The 3 Elements In Effective Leadership: 

The three elements which determine a effective leader:
  1. A leader’s core beliefs
  2. A leader’s aspiration 
  3. A leader’s actions
Each of these three elements can be defined with three simple questions:
  1. What do you really believe is the essence of who you are? (core beliefs)
  2. What will you do each day to ensure your core beliefs are seen and that you believe in your team? (aspiration)
  3. How will others recognise what you believe, in what you do? (actions)

The challenging part for any leader is how do you know you as a leader are communicating that pure belief.  The rousing speech, the motivational run around the team and the congratulations as people achieve results are not where you will find the evidence of your leadership.  

Evidence of leadership comes from where you are taking your people. Not the destination, but the direction and pace of travel. A leader's beliefs, aspirations and actions are best demonstrated when needed most, when things aren't going well, when are where there is uncertainty and confusion. 

"Its at the setbacks that leaders need to stand up and stand out"

When things don't go according to plan that people look for leadership and look at leaders, not just as a role model but to look at who they really are. Inspiring someone who is succeeding is just management jumping on a bandwagon: leadership is when people are struggling, or failing, and the leader comes to them listens, refocuses them and inspires them to try again with new tools or in new ways and then supports them every step of the way to success.

Here's three useful ways for leaders to see how you as a leader can use to see if and how you are delivering effective leadership:-

1. Strategic Leadership: Are you leading from the front? Have you got plan which inspires and motivates people about the future. Spend time to develop your strategic plan for your organisation. If you are not working on your business, they you are stuck working in it. Do your people know what your plan for the organisation, where they are going and do they understand why they are going that way? Ask your people what they know about the future direction of the organisation, start with the person who knows you least and work backwards. What do you learn about how your future plan is understood and valued? If you don't have a plan which everyone understands and values then it is time to step out and work on your forward Strategic Plan.

2. Self-reflection: Think about the impact you have as a leader. Are you inspiring people or managing people? Leaders motivate others to act, managers conversely tell others what to do. Leadership is not about managing, but motivating through setting an example. Sit down and think about what you can do to deliver more effective leadership rather than being pulled into a glorified management role. Get yourself an experienced mentor to bounce ideas around with, from outside the organisation if possible to help you focus on your leadership skill development.   

3. Feedback:  Look at both the verbal and nonverbal cues from people you work with. Do they readily engage with you? Do they give you honest feedback openly and frequently? Do people really want to work with you, or do they try to avoid you at almost any cost, or only come to see you when they have good news to share and look for praise from? This type of feedback is invaluable in monitoring how you as a leader are performing day-to-day in your role. If people are generating ideas and asking effective questions which test and validate your strategic plan then you are probably leading them well. If not, then the verbal and nonverbal clues of silence and evasion are probably an alarm bell sounding in your ear to change committing quickly.  

@Richard Gourlay provides leaders with ideas and inspiration to lead their organisations. From strategy development to implementation, he works with leaders to work on their business rather than in their business. His online learning course enables leaders to develop their forward strategic plan enabling them to lead their organisation forward with their plan to succeed.