• Effective Leadership: What is your predisposition?

  • Posted on June 16, 2014
  • Tutu K. Lawal - Interesting Article on Leadership

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    Take a strategic pause. Think about the title of this article. How did you interpret the abbreviated word…did you even notice or was it automatic? Did you read it as ‘effective’ or ‘efficient’? This simple test just revealed which technique is dominant in your style of leadership. As self-proclaimed innovators, we must delve into our inner propensities for efficiency and effectiveness which ultimately reveals our proclivity for innovation.

    At the basic level, the efficiency of an organization is measured in terms of streamlining to attain a predefined goal, how you accomplish a task with minimum expenditure of time and effort. On the other side, effectiveness is measured in terms of actual need or usefulness of your product or result.

    These two concepts are not zero-sum nor are they definitively complimentary. How a leader interweaves these concepts or the degree to which they focus on each will ultimately determine success as a leader and organization. Being either an efficient leader or an effective leader may make you a ‘good’ leader, but being a Dynamic Innovative leader who can balance focus in each of these areas to be efficiently effective as a leader and as an organization will define greatness.

    Notice the choice of words, of the goal…efficiently effective.

    Priority One of leadership and the goal of any organization is to be effective. This means the focus of development, of all efforts, must first be on meeting the predefined goal. Once that is guaranteed, then, and only then, we must turn our attention to accomplishing the task efficiently. To be effective, you need not be efficient…but your competition will capitalize on any shortfall. Our ability to be innovative will make us efficiently effective.

    Being either an efficient leader or an effective leader may make you a ‘good’ leader, but being a Dynamic Innovative leader who can balance focus in each of these areas to be efficiently effective as a leader and as an organization will define greatness.

    To do this, a dynamic innovative leader focuses on positive change. Simple change is not positive and is the reason phrases like ‘continuous improvement’ become both white-collar buzzwords and blue-collar jokes.  For a change to be positive, it must decrease the time required, increase efficiency, improve structure or increase simplicity. That’s it, simply put. No belt colors, no change coaches, no consulting fees. Every desired or required improvement must meet at least one of these criteria. If it doesn’t, don’t do it.

    That is it. The science of everything you need to improve your organization. Now, we all know it is not really that simple or everybody would be successful. The art of successfully employing this simple strategy is to empower each of your team members with the guidelines contained here. …and in the leaders sticking to this rule as well: Don’t change for change sake. If it doesn’t meet one of the Four Rules of Positive Change, don’t do it. Always remember yesterday may have brought you to today, but it most likely will not carry you through tomorrow. Embrace new ideas, new methods and always question the assumptions which define your business model. This focus on positive change will make your organization efficiently effective…and it will make you a dynamic, innovative leader.

     

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