Anchoring and Pledging for Effective Leadership


In Dear Terri, I respond to followers who send emails asking for leadership advice, practical solutions, or ideas. Your questions can be sent directly to me by clicking here.

Dear Terri,

I want to be the most effective leaders possible. What is the key to doing that? How do I “anchor” myself?   – Maggy S

Dear Maggy,

First and foremost, you must “anchor” yourself in your “why.” Why have you have chosen to be a leader?

Personal gains aren’t going to suffice. Your “why” must be rooted in your purpose for leading and clarity around your role. The answer to that question needs to ground you in the personal commitment you have made to do all that is necessary for your team to succeed.

Effective leadership begins with an “anchor” in the why and a pledge to focus on your well being, uphold your personal brand, serve others, and prioritize continuous development. In today’s hyper-dynamic world, things can change rapidly and test the capacity of your leadership.

Thus for effectiveness, developing strength in the following four practices will serve to anchor you:

  • Well-Being: Maintain a strong body and mind by adopting a healthy lifestyle.
  • Personal Brand: Capitalize on a sense of meaning by applying your purpose, strengths and values.
  • Servant Leadership: Serve the greater good by ensuring the highest priorities needs for employees, customers and stakeholders are being met.
  • Learning Leader: Carry out the continuous effort it takes to be the best leader possible.

Leadership is hard. It takes courage to step up and hold yourself accountable to those four practices. There is no easy way out when it comes to effectiveness. You have to have grit to do the heavy lifting.

Difficult decisions. Unpleasant feedback. Managing conflict. Evolving self-awareness. This list names just a few realities of what will come up and what will need to be handled. The point is to recognize that leadership is never easy.

Failure to do the heavy lifting in any one area makes you weak. And weak is not effective. Conflicts will happen. Tensions will arise. People will be trying. Decisions will be hard. That’s why being grounded in your “why” and following the four practices in earnest matter help to:

  • Define you as a leader
  • Work through your challenges
  • Give you appreciation for what is being accomplished
  • Fuel your high performance

Underlying each of those four points is full permission. You were asked to join the leadership team, and you chose to accept the opportunity. With that arrangement, you have been granted full permission to act as a leader and tackle the hard work of leadership.

  • Talent – check
  • Desire – check
  • Acceptance of change – check
  • Curiosity – check

The preconditions are there. Step into your role with full permission to be the effective leader you know you can be.