Wouldn’t it be nice, and easy, if there were some sort of basic cookbook, which would transform individuals, into meaningful, relevant, effective leaders? Although there are thousands of consultants, many of which claim to have the secret, magic elixir, I have come to realize, after more than four decades of involvement in nearly every aspect of leadership, from identify, qualifying, training, developing and consulting to thousands of actual, and/ or potential leaders, to personally serving, as a leader, in various positions and organizations, that, although, there is no, one – size – fits – all, guarantees, those who hope to serve, as effectively as possible, should pay attention, to certain basics, or what I refer to as the ABCDE of effective leadership. With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly identify, review, discuss, and consider, using the mnemonic approach, a few basic, common sense, rules and ideas.
1. Attention; attitude; astute: Making a significant difference, for the better, must begin, with paying keen attention, to one’s constituents, perceptions, concerns, and priorities, and strategically, proceeding forward, with the best possible, action plan, focused on a sustainable future! This requires a true, positive, can – do, attitude, combined, with an astute understanding, of how to leave one’s group better, than he found it!
2. Benefits; beliefs; bring it: Great leaders must focus on providing benefits, which are in sync with the beliefs of the organization and stakeholders. Once one realizes what is needed, it is his responsibility to bring it, meaning, make a difference, for the better, without procrastination!
3. Character; creative; cooperative: The measure of a leader’s character, is whether, he consistently, puts the interests of others, ahead of any self – interest, or personal/ political agenda! One must be willing to think – outside – the – box, and be, as creative, as needed! True leaders are focused on cooperative, constituent – based leadership!
4. Delve deeply; deliver: Will you be willing to look beyond the obvious, familiar, same – old, same – old ways, and deliver the best direction, which enhances and improves the group?
5. Empathy; emphasis; energy; earn respect: An absolute necessity of leading should be, to listen, far more than speaking, and learn from every conversation and experience, in order to proceed, with genuine empathy! This must direct, where one should place his emphasis, focus, and energy. Rather than believing others should honor you, because of your position, it requires realizing, true leaders must earn respect, consistently!
If you hope to be the best leader, possible, begin with this ABCDE of essential leadership, and proceed, focused on service! Are you up to the task?