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Ask These 2 Questions to Know if You are an Effective Leader

Updated: Jan 15

So often, we hear how important it is to become a great leader to achieve success in life. Leadership is essential in any organization or group of people. It sets the team's tone and direction, providing guidance, motivation, and accountability while creating a culture of collaboration and trust.

Effective leadership helps an organization to be successful.

But what exactly is leadership, and what makes a great leader?

What is leadership?

Leadership is not defined by your title.

In John Maxwell’s book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, he talks about your ability to influence. You can influence others even if you aren’t in a leadership role. And that is preparing you for the path of leadership.

You don’t need a formal title to lead in your area of expertise. It’s about your ability to influence and lift other people, even if it means before yourself.

My bride is a Pre-K teacher. She can influence people within her school with her knowledge and experience. She recently won an award for her ability to influence and lead without having a formal title.

Can leadership be learned?

Leadership can unequivocally be learned.

Many years ago, in my first corporate leadership experience after leaving the military, I crashed and burned. I was miserable.

Eventually, I reached out to my brother for help. He suggested I do a very simple yet powerful exercise. He told me to gather my team and ask them these two questions:

1. What could Dean do better?

2. What is Dean doing well today?

My team and I went into a large conference room. On the whiteboard, I wrote those two questions. I told them their answers would be anonymous and to be as honest as possible.

It made me incredibly vulnerable and humbling. And the majority of the feedback was about what I had been doing wrong.

It was one of the most impactful experiences in my leadership journey. The feedback was incredibly valuable. And since then, I’ve strived to be the best leader.

Did I stumble? Yes

Did I fall? Sure.

Did I continue to develop my leadership skills so I could have a positive influence on people? 100%.

Focus on Connection

The number ten law in John Maxwell’s book is about “leaders who touch a heart before they ask a hand.” It’s about focusing on connection with your team.

I discovered how much external factors impact the internal work environment. Once I started learning about my team, I understood who they were, their families, and what they do outside work. It truly began to create bonds that made our team work better together.

I led a team of 42 people, so it took time to show each of them how much I cared, but it was worth it. If you don’t have a relationship with your team, then that is management. Management is not leadership.

Effective Leadership is an essential part of success. It motivates employees and teams. It builds trust. Leadership helps individuals and the company reach their full potential. It requires influence, motivation, and dedication to reach your goals.

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