Effective Leadership

The Young Men’s Progressive Association members received acknowledgment from the broader community, however, on November 30, 1915, official recognition of the organization was granted after enrolling as a member of the Mayor’s Conference of Civic Organizations. One year later, the YMCA became known as the Junior Citizens and soon the Junior Chamber of Commerce, after affiliating with the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce.

The main objective of the workshop was:

1. They’re self-aware.

This may be the most important skill that good leaders possess — whether or not they’re entrepreneurs. Being self-aware means knowing yourself and understanding which version of you is needed at any given time in the life cycle of your company. It also means being intimately familiar with your strengths and weaknesses, and importantly, having a strategy for leveraging those strengths and mitigating any weaknesses that could hold your team back. Finally, self-aware leaders are honest with themselves about their personal motivations because they understand that these are what drives their decisions.

2. They know how to motivate people.

Speaking of motivations, good leaders also seek to understand what drives the people who work for them. Some leaders motivate their employees with money, but others know that financial rewards aren’t always the most effective way to get others to work towards a stated goal.

3. They’re great at building relationships.

No one with a truly ambitious mission, whether that’s scaling a company or leading a movement, can accomplish very much alone. If people, be they customers, suppliers, or employees, don’t enjoy working with you, they simply won’t. Now, this isn’t about pure magnetism or charisma. Relationship building is a skill, and effective leaders practice it by creating shared objectives with the people on their team.

4. They excel at leading their organizations through change.

Take a minute and think of the most successful companies you know. They likely have a few things in common, but one is for certain: they’ve had to navigate changes over time — whether it be because of market conditions, customer demands or competitive pressure. Change is inevitable, and good leaders must be capable of guiding their organizations as they adapt to these conditions. Otherwise, their companies die.

5. They understand how businesses evolve.

This may seem like a no-brainer for anyone attempting to lead a business, but you’d be surprised how many leaders do not understand this. A common reason entrepreneurs fail is that they continue to do what used to make their companies successful but may now be the wrong thing to do. As a company grows and matures, it will go through various stages before it becomes a self-sustaining enterprise. A successful entrepreneurial leader understands that each stage will require a different mix of leadership skills and approaches.

Effective leaders aren’t necessarily world-class at all of these five skills, but they tend to be more than competent in each one. Fortunately, these leadership skills aren’t mystical or elusive. Anyone can master them with practice.