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Creating an Effective Leadership System

September 21, 2023

10 minread

byNancy Benjamin

Nancy Benjamin
Nancy Benjamin

CEO, Co-Founder

Chicago, IL

Always a student as well as a teacher, Nancy enjoys the constant learning at Cultivate – from clients, teammates, and a growing list of connections. Uncommonly versatile, Nancy helps clients enhance revenue streams and scale their businesses. With her strategic insight and skill in messaging, she builds marketing departments from the ground up and offers solid leadership advice. Following Nancy’s guidance, her clients enjoy unprecedented growth, including one that has repeatedly doubled yearly revenue. 

Author and educator Peter F. Drucker once said, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

Successful organizations are built on effective leadership. But no leader is perfect; there is always room to improve leadership effectiveness. If you require any assistance, take advantage of hiring leadership management advisors to help you and your executive team drive your business to the next level.

Meanwhile, in this post, we’ll teach you how to cultivate these skills as a leader and how to create an effective leadership system of your own.

What Is a Leadership System?

What Is a Leadership System?

Simply put, a leadership system is how leadership is formally and informally exercised throughout an organization. It’s the basis for which critical decisions are made, communicated, and carried out.

An effective leadership and management system respects your team’s capabilities and requirements and sets high performance and improvement expectations. Additionally, it helps a good leader (you) build loyalties and promote teamwork based on their vision and the pursuit of shared business goals.

Without a leadership system, your organization can lack consistency and struggle to work as a unit to move the business forward. In working with hundreds of entrepreneurs with different leadership styles, we’ve found that building a leadership system starts with developing your leadership skills so you can effectively lead your team and business in the right direction effectively.

How to Be an Effective Leader: 10 Strategies

The best leaders can inspire, motivate, and guide their teams to achieve great things. Great leaders create a positive and productive work environment where everyone feels valued and respected, here’s how.

1. Identify Your Goals

Identify Your Goals

Within your company’s vision statement lie the blueprints of your ambitions and the far-reaching footprint you aspire to leave. A robust company vision not only articulates the underlying purpose of your business but also forges a definitive trajectory for how and why you do the things you do.

Knowing your goals gives you and your team a collective purpose to galvanize around. If you need a vision outline, stop here, and create one. A Vision Planning Tool from our vision business advisors will help you think through the basics and write a compelling vision for your business.

2. Develop Trust

Trust is the foundation of a great workplace. Your team can enjoy their work and be engaged in moving the company forward, but if they don’t trust you or their supervisors, they’ll doubt the company and have less pride in their accomplishments.

Building trust in an organization has many benefits, including positive attitudes, higher levels of cooperation, better communication, job satisfaction, and increased performance quality.
While much of the trust between employers and employees is developed subconsciously, you can take steps to build more trusting relationships with your team, which can lead to reduced friction and improved performance.

  • Don’t force it – Trust develops in an open and natural environment. You can’t force it — let it develop over time;
  • Lead by example – A great way to start trust development is to lead by example. Show your team how trust looks;
  • Communicate openly – Open communication is essential for building trust. Different team members should be talking to one another honestly and meaningfully;
  • Get to know each other more – Ask questions and encourage your team to see and communicate with their colleagues as people;
  • Avoid blame – Mistakes happen, and it’s easy to blame someone who makes them. Placing blame lowers morale, undermines trust, and is ultimately unproductive;
  • Openly discuss issues – Pinpoint the source of the problems that arise and develop a strategy to overcome them;
  • Listen more – Simply listening to your team can also develop a deeper level of trust.

A key thing to remember is that you can’t build trust overnight. It takes time to foster that trust in your organization, but over time you’ll see increased retention, increased performance, and camaraderie.

3. Encourage Collaboration

Develop Your Leadership System

Wondering how to be an effective leader that encourages collaboration? Collaboration within a team or organization hinges on creating an environment where open communication, shared purpose, and mutual respect flourish.

Establish clear channels for dialogue and information sharing, ensuring that ideas and feedback flow freely. Encourage employees to work on cross-functional projects to break up team silos and cross-pollinate ideas.

It’s also essential to cultivate a supportive atmosphere where diverse perspectives are valued and individuals feel safe expressing their thoughts.

Regularly acknowledge and reward collaborative efforts, and encourage continuous learning through feedback loops. Through these concerted efforts, collaboration becomes a driving force, spurring innovation and propelling the team toward collective success.

4. Create Buy-In

In addition to building trust, another challenge your leadership abilities will face is learning to establish and maintain buy-in with your team.

The buy-in equation:

Quality of the Idea x Buy-in Level = Execution

When presenting an idea, you must answer two questions:

  • What is the quality of the idea?
  • What is the buy-in level of the employee?

When you look at the quality of the idea multiplied by the employee’s level of excitement, you get the execution level; the higher the execution level, the better. Employees will only sometimes be psyched about executing, even if you run a successful business, so buy-in is essential.

5. Be Proactive

Be Proactive

Successful leaders anticipate challenges, seize opportunities, and initiate actions before circumstances dictate a response. When you’re proactive, you’re better positioned to anticipate industry shifts, emerging trends, and changing customer preferences.

Taking a proactive approach empowers your team members to take initiative and have greater ownership of their tasks. This autonomy fosters pride and accomplishment, contributing to a positive work environment.

Investing in personal and professional development to enhance your skills and knowledge is one way to cultivate a proactive leadership approach. Remember, it’s a continuous process that requires self-awareness, commitment, and consistent effort.

6. Stay Accountable

Accountability is about ownership and initiative. Developing a culture in which all employees are responsible for their actions, performance, and decision-making directly correlates with an increased commitment to their goals leading to higher performance.

Many businesses do not have KPIs that provide clear and specific expectations for team members regarding their roles, responsibilities, and performance standards. Yet they need it to clarify the particular objectives of each employee.

Building accountability in teams is not meant for micromanaging employees. Rather, it creates an environment where employees feel supported because they understand their objectives and how fulfilling them elevates the entire business.

7. Develop Your Leadership System

Embrace Change as a Leader

Once you’ve developed trust, accountability, and buy-in from your team, it becomes easier to build your leadership systems. With sound leadership, employees can rely on you and your leadership team; more importantly, you can depend on them. But to achieve this, everyone needs to be aligned on expectations.

All businesses are different. Therefore leadership systems will be unique to match the needs of your business. To help you get the ball rolling and start moving towards better clarity between you and your team, we’ve developed an easy-to-use leadership toolkit to create an effective leadership system.

This tool is crafted to aid you in mapping out the entirety of your organization’s personnel and devising optimal channels for communicating their primary responsibilities and critical accomplishments. By doing so, you’ll know the precise aims of each team member, so you can actively enhance your team’s efficiency.

As a leadership resource, our toolkit assists in establishing well-defined Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), instilling uniformity within your organization’s operational framework, and constructing frameworks and procedures to bolster the efficacy of future leadership endeavors.

8. Develop Personnel

Investing resources in your team’s professional and personal growth is a strategic decision that yields substantial benefits for both individuals and your organization. Recognizing and nurturing the development of your team members can have a transformative impact on their performance, job satisfaction, and overall well-being.

According to CNBC, “the leading predictors of turnover include reorganization, high levels of innovation so workers burn out, and failure to recognize employee performance.”

Continuous learning lets your team excel, and improved competencies lead to higher quality work, increased productivity, and a greater capacity to tackle complex challenges. When team members feel their organization is invested in their growth, their pursuit of new skills and knowledge ignites a sense of purpose and enthusiasm, translating into increased commitment.

9. Embrace Change as a Leader

Embark on Development

The old cliche goes something like, “The only constant is change.” Businesses can’t avoid it, so effective leaders embrace it head-on. If you’re open to new ideas and alternative ways of thinking, you can prevent stagnation and missed opportunities when challenges arise.

Embracing change demonstrates a forward-thinking and resilient leadership style that paves the way for sustainable growth. It links back to our previous point about being proactive.

During times of change, effective communication with your team is crucial. This involves ensuring transparency regarding the changes, their rationale, and the anticipated effects on the team. Additionally, it entails attentively hearing and addressing your team’s apprehensions to the best of your ability.

10. Embark on Development

A development plan presents a valuable opportunity for leadership to strategize an individual’s growth and advancement in consideration of both the company’s and the employee’s future requirements.

Development planning can promote internal leadership and maintain high employee morale. This process entails identifying the personal and organizational goals important for your company’s growth.

Within this process, employees outline personal growth objectives that enhance their capacity to drive the organization’s success. Notably, development planning yields superior leadership and cultivates an overall improvement in team dynamics.

Furthermore, it is an effective strategy to elevate staff retention rates, enrich the employee experience, and amplify productivity.

Creating an Effective Leadership System

Whether you’re just starting to grow or you’ve had a large team for years, it is never too late to work on your leadership abilities. By implementing these skills within your business, your team will operate at peak performance.

If you need more help with your leadership and don’t know where to start, you don’t have to go at it alone. Cultivate Advisors know how to improve leadership in a company and can help you cultivate effective leadership skills.

Schedule a 2-hour leadership consulting session to dig into your business and develop a plan.

Unlock Your Leadership Potential

Transform your organization with Cultivate Advisors’ leadership management services. Our experienced organizational change consultants will guide you towards success. Reach out today!

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