By Joni Lindquist

Good article on CNN from Jack Zenger and Joe Folkman identifying the 7 Habits of “IN”effective Leaders.

I agree that leadership is both about what you DO and what you DON’T do.  If you work long enough, you’ll likely have bad bosses who exhibit one or more of the traits that Zenger & Follkman identify. You can learn from others and stay away from these bad habits.  I don’t have research to back this up, but I think poor communication, which they suggest is the second most fatal flaw, is actually the top fatal flaw.  Poor communication takes many forms and is so fundamental that it can lead to most of the other bad habits they list.  Effective communication skills include (although not an exhaustive list) the following:

  • Poor listening by not paying attention to others’ ideas and perspectives
  • Being clear with expectations
  • Being clear with people’s and team’s roles and responsibilities
  • Providing the team the proper context for their work
  • Providing constructive feedback
  • Recognizing great work by the team
  • Using humor appropriately to relieve stress

Being poor at any of these may cause the other bad habits Zenger and Folkman refer to.  I urge you to refer to the list above often to refine your communication skills so you can be an EFFECTIVE leader.

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Photo credit: US Department of Education / Foter / CC BY