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10 Tips for Effective Leadership

As an effective leader, you are responsible for the well being and productivity of your staff. You are the liaison between the workers and the upper levels of management. You may be responsible for one person or for hundreds, but either way you have a responsibility. Here are some tips to becoming a more effective manager.

1. Recognize your workers

You have a great team. They work hard for you most of the time and they deserve recognition. There are a lot of people who will work just as hard for a pat on the back as they will for the salary. When one of your employees does something that is exemplary, recognize them for their efforts. You don’t need to have a sticker chart, but a simple ‘nice job’ is a great motivational boost.

2. Accept the blame

You are the shield for your employees. You defend them from upper management’s whims. You take the heat when your customers are angry. When something goes wrong, immediately accept the responsibility and blame for the failure. A great manager will accept the blame and then study the system to prevent that mistake from reoccurring.

3. Be clear with your expectations

Are you a mind reader? Neither are your employees. It is your responsibility to give your employees structure. Do not be vague about the parameters. What does perfection look like? What are acceptable losses? Tell your employees what you expect from them.

4. Be fair

You set the expectations. Make sure that the consequences for mistakes are the same from coworker to coworker. If you have more than one employee who is continually late, do not slap one on the wrist and bring your wrath to another. Establish your reactions beforehand.

5. Show your passion

Let your coworkers see the passion that you have for the company and the position. Passion travels from worker to worker, and you are at the front of the line. That enthusiasm shines through your pores, through all of the words that you speak, through all of the tasks you perform. If your excited for something, your peers will follow.

6. Learn to get dirty

You need to know how to perform the duties of all of your employees. You might not be as proficient as they are, but you need to be aware of their function. You should also be willing to sweep the floors and get dirty with your coworkers. This is an essential part of team building.

7. Keep your anger in check

Your anger spreads like wildfire through your coworkers. You might be mad at the situation rather than a specific employee, but you need to keep that anger under control. When you are angry, your anger sparks the anger of your employees and unnecessarily escalates situations.

8. Trust your staff

You hired your employees to perform specific duties. After reassuring yourself that your new hire can do the job, allow them to perform their duties unhindered. Informing tenured workers about their job responsibilities on a continuous basis does not work very well. It damages morale. When you trust them, they trust you.

9. Talk with your staff

Keep the lines of communication open. Talk with your staff about personal items. Talk with your staff about plans that the company is pursuing. If the only time that you talk with your staff is when you’re assigning blame or work, your employees will give you exactly the same response. You want your employees to feel at ease about speaking with you, offer suggestions and also care about the company. An open environment where everyone feels comfortable is much more productive.

10. Be private

Your employees are going to make mistakes. When they do make a mistake, don’t confront them in public about their errors. This is something which damages morale for everyone. If your employee makes a snap decision that goes against company policy, make a point to speak about it in private.

You should encourage your staff to strive for perfection. You provide an example for your staff, whether it be good or bad. Remeber, your mood affects that of your coworkers. Happy employees are more productive employees!

What tips do you have for effective leadership?

  • Zack Shapiro

    To comment on point #2: Successes were due to the team, failures were due to me.

    Learn and repeat :)

    • Tom Walker

      Too true, Zack, too true. It’s your vessel that you’re commanding…so you’re responsible for every move it makes.

  • Outsourcing Philippines

    I agree that being a leader you are responsible for the well being and productivity of your staff. We learn a lot from being a leader….

    • Tom Walker

      We sure do. Some people have natural leading ability but you can always learn more…there are a number of techniques and experiences that can help you get better at it.

  • Patricia@lavenderuses

    One of the advantages of blogging….just me and my fellow bloggers to encourage me. When my blog gets bigger and I monetize it; will then be hopefully employing programmer and web designer and these tips will be useful then.
    Patricia Perth Australia

    • Tom Walker

      Hi Patricia, thanks for replying! Of course, it’s never too early to start learning, this way you’ll be fully prepared when that time comes.

  • Sathish @ TechieMania

    A good leader will have to follow these tips. Thanks for sharing :)

  • chandrashekhar

    Really a good points. I liked point number two-Accept the blame.

  • Srivathsan G.K

    well written .. Learn to get dirty .. this is very valuable. You must know to work on any position. Awesome qualities of a leader. great post.

    • Tom Walker

      Hi Srivathsan, thanks very much :) Of course, it pays off to take a few risks…as long as you know what you’re doing!

  • Morgan

    Number 6 is my favorite. They’re all fantastic and should be applied, though number 6 seems to be where a lot of CEO’s fall flat.

    • Tom Walker

      That’s quite right. A lot of CEOs don’t like to leave their comfort zones…and that just doesn’t give you the same rewards in the end.

  • Nick Tart

    Great tips, Tommy! I really like how you said to take the blame and be the shield. Good leaders always do this. If an American football team loses, the head coach should take the blame.

    • Tom Walker

      Hey Nick, thanks very much! You have to be the figure head, it’s only right. Besides, if you know how to lead efficiently and effectively, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

  • Gloson

    Great tips! I think the one word that sums all these tips up is “be humble”. The humble are exalted, and the exalted are made humble. :)

    • Tom Walker

      Thanks! Being humble is very important…it helps you stay in touch with who you are, and allows you and colleagues to work together effectively.

  • Extreme John

    Excellent, excellent post. One of the best business ownership tips that anyone has ever given me was to take the blame. Not many people realize just how important #2 in te above list really is.

    • Tom Walker

      Thanks very much! You’ve got to do it, it allows you to get that out of the way, which enables you and your team to effectively solve the problem.

  • Maggie

    I think that you can be friendly but, you can not be their friend. It never works. I think that is why they say it is lonely at the top. I like all of your other suggestions.

  • Samuel

    Awesome post bro! i agree with all your points! most especially #1 you are right! thanks for sharing take care.

  • A. Tatum

    #10 is a golden rule. Praise in public and criticize in private.

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  • Kharim Tomlinson

    WOW!!! These are some really strong tips here for great leadership. I think 5 of which I would have came up with, but thanks for the full 10 tips :)

  • j mc donald

    Every point is a great point. But.
    The Boss you envisage dosn’t exist, well he does sometimes, tries to be most times,fails often. A boss drives a business he can’t reward incompetence,has to sack,and enforce rules. His responsibilities are immense. what does an employee want a nice boss or an achiever that can keep a roof over his head.


    To me a leader is not only someone that takes control, but can also sit down and listen.  From my days as a team captain to sales manager, One thing I’ve always learned,  listen to your team!! Don’t jump the gun because your team leader,etc

  • cheap toners

    Well written, good article, thanks. 

  • Lester @

    These are personality that must develop by a leader to become more effective in leading the team to common goal. Thanks for the share.

  • shakir

    All the above mentioned tips are good but I like especially to take blame himself and then search for the defect and solve the problem to do not repeat next time.