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Don’t Let Old Habits Prevent You from Being a Great Leader

By Keith Hughey, Senior Consultant

Maintaining a competitive edge in the marketplace today requires the ability to modify your existing business initiatives in order to address the changing needs and preferences of your account holder base. Likewise, getting the most outstanding results from your staff – and ultimately your financial institution – may require taking a new approach to leadership. 

Unfortunately, moving the dial on a long-held leadership style can be difficult, especially when the person in charge believes that he or she possesses the essential skills required to make and carry out the decisions necessary to run a successful organization. 

As the industry has continued to undergo major shifts in the past few years, astute industry leaders have learned that, to keep doing what you’ve been doing – as successful as it might have been – will, over time, only ensure suboptimal results. Old approaches lose their efficacy when it comes to addressing today’s most pressing opportunities and challenges. 

Under these circumstances, leaders who are the most effective at dealing with whatever comes their way learn how to: 

  • motivate and inspire others;
  • communicate (this includes listening);
  • lead by personal example;
  • delegate well;
  • build (and be part of ) effective teams;
  • make the hard decisions;
  • earn respect and trust(through consistency andtransparency); and
  • innovate with flexibility to change.

Once your employees experience this type of work environment and appreciate what qualities an effective leader possesses, they will most likely be motivated to follow your lead.

So recognize that you can create a successful work environment by taking the time to involve your employees in the decision-making process, sharing your vision of success for the organization, training your staff to enable them to grow professionally, and delegating responsibilities whenever possible.