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The Four Cs of Effective Leadership
March 2012

Michael Hyatt is the author of four books and writes a blog focused on "intentional leadership," based on his philosophy that if you are going to lead well, you must be thoughtful and purposeful about it. In a recent guest post on Hyatt's blog, Tim Peters, co-founder of Resolute Creative, discusses what separates leaders we want to follow from leaders we have to follow. He suggests that the answer lies in the four Cs of effective leadership.

People follow people who genuinely care about others. It sounds simple, yet this is an area where so many leaders fall short. Take a true interest in the people who work for you. Learn about their hobbies, goals, and dreams. Take time to get to know names of team members' spouses, kids, and pets. Remember birthdays, anniversaries, and other important dates. These things make a difference. Great leadership begins with caring about the people you lead. As Margaret Mead once said: "Never believe that a few caring people cannot change the world. For, indeed, that is all who ever have."

Appreciation is motivation and inspiration. Don't leave employees in the dark. Show them you appreciate their achievements. Celebrate their successes. This not only lets the individual know you appreciate their work; it encourages all your employees. When a team member exceeds and reaches a goal, go out of your way to celebrate them both publicly and privately.

Corrective criticism is necessary to be a leader people want to follow. Employees appreciate direction that helps them grow and improve. Don't just scold employees for doing something wrong. Show them the right way. Put them on the path to success. Take the time to regularly and thoroughly evaluate all your team members. Provide goals and resources for team members to develop their skills. Remember, the development and success of your employees is a direct result of your leadership. Make this quote from Orlando Battista your mantra or screensaver: "An error doesn't become a mistake until you refuse to correct it."

Many leaders underestimate the importance of compensation to employees. Don't make that mistake. If you have an excellent team member, see they are compensated fairly. Fight for them if you have to. Employees have more respect for and loyalty to leaders who recognize the value of their hard work and dedication.

Ultimately, you control what kind of leader you want to be. Take action to become a leader people want to follow. The results you'll see from your team will be well worth the effort.