On the brink of a pivotal election year, I found it relevant and applicable to create a list of key and important guidelines for anyone looking or seeking to be an effective leader.


Leadership is earned, and it should be valued. "To whom much is given - much is required."

So with this being said, we must know and understand what it truly means to be an effective leader.



1. Have a Commitment to Serve


It is a common misconception that to be a leader means to be served.


On the contrary, to be a leader means to serve. Your job as a leader is to serve the community in which you seek to lead. As a leader, it is your prime role and responsibility to be aware of the people's needs and concerns. 

It is equally important to know the people in which you seek to lead.

An ignorant leader is someone who is unaware of the burdens and needs of the people, who blindly leads by arrogance, instead of knowledge. To be knowledgable of the people's needs as a leader, is to be knowledgeable of the position you are in.

A wise leader seeks first to know and understand, then to lead.  When there is a level of understanding met and reached, respect follows, and that leader is able to serve the community with wisdom, strategy and skill.



2. Practice What You Preach


The famous and common phrase of "practice what you preach" is often used as a way to criticize pastors and religious people, but this principle can also be applied to general leadership. 


To practice what you preach simply means to do what you are telling others to do.

This means that as a leader, you should be aware of the fact that people are following not just what you say, but also what you do. It is confusing to act contrary to what you speak. When you are a leader, it is critical that your words match your actions - not just when you are visibly seen and being watched - but also when you think no one is watching. 

As a leader, you must always be aware that people are always watching you. The role of an effective leader is one that few master because of this very principle. Keeping and maintaining a level of integrity is key. 



3. Stay Informed/Learning 

A wise leader knows that he or she must continue learning in order to stay relevant and on the cutting edge of success.

A common failure of most leaders is their inability to be progressive.

Instead of continuously improving, many leaders take the bait of relying on past knowledge, and they adapt to culture instead of lead the culture. A leader should always know the next steps. This knowledge does not come from static learning. A leader must stay improving and learning new skills, new technologies, and new ways to improve the status and life of those they are leading. 

A leader must be willing to step out of his or her comfort zone in order to embrace the stretch that comes with learning something new. Leadership involves hard work and a desire to get to the next level. 



4. Stay Humble


"Pride comes before the fall."


Many leaders fail in this category because as humans, it is easy to succumb to the pressures of pride and arrogance. Depending on the emotional state of the individual, a prideful and arrogant mind prevents further wisdom from entering in. 

When a leader embraces humility, that person is then able to learn more, receive positive input, and make decisions from a sound and just basis.

Humility is the key ingredient that separates wise leadership from misguided leadership.



As leaders, we have the responsibility to lead people by service, moral practices, wisdom and humility.

An effective leader is one who embraces change in the right direction, understands the needs of the people, and commits his or her way to leading people by example. 




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Published by Crystal Ngumezi