Big Question: 

What is the single most important advice you would offer a person new to leadership?

How would you respond to this question:

“If you were assigned to mentor a person new to leadership and could only share one thing with them to help them be most effective, what advice would you give them?”

Here are the top six recommendations offered:

  1. Build relationship with your employees
  2. Lead by positive example
  3. Be a good communicator
  4. Be humble and/or open-minded
  5. Be flexible
  6. Be prepared…Do your planning/preparation in advance

How does this advice fits with your experience? If I asked the same question to you, what would you say? After questioning more than four hundred reputedly good leaders, the following themes emerged:

  • Challenge the process
  • Inspire a shared vision
  • Enable others to act
  • Model the way
  • Encourage the heart

The advice offered by Dr. Merlin Switzer  course, participants got a direct hit with “lead by positive example.” Moreover, being humble was a key finding in Jim Collins’ book, Good to Great, of Level 5 leaders.

Doing the Right Stuff

When one drills down in The Leadership Challenge themes, each of them consists of various competencies or practices.  For example, Modeling the Way, involves setting an example by behaving in ways that are consistent with shared values. The authors recommend various actions, such as taking time to do a personal assessment, writing your personal leadership credoaudit your actions, etc.

Modeling the Way also involves achieving small wins that promote consistent progress and build commitment.

Actions supportive of this commitment include such things as:

  • Making plans and breaking them down into smaller parts
  • Creating pilots to experiment with the process
  • Finding volunteers to make improvements
  • Selling the benefits to others

How did you do?  Better yet, ask your employees for their perspectives. You might be surprised at the feedback.   Effective leaders want to stay relevant. They want to get better. They keep growing. They are open to feedback. Remember, giving good advice is one thing, acting on it is another!

Dr. Merlin Switzer is Managing Partner at Switzer Associates
He helps clients with improving Leadership, Leading Change & Team Development
Email | LinkedIn |  Web |

Read the full Article: Your Best Single Piece of Leadership Advice | Linked 2 Leadership.