Leading With Grace

John Krautzel
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An effective manager leads by example, motivates employees with intrinsic and extrinsic rewards, and shows gratitude for each employee's contribution. Leadership strategies are challenging to maintain, though, when the company's profits are decreasing, team morale is low and you are under pressure from upper management. Learning to lead with grace under these circumstances involves debunking leadership myths and carefully evaluating what your staff needs to succeed.

Some leadership strategies involve inflicting fear within the office environment, focusing on consequences versus accomplishments and reminding employees that they are replaceable at any moment. Leading with grace, though, is often a much more effective tactic. Successful managers have confidence in their own abilities which inspires employees to help the company achieve its goals and mission.

A communication style that demonstrates respect and caring can create a cohesive work environment and enhance the morale of your staff. You can build trust and cooperation with leadership strategies that incorporate tasks and activities that encourage teamwork. Find opportunities to work with your direct reports as a member of the team. Modeling your work ethic, dedication to the company's goals and sincere interest in the success of each employee can be a subtle yet powerful motivator.

Authenticity is one of the most valuable attributes necessary for the effective execution of your leadership strategies. People can tell when a manager is displaying genuine interest or concern. Authentic leaders are not afraid to show vulnerability in front of their employees. This helps them connect with their staff and shows that they understand and share individuals' concerns about issues such as job security and organizational challenges.

To implement your leadership strategies successfully, you also need to be aware of the leadership myths that often derail managers. One of the most damaging of these is the belief that you must know everything about your industry, company and procedures. No one is omniscient, and managers who are willing to ask openly about what they don't know shows their employees that they are open to suggestions, insights and assistance in general. Strong leaders know when to depend on and learn from employees. The practice of soliciting employee feedback increases morale and enhances mutual respect.

Graceful leadership also involves knowing how to effectively delegate. It is yet another workplace myth that great leaders never delegate. Managers must trust their employees to handle projects and tasks without constant supervision. Doing so often further motivates and inspires employees because they feel respected by their supervisors. Leaders who try to do everything themselves typically run the risk of ineffective performance and burnout, as well as potentially creating a tense or hostile work environment.

Adopt leadership strategies that are genuine to gain employee respect, trust and loyalty. Leaders who are confident yet recognize and are willing to admit to their own weaknesses inspire employees to honestly evaluate their own strengths and limitations, helping them better understand how they fit within the company culture and benefit the bottom line.


Photo Courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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