Keys to Being an Effective Leader of Fellow Adults
Students or clients with whom I work with are sometimes a bit younger or a bit older than I am. It calls for a different leadership approach than children or youths, but the good news is, no matter what age you’re leading, some of the principles are the same.
Maybe you are going to be training a group of adults for a specific vocation, or perhaps you have to organize a community consignment sale. Maybe you need to find volunteers for a work or church function. There are all kinds of situations where adults need to lead adults. Here are some keys to being an effective leader of your fellow adults.
Know Where You’re Going
No one wants to follow someone who has no idea where they’re going! Having a goal or vision is essential. It’s possible that it may evolve or change as you go forward – it’s good to be flexible, too – but when you start out, having a clear vision can inspire others to follow you. If you really believe in it and know it can be done, your enthusiasm tends to be infectious. People like to get on board with someone who knows where to steer the ship!
As noted above, it’s good to be flexible, and that’s where listening comes in. As you express your vision and goal, even if it’s just getting things done well and on time, it’s a good idea to listen to the input of others. Someone might point out something you hadn’t taken into consideration, or he/she might have a good point about your choice of venue.
Obviously, a good leader can’t please every person’s whim, but you can take people’s concerns into consideration. If everyone seems to be saying the same thing, maybe you should change your plans a bit! People tend to appreciate a leader who listens, even if it doesn’t always mean change.
In addition to a clear goal, you’ll need clear steps on how to reach that goal (or multiple goals). Explaining a “contagious” vision is great, but teaching people how you plan to realize that vision is important. It can seem unrealistic if you don’t explain your plan. Break it down into doable steps, and present those to your group. A big part of this, of course, is being organized.
Believe in what you are doing, let nothing hold you back. Be confident and stick to your plans and your goals. Your group will feel the excitement of doing each day something that brings closer to the vision. If something blocks, find another way. Keep motivated during difficult times and never give up!
Said another way, genuine confidence is the embodiment of self-trust that comes from living according to your values, practicing what you preach, and repeating that process over time.
Real confidence has little to do with the clothes you wear. And even less to do with being the center of attention.
Take hold of your dreams, make significant changes in the lives of the people you are leading and fully live your contribution to the world.
To Your Leadership!
Janice Dugas | Web Visibility Strategist