today and learn how our consultants can help you achieve results that exceed your expectations.