By Carol Abraham

Effective Leaders

There are many leaders who believe they are effective but they actually have the opposite affect – they do not lead but rather they bully.   Effective leaders are individuals with vision that can motivate their team through empowering them rather than intimidation.  They inspire the team to be innovative and find creative solutions to the organization’s problems.  They exhibit clear and consistent communication with their team and resolve disputes before they escalate.  While there are many books on how to be an effective leader it seems as if many miss the mark because they fail to invest the time in their team.  An effective leader focuses on the process to reaching the goal not just the goal itself.


The concept of self-efficacy by Albert Bandura is a critical one because it shows us how our perceptions shape our response which impacts our life.  Our emotions translate into our behaviors – how we feel about ourselves dictates how we behave.  How we view ourselves impacts every decision we make.   How we view a situation is critical to how we handle it, if we believe we can do it then we will take on challenges head-on.  We will be resilient during hard times because we believe we can shape our lives rather than feeling helpless.  The mind is an amazing thing, if we believe it we will act accordingly – for example, in scientific studies there is something known as the “placebo effect” which basically means sometime people will get better simply because they believe that the treatment is working.  When some individuals are given the placebo pill they report signs of improvement from the fake pill because they believe in the treatment.


Self-determination is about the choices we make based on our beliefs (it is a theory of motivation).  It’s about the action we take based on what we believe; it touches upon self-motivation.  It is of the mindset that we determine our destiny.  We motivate ourselves to reach our goals despite any obstacle or challenges in our environment.  One way we can do this is by developing our emotional intelligence.  Emotional Intelligence is about using techniques to manage your emotions so that you build stronger relationships and make better decisions.  Emotional intelligence is about self-awareness, empathy, impulse control, and keeping an open mind.  Daniel Goleman wrote a book called “Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ”, in his book he explains the importance of cultivating emotional intelligence and how it plays a role in reaching your goals almost as much as intellect.  The reason is that as we interact with our environment we have an instinct to run with our emotions but those that can manage their emotions tend to make proactive choices rather than reactive choices which lead to better results.  When we interact with people rather than make assumptions and let our emotions get the best of us, managing those impulses allow us to not burn bridges or miss out on opportunities for advancement.  In Daniel Goleman’s book he mentions that the most successful leaders are the ones that have emotional intelligence, he explains that there are more programs in schools designed to help children cultivate their emotional intelligence so that they may navigate their environment and make smart choices rather than reactive choices so that they may reach their potential.


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