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In our (Ukrainian) culture, the principle of intuitive management is very common.

No matter how many efforts well-known and not so popular schools of management put to popularize the principles of leadership and effective management, they come across an almost total nihilism towards this education. 

 I’m not going to write about the benefits of MBA or any other business education, I just want to write about five techniques that I use every day and which help me to be an effective leader.

There are no “pills” that you can use and immediately become a successful leader – these are the principles of life that you carry through all your actions.

So, let’s start

Rule 1:

Put yourself in others’ shoes, trying to understand what drives them and what they want.

This is a very arduous process, empathic leadership is not easy for me, but this is my growth zone and I work on it every day. Don’t be under the illusion that you know exactly what drives your employees. The easy way is to ask, but don’t expect to be told what they really want. Moreover, the power of the desire for money is unnecessarily exaggerated. Build trust and you will find out everything.

Rule 2:

Be an aware manager not on paper but in real life.

I’m taking care of context and awareness of the work for each team and the company itself.

You cannot just ignore the operational activities because your position is higher. To some extent, you simply have to be involved in projects. Create meanings and awareness, work them out with other leaders at different levels. 

Rule 3:

Remove unnecessary obstacles to success.

Rules, principles and standards make life easier for managers, but they make it difficult for all other employees, especially if they do not share these rules. Set up processes or rebuild them, and then create instructions and rules. Regulation should help achieve goals, not be an obstacle on your way. Any employee can come to me and ask a question or make suggestions. We collect and discuss all rationalistic ideas by a strategic group.If ideas are sound – we accept them.

By this we are building engagement and people get used to changes faster.

Rule 4:

Share the idea of generosity with other managers.

In our culture it is not acceptable to praise, we have the principle of criticism and punishment. I use the principles of praise and warning. Such motivation is more effective and durable. Do not skimp on warm words for your employees, share your good attitude. And if they made a mistake, do not scold, but simply analyze their behavior. This is a simple rule, but it is the most difficult to implement, as it requires a personal transformation of leaders.

Rule 5:

Work is not a bastion of quiet despair.

Creating an atmosphere of trust, ease and success is the main function of a leader at all levels. The goal of any company is to maximize profits. But this does not mean that everything in the office or outside should be organized like a concentration camp. Create an atmosphere full of corporate culture and values. Talk about this to employees at different levels every day.

“If you don’t think about the company, If you don’t talk about it every day and your employees don’t hear these – that’s it, there will be no development” (Jack Welch).

If you get the impression that I am such a democratic leader, whose employees stand on a pedestal and can manipulate me, unfortunately, it’s a mistake. I am an “achiever”, quite tough and unsentimental, but I know from experience that this style of leadership (“red leader”) does not lead to long-term results. When I have a desire or need to push, I return to my rules and use all or a few in each specific situation.

If you are a true leader, it does not matter what you want or need today, the only important thing is how you can involve the company in the implementation of the most ambitious goals. Become an effective leader first, and you will always have time to get your skeletons out of the closet!