PROFESS the Ingredients for Effective Leadership

Article / Leadership

PROFESS the Ingredients for Effective Leadership
Harlen Williams , Student, United States

Effective leadership requires the combination of being professional, responsible, optimistic, flexible, ethical, strong-minded, and supportive. The recipe for success begins with the acronym PROFESS, which provides a leader with the necessary elements in discovering the concept of true leadership.

Being an effective leader requires the combination of many elements. The recipe for successful leadership begins with the acronym PROFESS, which provides the leader with the ingredients of being professional, responsible, optimistic (positive), flexible, ethical, strong-minded (decisive), and supportive. Professional leaders set the example by “cultivating the culture” of the workplace with the goal of enhancing innovation by recognizing the need for and providing continuous training to employees. They also promote, understand, and embrace diversity, using it as a vehicle to enhance processes, while encouraging participation from all employees. A responsible leader accepts accountability for organizational goals and objectives, fair criticism for unproductive processes, and shares acknowledgment for successes. This ingredient of leadership also encourages open communications and suggestions, does not hesitate to adopt new effective ideas, and is proactive in responding to concerns. Leaders that are optimistic have an established vocabulary of positive assertions that motivate subordinates with the willingness to overcome barriers. Empowering others through an open communication system of brainstorming, along with rewarding innovative solutions, enable a leader with this ingredient to create a positive, encouraging, and innovative work environment. In an effort to make work easier and more comfortable, a flexible leader must strive to create a positive work environment, listen, and encourage the solicitation of new ideas. Understanding the importance of possessing the element of flexibility will provide a leader with the ability to respond appropriately during situations involving the conflicting needs of the organization, employee, and/or customer. Personal accountability is an intrinsic trait that constitutes an ethical leader. They possess trademark attributes that represent adherence to the letter, spirit of rules and regulations, consistency to their word, and exercise of the principles associated with integrity, honesty, and fairness in the pursuit of organizational goals and objectives. Further, the ethical leader leads by example because of being candid, unbiased, and willing to reevaluate or change their position when evidence suggest. Leaders grounded with a foundation of ethics, “say what they mean and mean what they say”, generally evidenced by their uncompromised integrity, demonstrated trust, approach to overcoming barriers, and success in achieving goals and objectives. Strong-minded (decisive) leaders frequently demonstrate their decision-making persistence after analyzing the risks, costs, and benefits from a pool of possible choices. Leaders that possess this ingredient often advocate doing what is right, even if it is not always expedient. In addition, the strong-minded leader is generally seen as effortlessly trying to improve a situation, even if there may be competing priorities. Decisions by leaders with this characteristic are typically made through reasoned judgment, rather than an emotional reaction. A supportive leader is enthusiastic and regularly familiar with issues and details within the workplace. Their involvement increases the impact of setting and meeting goals and the personal work ethic of subordinates, which encourages productivity. The supportive leader relies heavily on information, because the more they have, provides a calm, level-head approach to decision-making. A leader's skill in discovering the ability of others is a test of true leadership. Possessing the PROFESS ingredients is challenging, but necessary in the recipe for a leader's success. Obtaining an extended knowledge and understanding of others, maximizing employee strengths, identifying areas for improvement, the willingness to solicit input and feedback, and demonstrating respect for the opinions of others, results in increased input and the opportunity for solutions, which are the elements a leader need to PROFESS in order to be successful...

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