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6 Clues to Effective Leadership in 2021

While nurturing talent and developing your team is crucial for organizational success, the hardest part is knowing where to begin. Fortunately, we’ve got the perfect place to start! Read this article to learn about six areas of leadership that you may have overlooked.

6 Clues to Effective Leadership in 2021

6 Clues to Effective Leadership in 2021

Content Summary

People development
Being human
Sharing airtime
Identifying extra milers
Create a questioning culture


Increased self-awareness at work leads to better team building, improved communication, more effective leaders, and better staffing decisions.

3 ways to increase self-awareness

  • Role model it: Take responsibility for how you show up and your thoughts, emotions, and actions as a leader.
  • Bring it into the open: Make self-awareness part of everyday conversations, where everyone feels comfortable discussing their strengths and possible blind spots.
  • Be yourself: Build a culture where you and your team can bring your whole self to work, however you show up!

People development

Personal development is more important than ever and, in particular, to the younger generation. In fact, 76% of Gen Z learners believe that learning is key to a successful career.

3 ways to develop your people

  • Get to know them: You can only support your team’s development if you know what their hopes, dreams, and goals are.
  • Create opportunities for them: As a leader, you may be closer to stakeholders and decision-makers – can you push forward or find opportunities for your team in the wider business?
  • Recognize the value everyone brings: Not everyone will recognize the value of their unique skills and talents – it’s up to you to draw them out.

Being human

You don’t want to lose sight of the most important asset in your organizations: your people. As we continue to work through challenging times, that’s more needed than ever.

3 ways to be more human at work

  • Show them you care: Simply taking five minutes at the beginning of a meeting to ask ‘how are you?’ can make a difference.
  • Be authentic: The last few months have been challenging for everyone. Acknowledge that it’s OK to have bad days and the occasional wobble – because we all do!
  • Acknowledge their contribution: Everyone contributes to the team in different ways, so it’s important to acknowledge accomplishments.

Sharing airtime

According to research, high-performing teams are ones where everyone’s voice is heard – not just the loudest or most senior voice in the room.

3 ways to share airtime as a leader

  • Amplify their success: You know your team is great, but do the wider business? Be their loudest cheerleader!
  • Enable people to show up at their best: Consider how your meetings look – do you send out notes in advance or expect everyone to think on the spot? Some people prefer time to organize their thoughts.
  • Create space for everyone: Make sure you create opportunities to hear every voice in the room – not just the loudest.

Identifying extra milers

Extra milers are the people in your team that go that extra mile to get the job done – you can trust them to support other members of the team too.

3 ways to support your extra milers

  • Acknowledge them: Extra milers are a trusted and valued voice in conversations outside of their remit. You can always rely on them to show up well – so tell them that!
  • Mentor their development: What are their career goals? Help them to unlock their skills and talents and really shine bright.
  • Be mindful of differences: Not all extra milers will show up in the same way – consider how different individuals show up.

Create a questioning culture

You can only create a true questioning culture when you operate in a space that’s totally safe to do so, and what’s known as psychological safety. Here’s how you do it…

3 ways to create a questioning culture

  • Don’t tell – ask: Try and steer away from always simply ‘telling’ Instead, ask for your team’s thoughts and opinions.
  • Be open to being challenged: Being challenged is a critical part of being a leader. It’s important to not be defensive but to think of it as an opportunity for learning and growth.
  • Enable ownership: A questioning culture encourages team members to speak up and really ‘own’ their area of expertise.

Content from insights

Alex Lim is a certified book reviewer and editor with over 10 years of experience in the publishing industry. He has reviewed hundreds of books for reputable magazines and websites, such as The New York Times, The Guardian, and Goodreads. Alex has a master’s degree in comparative literature from Harvard University and a PhD in literary criticism from Oxford University. He is also the author of several acclaimed books on literary theory and analysis, such as The Art of Reading and How to Write a Book Review. Alex lives in London, England with his wife and two children. You can contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Website | Twitter | Facebook

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