The Secret to Effective Leadership

Are you struggling as a leader? You might feel burned out and need a break. Or maybe you can’t get through to that one employee that just won’t pull their weight.

Executive coaching expert Kris Plachy helps female entrepreneurs lead teams with efficiency and grace – and not lose themselves in the process.

She has a few key tips for helping you, too, become an effective leader:

  1. Just say no

You might as well start with the tallest order. Yes, it’s okay to say no! Whether it’s to a prospective client that just doesn’t fit your niche or to a colleague who can’t seem to stand on their own two feet without your help, saying no is the first step to freedom in leadership.

When you say no, you send a signal that the request is not what’s best, whether for you, for the other person, or for your organization. What’s more, a ‘no’ will often inspire ingenuity and motivation to find another way.

Saying no allows freedom for growth, both for your own your career and business, and for those around you. You’ll be a better leader for it.

  1. Lean into your expertise

No one person can do it all. Yet entrepreneurs and corporate executives often try. If you’re already leading a team, that means you’re good at something. But it might be time to remember what exactly that is.

Find your niche – the thing you truly excel at – and lean into it.

Perhaps you’ve taken on a responsibility that doesn’t suit you. For example, an embarrassing accounting error may find you managing the books. It’s tempting to keep an eye on things yourself, especially after a fallout, but if your talent is client relations, spending your time with the numbers may hurt your business in the long run.

A return to what you’re truly good at may mean an adjustment for you and those you work with. But remember, when you’re doing what you do best, everyone will benefit.

  1. Boundaries really matter

There it is – the B-word. You may be tempted to stop reading. Yes, yes, boundaries make you a better leader. You’ve definitely heard that before. But here’s the thing – if you’ve heard it too many times, it’s probably true!

Boundaries matter. Boundaries to your time enable you to approach your career with a sense of balance, to think more clearly, and lead more efficiently. Boundaries to your responsibilities create stronger employees and teams.

Kris has two key tips for setting boundaries:

  • Know your worth – Your space and time is as important as the time others are demanding of it. It’s okay to put your needs first.
  • Use the right words – Learn how to use words and phrases that communicate your expectations to your team in a way that encourages them to think and act for themselves.

All 3 of these tips may be a challenge at first. After all, if you say no or stick to your boundaries, you’re going to let someone down.

Here’s one more secret: as a leader, you will always encounter people that are disappointed by the decisions you make, even if they’re ultimately for good.

Learn to tolerate their disappointment. As a result, you’ll be a stronger, more effective leader.