Prove you can.

To be an effective leader, you must be able to prove that you can, indeed, lead.  You are the head of the pack and must be able to prove that you deserve it. Credibility is the mark of an effective leader and if you prove you can deliver by example, you can convince your people that they too, can perform.

 Set clear goals.

Be definitive about what you want to happen and what you expect your people to do.  Setting clear demarcation lines and set schedules can help you and your team determine your group’s true efficiency.  Nothing spells incompetence more than an ambiguous and vague sense of direction.

 Encourage others to contribute.

An effective leader knows that the team can’t go far without the contribution of the majority.  Harness your people’s skills and abilities and put them to work.  Encourage them to have their say.  By keeping your process democratic, you’re more likely to promote a happy, open atmosphere that encourages unfettered communication.  You are there to lead but your team should also have their part.

 Be strict, but fair.

As an effective leader, you must be able to impose the necessary discipline especially during times when it’s called for.  Enforce these restrictions but practice fairness.  Rules that you have set should apply to everyone in the team, including you.

 Practice reason.

People have limitations and every individual has his own specialization.  That being said, be reasonable enough about your expectations of what your team can accomplish.  It doesn’t mean though, that you shouldn’t encourage them to explore their performance limits.  Do everything within reasonable limits, including rewards and reprimands.

 Encourage respect, not fear.

Fear can only get you so far but respect can take you a long, long way.  Bring out the best in people and make them feel that their contributions are valued. People tend to abandon ship when the going gets tough and their attachment is all about fear.  When they see that your leadership is built on respect, they will be willing to work with you to achieve the team’s goals.

 Put credit where it is due.

If your team performs excellently and meets the goals you have set successfully, be sure to acknowledge the performance, both privately and publicly.  Give rewards if possible and called for.

 Offer guidance and support.  Otherwise, back off.

Empower your group to perform independently.  Micro-managing your team will make you lose precious time and encourage them to be lazy.  Give your people enough trust to make them feel you believe in their capabilities and in what they can achieve.