Effective leadership is an amalgam of attributes, values, and skills. And we will explore all of these over the many months and years ahead of us on this journey to lead and succeed. As Lao-tzu professed, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Let’s take the first step.
The first step to effectively lead anyone is to analyze the situation. This means taking a step back and asking three questions:
- What are they working on?
You need to know what the specific task or goal is. What are the parameters? What are the obstacles or limitations? What are the resources available? Once that is determined, move on to the next question.
- What is their aptitude?
You need to know what their level of competence is. Are they good at this particular job/task? Is it brand new to them? Have they done it before and were they successful? That done, move to question three.
- What is their attitude?
Now that you fully understand the task/job/goal at hand, and you have deduced their level of competence, you need to know whether they want to do it or not. Are they motivated? Interested? Enthusiastic?
These are the keys to building a strong foundation for your analysis of any situation. Before you go charging ahead with thoughts and plans of how to direct, support, delegate, coach, or empower, take the time to analyze the situation and the person involved.