Ajulia Insights

News and advice from our experts.


How do you become a good leader? To be successful as a leader it is important to use your skillset to ensure effectiveness to exceed expectations while helping others do the same. A good lead effortlessly implements four core skills to achieve success. I know this because I have done it successfully in my role. I went from being an Account Executive (recruiter) to a Training Manager and Senior Recruiter in just 18 months for a top executive level recruiting firm. Hard work and continual self-development are crucial when you are in a leadership position.

I approach my leadership with four specific skills. As a leader, I strive to LIVE with everyone. LIVE stands for listen, inspire, validate, and evaluate. If we invest in people by utilizing the right skills we will produce long-lasting results.

As an effective leader, it is important to LISTEN to what individuals are trying to communicate to you and strive to understand it. Then you can INSPIRE every person to exceed their professional goals. During their journey, it is important to VALIDATE individuals as well as continuously EVALUATE the situation and needs of others.

There is a misconception that speaking is the most important part of being an effective leader. However, having the ability to LISTEN is just as important and perfecting this skill sets apart successful leaders from unsuccessful ones. Listening doesn’t just mean hearing what a person is saying, but it’s the ability to interpret the information without having a reaction. If you listen to everything honestly it will help you think about how to meet other’s needs. It is best to seek to understand the information given to you instead of being verbally reactive. After listening you can determine the best way to react and decide how to explain the appropriate information.

After determining individual needs effective leaders put a plan in place to INSPIRE others to exceed goals. To inspire people you want to motivate them to do their job or meet a task in the most efficient way possible. Inspiring someone comes from providing encouragement and clear direction. You cannot be an inspiring leader if you don’t communicate efficiently. In order to truly inspire others your verbal and written communication has to be direct. I read the book Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott which helped me to understand how to have direct conversations in all aspects of life. I highly recommend it.

Employees and individuals have to know what’s expected of them. They need to be encouraged to achieve their goals and be praised appropriately when they succeed. Layout expectations by having a fierce, direct conversation with individuals. During this process, you get to implement your listening skills as well as your ability to respond in a way that will inspire them through positive feedback and encouragement.

As a Training Manager, I often have to redirect individuals to do things differently. My rule of thumb is to always VALIDATE what they have done well. Too often we tell people what needs to improve instead of recognizing the things they are doing well. If we build people up as a leader we will be more effective in getting our message received and our goals met. My general rule of thumb is for every negative thing, I point out three positive things. By doing so it forces me to evaluate what an employee is actually doing.

EVALUATE every situation to see if your approach is working. If you do not feel your message is being received, then evaluate how to better get your message across. If you are listening to your team, but unable to inspire them to still meet their goals then you should evaluate why that is. Perhaps it is your delivery or the actual task. We have to make people
feel good about what’s being asked of them. Always put a positive spin on it and make them feel appreciated. Also, helping people understand the why behind a task will have a positive impact, because it encourages them to contribute. When individuals feel appreciated and like they are contributing they are more likely to work hard.

A leader’s message is received based on the way it is presented. Less is always more when writing and speaking. If we can be clear and concise in what message or call to action we give the better results we will produce. Help your team to understand why a task is being asked of them. Guide them through your process as to what impact it will have if they are successful.

If you apply the core leadership skills of LIVE (LISTEN, INSPIRE, VALIDATE, AND EVALUATE) you will be successful. Successful leadership has a great impact on individuals and benefits everyone as the company grows. ​

To learn more about how Ajulia can help benefit your company, contact us.