Given the prevailing business climate, and in the UK the lengthy period of instability and change the country faces as it moves towards Brexit, it is likely that the pressures will only increase. This will pose further challenges to the ability of leaders in all sectors to act “with purpose”, yet the requirement to do so has never been more pressing.
I really like that you talk about how a good leader will be creative and come up with innovative solutions for certain problems. It makes sense that good leaders exist in every industry providing quality leadership and solutions to problems that are hard to solve. I also think that empowerment can be a big part of this because a good leader that’s able to delegate different things to different people could be very effective in coming up with solutions.
“The more you can contain your ego, the more realistic you are about your problems. You learn how to listen, and admit that you don’t know all the answers. You exhibit the attitude that you can learn from anyone at any time. Your pride doesn’t get in the way of gathering the information you need to achieve the best results. It doesn’t keep you from sharing the credit that needs to be shared. Humility allows you to acknowledge your mistakes.” – Larry Bossidy
Good leadership is about acquiring and honing skills. Leadership skills enable you to be a role model for a team in any environment. Great leaders come in all shapes and sizes: in the home, at school, or at the workplace. The following is a list of the qualities that all successful leaders share.
Stick to your commitments. Planning is not sufficient; keeping your word is also important. If you tell someone you will do something, do it. Similarly, don’t tell someone you will do something if you’re not sure you can. Be honest about your limits.
“Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it”
Mittal created the world’s largest steelmaker (MT) by pursuing a decades-long, impossibly audacious plan of consolidation — working with governments, powerful labor unions, and other constituencies to rewrite the rules of the old steel industry in tough times.
Apart from the 14 other companies he has founded, Diamandis presides over X Prize Foundation, which hosts $10 million competitions to solve global problems. “He has an infectious optimism, which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy,” says futurist Ray Kurzweil. He makes “each person understand that their role is critical to the success of their organization and in turn that the overall project is critical to transforming the world.”
Bloomberg maintained high approval ratings for nearly all of his 12 years as New York City’s mayor (2002-14), winning his first reelection by a 20-point margin, the largest ever for a Republican in the heavily Democratic city. He has now returned to the financial data firm he founded but is hardly giving up his high-wattage policy activism — leading campaigns for gun control and against smoking and obesity.
Three years after she was shot at a Tucson supermarket, the former Arizona congresswoman has become a major force in the effort to end the plague of gun violence. In 2013 she and husband Mark Kelly, both gun owners, launched a Super PAC, ARS, a move that Daniel Webster, director of John Hopkins’ Center for Gun Policy and Research, calls a true “game changer.”
In business, a vision is a realistic, convincing and attractive depiction of where you want to be in the future. Vision provides direction, sets priorities, and provides a marker, so that you can tell that you’ve achieved what you wanted to achieve.
Within weeks of her diagnosis in 1996, Giusti began disrupting the myeloma research culture — getting isolated doctors and scientists to share data, and building an unheard-of consortium to develop drugs. Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria calls her “an entrepreneur in the truest sense of the word — someone who sees beyond existing constraints to imagine novel solutions to once intractable problems.”
Functional leadership theory (Hackman & Walton, 1986; McGrath, 1962; Adair, 1988; Kouzes & Posner, 1995) is a particularly useful theory for addressing specific leader behaviors expected to contribute to organizational or unit effectiveness. This theory argues that the leader’s main job is to see that whatever is necessary to group needs is taken care of; thus, a leader can be said to have done their job well when they have contributed to group effectiveness and cohesion (Fleishman et al., 1991; Hackman & Wageman, 2005; Hackman & Walton, 1986). While functional leadership theory has most often been applied to team leadership (Zaccaro, Rittman, & Marks, 2001), it has also been effectively applied to broader organizational leadership as well (Zaccaro, 2001). In summarizing literature on functional leadership (see Kozlowski et al. (1996), Zaccaro et al. (2001), Hackman and Walton (1986), Hackman & Wageman (2005), Morgeson (2005)), Klein, Zeigert, Knight, and Xiao (2006) observed five broad functions a leader performs when promoting organization’s effectiveness. These functions include environmental monitoring, organizing subordinate activities, teaching and coaching subordinates, motivating others, and intervening actively in the group’s work.
Ask for opinions in a face-to-face situations. At the end of a meeting, you can casually ask if people have any questions or opinions. This will give your employees time to consider what they’re working on. You may also pull individual employees aside, or invite them to your office, to discuss the project further. Tell them that their perspective is crucial to your success.
There’s no playbook for how to become an elite leader in basketball. Whether it’s John Wooden teaching his UCLA players the proper way to tie their shoes or Zen master (and new Knicks president) Phil Jackson referencing Buddha, the point is to get five players working in harmony — however you do it. Three active coaches with very different styles stand out. We’re hard-pressed to say which is best: Duke’s Coach K (above, right), who has developed players for decades with a mixture of toughness and love — in the process becoming the winningest Division I men’s college basketball coach in history and leading the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team to a pair of gold medals? Or the famously terse Coach Pop, who empowers his players by sometimes stepping back? “What do you want me to do?” he has challenged his stars in a time-out. “Figure it out.” And they do: Coach Pop has had more consecutive winning seasons (16) than any active NBA coach. Or Dawn Staley, who has led women’s teams at Temple and South Carolina to storied records? The former WNBA star initially didn’t want to coach. But as Staley noted at her induction into the National Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013, she knew she made the right decision when “I started to care more about my players than to win.” That might be the common trait of the great ones.
Nohria also feels that leaders are able to distill their message, however complex it may be, to something that is accessible to those who may not share their knowledge or background. Joe Badaracco agrees. “You need a talent for simplicity — for saying things in a few words. General Electric’s Jack Welch is a good example. He is astonishingly articulate and able to convey complicated concepts in just a few phrases.”
To be a leader, you don’t have to be an elected official or a CEO. A leader is someone whom others consistently want to follow for new trends and ideas. A fancy title can make that happen temporarily, but a true leader inspires steadfast loyalty through the steps below!
Leaders who demonstrate persistence, tenacity, determination, and synergistic communication skills will bring out the same qualities in their groups. Good leaders use their own inner mentors to energize their team and organizations and lead a team to achieve success.
There are a number of things that leaders can do to ensure that they are leading “with purpose”. The first is to make sure that you know what the overall organisational vision is or, if you’re in a senior role, that you have developed and disseminated a meaningful vision. Each leader will then need to think about how that vision can be made relevant to their team. Regular discussions about vision and values are important for people to see how their work fits in and contributes.
Here’s an example story of poor leadership: An airline’s forks kept disappearing and no one knew why. After an investigation, it was discovered the dishwashers were throwing them away because they had trouble with adequately cleaning them and they were scared of punishment if they returned dirty forks (and would thusly be reprimanded). If you’re too dictatorial, your team will throw away your forks. Better management would have prevented this problem. So be kind and keep your entire cutlery.
Principal Parrott at Miraloma holds a monthly parent-principal chat, an informal time when parents can come to ask questions and give input. She also schedules meetings and events at times when parents are already at the school picking up their children, for example, when the after-school program closes for the day.
Leadership is defined through action. Therefore, in developing your own skills, you have to act in ways that are fitting to your leadership vision and your self – all the time. We can all name many actions of other people whom we admire, but what inspires us is the integrity that gives these actions meaning.
The flip side of believing you’re working on something which will change/save the world is that it may inspire fanatical belief in the leader himself. Another potential flaw is its heavily context-dependent, in another word, the goal at the end. With a constant focus on making the world a better place, team members can sometimes lose focus on their day-to-day plan they need to execute.
Be helpful off the court. Help load equipment into your team bus, take attendance, and offer rides to any straggling team members. This will show that you care about working together on all aspects of the game, even it’s just driving the freshman player to school so everyone can be a part of the game.
Jimmy Brown, Ph.D. is a senior level management consultant with seventeen years of experience leading efforts to develop and implement practical strategies for business performance improvement. Dr. Brown has held senior level consulting positions at leading firms such as Booz-Allen & Hamilton, Accenture and Hewlett-Packard. He is currently a Practice Area Lead with Beacon Associates.
Andrew Deen Andrew Deen is a contributor who writes and blogs in the field of higher education. He stays up to date on all things higher ed, including new program opportunities, career trends, and new technologies in the industry.
Whether you consciously aware of it or not, on some level you are continually leading yourself and others – you don’t necessarily have to have a large team reporting to you to be considered a leader and to need effective leadership skills.
Identify potential mentors who have similar values, then have casual meetings with them to find the one with whom you have good rapport. Be prepared to explain what you hope to learn, why you value their insight and expertise, and what you bring to the relationship.
So, be careful how you use terms, and don’t assume that people with “leader” in their job titles, people who describe themselves as “leaders,” or even groups called “leadership teams” are actually creating and delivering transformational change.
For Rosabeth Moss Kanter, a key question is whether a leader’s personal passion matches his or her aspirations. “There are so many false starts, unexpected obstacles, and surprising turns along the path to change. Daily work often drains energy needed for change,” she says. “Leaders must pick causes they won’t abandon easily, remain committed despite setbacks, and communicate their big ideas over and over again in every encounter.”
People will follow if you demonstrate the leadership skills they need. The leader isn’t the smartest or most experienced person in the group, the leader is the one who knows how to get the smartest people in the room to work towards a single vision.