Becoming a more Effective Leader

Whether you realize it or not, you are a leader.  At minimum, you have varying influence on what you individually decide is important to you and whether to take action to achieve success on those fronts.

Many of the individual aspects of effective success and leadership are also the hallmarks of effective leadership at work and in community.

Effective leaders know what they want, and articulate their desired outcome.  For example, a leader in business may want to increase their presence or influence in social media.

But knowing what you want is only the first step in achieving success.   In many respects the most effective leaders know why their goal or objective is critical – in other words, they know the governing value of the outcome or goal they seek.

The business leader plans and outlines an increased presence and influence in social media because they have a clear understanding that the service, resource, or product they offer has a real and tangible benefit to a specific need, and they know the importance of what I call “reputation sourcing and individual endorsement” in new media.

Effective leaders are also good negotiators.  They recognize the importance of negotiation and continue to study effective techniques in communication. Negotiation that puts people first, places shared interest over individual position, and which separates a person from the problem or challenge with which they are identified.

Of course these concepts of negotiation come from the hallmark text, Getting to Yes by Harvard scholars Roger Fisher and William Ury.  For big business, small business, and for- or non-profit organizations, negotiation is most certainly a necessary core competency for success.

And Jack Welch and his wife Suzy point out in their book Winning, effective leaders recognize that “before you are a leader success is about growing yourself.  When you become a leader, success is about growing others.”

So effective leaders know it is critical to learn from and value leader mentors, to be leader mentors themselves, and to grow leaders on their staffs and in their broader communities.

Guy Kawasaki was the leader of marketing for the Mac division in a little company called Apple.  His title at the time was Mac Evangelist.  Guy is a gifted leader in business and insightful scholar who accomplished much.

Guy has a tremendous video from a lecture he gave a Stanford University in 2004 titled The Art of the Start-up.

In the video Guy outlines three keys of success in entrepreneurial start-ups – powerful stuff.  I believe that Guy’s lessons for the entrepreneur can also be impacting for all leaders.  Leadership is often about knowing what to stand for, knowing why, and building meaning and value in the process.

Effective leaders are made and seldom born. We are all leaders. We all have the potential to be better and more effective leaders.  Some of the key universal attributes of leaders worth reflecting and acting on:

  • Effective leaders know what they want; they are specific in the objective.
  • Effective leaders know the “why” of their objective; the value that fuels it.
  • Effective leaders are successful negotiators focused on relationships and the long term.
  • Effective leaders grow others to be leaders and nurture their own development.
  • Effective leaders take action.
  • Effective leaders build meaning.

 By Joseph DeMattos, Jr., MA

About Joe:

Joseph DeMattos, Jr., is an experienced leader, ceo and a sought after expert and advisor with a record of accomplishment in leadership and management, strategic planning, brand and influence development, integrated communications, and health policy.  DeMattos is an Adjunct Professor of Leadership at the University of Maryland Baltimore County Erickson School for the Management of Aging Studies, and has over 30 years of professional experience in labor, government, the private sector, and in association management with a focus on health care policy.  He can be reached on Facebook at or on email at

In his next blog post Joe writes about the importance and value of failure in leadership and success.

President’s Notes
Jonathan Oleisky

Jonathan Oleisky

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