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Ten Steps To Effective Leadership

Many people end up in a supervisory position or SOHO ownership almost by default. In today's workplace, if someone stays on their job long enough, they will probably be promoted as others, more senior to them or higher up the chain of responsibility, leave for other opportunities.

The prevalence of this type of promotion can lead to people with little or no leadership skills being promoted into positions of responsibility.

This type of promotion can have many unexpected and negative effects on the current work force if the newly promoted supervisor is lacking basic leadership talent. Since a supervisor's skill level is visible immediately to those under their stewardship, a lack of leadership aptitude can be catastrophic to the productivity of those now working for the new supervisor.

To help the inexperienced supervisor overcome some of the most common mistakes, the following list has been created from problems culled from a diverse field of industries. By simply avoiding these common errors of the newly promoted supervisors, a person's chances of becoming an effective manager and leader will be greatly enhanced.

  • Don't attempt to be buddies with your employees. The distinction between supervisor and friend needs to be clear-cut and meaningful.
  • Never hesitate to roll up your sleeves to help, if the situation warrants your participation.
  • Ivory tower managers usually are doomed to fail. Make sure not to isolate yourself from those that you directly supervise.
  • No one can know everything, but as a supervisor you need to learn as much as is humanly possible about your department's area of responsibility. Your employees will respect the fact that you know what their job really entails.
  • The ability to treat all of your subordinates fairly will be a critical factor in your success as a supervisor; never play favorites. Always give credit to an employee who is due recognition; never take credit for someone else's initiative.
  • Always take advantage of any opportunity to improve yourself as a supervisor. Seminars, adult education classes, professional certifications, online learning and a myriad of other sources exist just for this purpose.
  • To become adept at conflict resolution is an area the new supervisor must master to be successful. Never loose sight of the fact that there are always two sides to every story. Never make a decision based on just part of the story and you will earn the respect of your employees, even if the resulting decision isn't in their favor.
  • The ability to set meaningful goals will help steer your employees towards the objective you are trying to reach. Realistic goals, with the appropriate tools to reach them, will make everyone feel a part of the department's success.
  • Always solicit input from all of your employees as you plan new strategies to meet today's ever-changing marketplace demands. As long as your employees feel like they have had meaningful input in creating new plans, tweaking old ones and implementing changes, any such endeavor will be more likely to succeed.
  • You are a supervisor, not God! Make sure that you always follow the Golden Rule and your employees will follow.
  • © 2004 ODEC

    Mike Burstein has been helping the SOHO and Small Business community grow & prosper for over 20 years by solving start up problems, creating best practices, automating their offices, getting free publicity and dramatically increasing traffic and sales.

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