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Overcoming the Barriers to Effective Leadership to Achieve Positive Results

By J. Keith Hughey, Senior Consultant

As any leader knows, every decision or action taken by the person in charge can have more than the intended outcome, including unforeseen or undesirable results. Often, a solution to one problem may create another challenge. Therefore, the effectiveness of the person at the top can be determined by how well he or she deals with the unintended consequences that come from the executive decisions they make.

Even in the best situations, barriers that can hamper a leader’s effectiveness in making decisions include:

• time constraints;
• unexpected situations;
• dependence on others to produce;
• internal and external expectations;
• getting stuck in a routine;
• laziness; and 
• conflict avoidance.

Add the impact of regulatory and economic uncertainty, and it is even more difficult to predict that decisions based on a single perspective, outdated assumptions or unrealistic expectations will have the anticipated outcomes.

While it is human nature for a leader to believe that he or she has what it takes to run an organization effectively, years of research in the fields of management, leadership, human behavior and motivation suggest that flexibility and being open to changing the process is a more effective approach to avoiding, or at least mitigating, unanticipated and possibly negative outcomes.

Therefore, getting the most outstanding results from your staff – and ultimately your institution – requires taking a leadership approach that builds a sense of teamwork among the workforce, and values and utilizes the talent and skills of the people within the organization.  


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