The Three C’s to Effective Leadership

    Effective leadership in the workplace is the key to devising a functioning, efficient and effective workforce. The culture of the workplace is determined by those decision-makers at the top. Therefore, how these decision-makers approach their leadership mandate determines how the division/department heads, managers or supervisors approach the task of leading their own teams.

    There are many characteristics of leaders and leadership styles may vary; yet effective leaders have much in common. As leaders they have developed, among other key traits, the ability to Create, Communicate and, with Character.

    Create – the Vision
    Effective leaders have developed the ability and will to create a vision that, through a variety of channels, creates an effective workplace environment. Creative leaders have learned how to:

    • Create a vision of where to take the business. Great leaders have honed the ability to see with their mind’s eye further and grander than those they lead.

    • Create excitement that inspires the team. Team members feed off the energy you project.

    • Create relationships with your people. Since they are the ones who will carry out your vision and agenda, develop a healthy connection with them.

    • Create a respectful work environment. This will pave the way for mutual trust, which will provide the platform for them to more readily follow your leadership.

    • Create a roadmap that includes input from your team as you formulate how best to put your vision into action.

    • Create a culture of creativity, which gives others the freedom to also explore their creative aptitude within the framework of the business.

    Communicate -“ It’s more than just talking
    Creativity without communication is worthless. Communicating one’s vision is indispensable to the success of any business functioning, its stability or expansion. Communication is more than just talking. It includes the more difficult task of give and take and listening to feedback as you share or implement your vision. Leaders who communicate effectively have learned:

    Effective messaging. No matter how great your ideas are, they must be communicated in such a way that they can be understood. Since you may have been living with your ideas for a while, give others the time to hear, comprehend and digest your pronouncements.

    • Objective listening. Key into the questions or feedback for the value they contain, without being defensive or showing irritation.

    • Active listening. Give full attention to the feedback as opposed to being distracted as you formulate your rebuttal.

    • Purposeful eye contact. Your skills of observation allow you to pick up on the non-verbal cues being conveyed. This facilitates the ability to discern, anticipate and effectively answer the unasked questions.

    • Understand the art of persuasion. You have to know and believe in the vision you’ve created, even in its rudimentary stages, before you can effectively share it.

    • Allow feedback. Even though you may not initially ascribe to the comments or questions from the group, open communication can’t help but refine and perfect your vision.

    Character – Integrity creates trust
    You may have the ability to create a remarkable business vision, to successfully communicate your ideas with your team and to spur them to action, yet fail in your ability to maintain their trust. Trust is lost when integrity is sacrificed on the altar of expediency. Whether your framework comes from a legal, moral and/or ethical base, the leader must follow a code of conduct that reinforces solid business practices and ethical conduct. Leaders with strong character know to:

    • Lead effectively. Your people will follow you even in the face of a business miscalculation. They’re unlikely to follow (or continue following), or respect you if they believe you to be unethical.

    • Lead mindfully. An ethical lapse may irreparably affect morale, create cynicism, disrupt efficiency and thereby derail the company’s bottom line.

    • Lead wisely. Those you lead are always observing your words and deeds. They put more stock in what you do than in what you say.

    • Lead with foresight. People will go on the journey with you when there’s trust.

    • Lead with reliability. Character creates consistency. Your team must know what to expect of you.

    • Lead with trust. Character in a leader creates respect and trust that influences others to follow even in difficult economic times.

    Elaine B Greaves, is president and CEO of Season to Success, Inc., is a sought after speaker on Leadership and Success Principles. As an attorney and leadership expert, she works with lawyers, corporate clients and business owners on how to master effective leadership skills, overcome self-imposed roadblocks and take decisive actions that greatly enhance professional and personal success. Contact her at or

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    Richard Blanchard
    Rick is the Managing Editor of Corp! magazine. He has worked in reporting and editing roles at the Port Huron Times Herald, Lansing State Journal and The Detroit News, where he was most recently assistant business editor. A native of Michigan, Richard also worked in Washington state as a reporter, photographer and editor at the Anacortes American. He received a bachelor of arts from the University of Michigan and a master’s in accountancy from the University of Phoenix.