Jun 28 2018
Being an effective leader: do you agree?

By David Goodman

Have you ever wondered what the key components of great leadership really are?

There are several obvious components of leadership, the first being vision; your destination or, put simply, where you’re taking your team. The second is strategy. How are you going to get there? More than likely there are number of options and thinking strategically will identify the most effective way forward. The third is your people; building a team is critical to successful leadership. Are you effectively communicating with your team? Is everybody on board, motivated to achieve the vision with which you have inspired them?

Separating team players from team leaders

However, there’s one characteristic that separates the best from the rest. It has been identified by Patterson from Canada who suggests that if you find you agree the majority of the time, your leadership is going to be weak.

It doesn’t matter what situation you find yourself in, some of us are simply more agreeable than others and are happy to take on board other people’s suggestions in order to avoid confrontation. This characteristic of agreeability may make for a better team player but it doesn’t make for a better leader. Agreeability in leadership is a weakness. Look around, think about the people who lead from the front; do they agree with others or do they stand firm in their own vision?

For example, Margaret Thatcher may not have been liked by everyone, but she was certainly a strong leader. A phrase she became famous for, “the lady is not for turning”, shows that she was not someone who could easily be persuaded and wasn’t ‘agreeable’.

Standing firm in the face of conflict

Next time you present at a board meeting, or have a challenging conversation with a member of staff, stand firm on actions you want to see taken. You must have sound reasoning but don’t expect to persuade everyone on your team to join you in your thinking. It’s fine that they have a different opinion, but it doesn’t mean you have to roll over and agree with them. The opposite is, in fact, correct. If you have thought through the direction you want to take, take it.

Remember, agreeability is a weakness in leadership and standing up for what you believe in will be seen as a strength. You will be respected for it.

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