Effective Leaders influence and guide people to work together towards a common goal.
Effective leadership therefore means mobilizing and motivating people not only to achieve the common goal, but also find solutions to challenges in creative ways. Effective Leaders unleashes the creative genius locked up in every person to come up with new answers to dynamic problems.
Effective Leaders Have an Inquisitive Mind
Effective Leaders must resist the temptation to try to come up with solutions and then spoon-feeding people with answers. This is the best way to stifle creativity.
Josef Albers said: “Good teaching is more a giving of right questions than a giving of right answers.”
The same principle applies to Leadership. Effective Leaders do not always have all the answers themselves, nor do they try to find all the answers. Effective Leaders solicit not only the right, but the best answer to problems from his or her people. This means Leaders should have an inquisitive mind, eager to uncover new information and to get well thought through answers.
Effective Leaders Ask the Right Questions
The role of Effective Leaders is to focus the collective thinking of their team to come up with innovative solutions. Asking questions about issues releases creativity, motivation and drive to solve the problem and implement the solution. Asking tough, probing, analytically questions is a very powerful way of helping people focus on a problem and discover answers for themselves.
Self-discovered answers are much more powerful than solutions presented from an external source. Self-discovered answers generate plans and conviction to act upon new information.
When people are looking for answers, they examine problems from various angles. This stimulates multiple “what if” scenarios, creating multiple possible solutions. As soon as you encourage people to think, they tend to come up with multiple scenarios, scrutinizing their own solutions and discarding flawed possibilities, before they spent too much time on exploring the wrong avenue.
Encouraging people to start thinking about solutions to problems, stimulates the collective intellect of a group. This leads to large amounts of learning taking place, increasing the collective knowledge of the group. Effective Leaders successfully influence people to apply their collective knowledge in solving pressing and complex problems.
Effective Leaders Allow the Creative Way
Effective Leaders have the courage to allow people to achieve an outcome through a different method than what the Leader would have followed. The key is to focus on the outcome and to allow people to come up with the method they believe is most appropriate. People are motivated to find the best possible solution when they are given the responsibility of not only creating the solution, but also determining the implementation method.
Effective Leaders Keep Focus
By allowing the creative way, effective leaders take on more responsibility to ensure that the team keeps focus. Effective Leaders do this by looking ahead and identifying possible risks. The Leader then have to channel the creative energy of the team to keep them on track to achieve the outcome, yet at the same time mitigates the perceived risk.
Effective Leaders mobilize people to move in unison in the same direction, collectively focusing their energy and creativity to address injustices, solve problems and add value to other people’s lives. By developing the skills of asking questions rather than giving answers, releasing creativity in people and keeping them focused, makes it possible to lead people effectively on any level.