Five Cardinal Rules of Effective Leadership

Screen Shot 6ALL MANAGERS aspire to be better leaders — but what is it that makes a leader effective? The Leadership Code by Dave Ulrich offers five pivotal rules that lay out how the leadership game is played. How well do you apply them to your day–to–day actions?

  1. Leaders Shape The Future.
    As a strategist, you must answer the question “Where are we going?” for the people you lead. You not only envision the future, but help create it. You also must work with others -your executive team and also your people – to figure out how to effectively move from the present (where we are today) to the desired future (where we want to be

How much time and attention do you allocate to future planning? Are you future savvy? How will you inspire your people with vision, purpose, mission and strategies?

  1. Leaders Make Things Happen With Others.
    As executors, leaders focus on the question, “How can we ensure we’ll reach our goals?” You’ll need to transform plans for change into measurable results by assigning accountability, knowing which decisions to manage and which to delegate, and ensuring that teams work together effectively. Se

How well do you translate strategy into high-performance results? Do you know when as a leader to step in or, conversely, step back?

  1. Leaders Engage Today’s Workforce.
    As a talent manager, you’re in charge of optimizing team’ performance. You must answer the question, “Who goes with us on our business journey?” You need to know how to identify, build and engage talent for both current and long term results.

Have you assessed the bench strength of your talent you know which skills you have and where to find talent in your organization? How well do you engage end energize your people?

  1. Leaders Build The Next Generation
    As a human-capital developer, you must answer the question, “Who stays and sustains the organization for the next generation?” Just as talent managers ensure shorter-term results through people, human-capital developers make sure the organization has the longer-term competencies required for future strategic success.

Do you have a workforce strategy for present positions but also for future needs?  Do you have a succession plan for your highly valued leaders and professionals? 

  1. Leaders Invest In Their Personal Proficiency
    As a constant learner, you need to ask the question, “What don’t I know about myself and my behavior that gets in the way of me being a powerful, effective leader?” Leading others ultimately begins with us. You can’t expect to influence followers unless you invest time and energy in your emotional and social intelligence.

How do you come across to others? When was the last time you did a SWOT on yourself? Are you working with a mentor or coach to provide insights into your blind spots as well as build on your strengths?


All leaders must excel at #5: their personal proficiency. That’s a given. Without a foundation of credibility, character and confidence, you cannot ask others to follow you. Most successful leaders excel in at least one of the four core roles: strategist, executor, talent manager, or human capital developer. However, the higher you rise in an organization, the more you need to develop excellence in all the roles. Each one is vital for success.

My Motto Is:
“If you do what you always did, you will get what you always got. Therefore, MOVE outside of your comfort zone; that’s where the MAGIC happens.” To bring that magic to your leadership and business, subscribe to Marcia’s monthly Execubrief: “Business Edge – Smart Growth Strategies” with a insights, inspiration and intelligence on how to build great businesses that matter – those that do well and do good.

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Marcia Zidle
Marcia Zidle
Marcia Zidle, The Smart Moves Coach, is a national known board certified coach and keynote leadership speaker who guides organizations that are planning, or in the midst of, ambitious growth and change. As a career strategist, she works with professionals, managers and executives who want to build • shape • brand • change • vitalize their careers. She’s been selected by LinkedIn’s ProFinder as one of the best coaches for 2016!Her clients range from private owned businesses to mid-market companies to professional service firms to NGO’s. With 25 years of management, business consulting and international experience, she brings an expertise in executive and team leadership; employee engagement and innovation; personal and organization change; career building and development; emotional and social intelligence. Your Future Starts Now With Marcia!

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