The principles in this book are not remarkably new and the dictionary definitions at the start of every section seem a little out of place. The tendency for the points to spill into each other was also a little distracting. But the inspiring stories in every section were a nice touch.
One of the most important aspects of leadership is that not every leader is the same. Of course we have all heard jokes about ‘mushroom’ leadership (keep them in the dark and feed them manure) and ‘seagulls’ (swoop in, squawk, and drop unpleasant things on people) but, joking aside, there are many different styles of leadership.
Sharing your leadership vision helps your vision grow and your business leadership develop. As you tell your leadership vision to others, you will strengthen your own belief in your vision and strengthen your determination to make your leadership vision become reality. And other people will start to see you as a person who’s “going places” and recognize you as a person with leadership potential.
Fairness means dealing with others consistently and justly. A leader must check all the facts and hear everyone out before passing judgment. He or she must avoid leaping to conclusions based on incomplete evidence. When people feel they that are being treated fairly, they reward a leader with loyalty and dedication.
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Trust your instinct. If it doesn’t feel right, the chances are it isn’t right. I’m a great believer in the power of the subconscious, given time, to steer us to the right answers. That’s why I often prefer to have a couple of discussions before taking a difficult decision, even if that slows down the process. It helps give me certainty about what I think, and it helps the wider leadership group understand each other’s point of view and build consensus. The end result is a better decision with better buy-in.
Comparable to the Roman tradition, the views of Confucianism on “right living” relate very much to the ideal of the (male) scholar-leader and his benevolent rule, buttressed by a tradition of filial piety.
Not everyone can be the “leader” as it’s most commonly defined in 21st-century popular culture. But everyone can develop their leadership qualities and use the influence they have in positive ways. These qualities and skills serve people well no matter what their position in life, and they ensure that when a situation arises that requires their particular skills, qualities, and knowledge, they’ll be ready to step in, lead, and make the path smoother and better for everyone.
It’s safe to say that all great leaders will have to enter unchartered waters at some point during their career (figuratively, of course). Because of this, they have to be able to trust their intuition and draw on past experiences to guide them.
Although some individuals are naturally strong communicators or strategic thinkers, leaders are mostly made and not born. Developing as a leader takes time and experience, and it usually involves making ample mistakes. Libraries are filled with books about leading, but the only way to truly learn to lead is to engage in doing so. Training programs, books and other materials can be valuable supporting tools, but learning to lead is a full contact activity.
To do this, team members need performance goals that are linked to the team’s overall vision. Our article on Performance Management and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) explains one way of doing this, and our Project Management section explains another. And, for day-to-day management of delivering the vision, the Management By Wandering Around (MBWA) approach helps to ensure that what should happen, really happens.
A good boss also recognizes the importance of regular feedback. Acknowledge team members when they have successfully navigated an issue, and talk about what they did right. As you might expect, employees will enjoy the recognition and feel even more confident handling similar situations in the future.
If you put your preconceptions aside, you’ll clearly see that leadership skills aren’t inborn, but have to be learned by training, perception, practice and experience over time. And when we say over time – we really mean over a lifetime, as successful people never stop learning.
Be proactive. If you have these ideas in your mind about what the deeper issues are, you can probably predict the problems that will crop up as a result. Instead of waiting for those problems to appear, take steps to prevent them. If you can’t prevent them, then you can at least prepare. That’s the core difference between a leader and a manager. A good manager responds well to various situations; a good leader takes effective action to prevent and create situations before they actually happen.
Abreu started El Sistema in a garage with 11 musicians in 1975. Today it teaches music to 400,000 poor kids in Venezuela and has inspired similar programs worldwide. Its value is that it teaches not just music but also discipline, practice, cooperation, and culture. A canny leader, Abreu has cultivated support from Venezuela’s many varying governments over the past 39 years.
However, across those thousands of books and articles, among the countless legends and stories, you’ll find some common themes woven throughout. You’ll find principles about us as human beings that many of us think about but never try hard enough to achieve. You’ll hear about ideals and decisions that we all wish we could aspire to but often fail to understand. Here are ten of those things you’ll find among the tales of those who achieved success in business (and in life) – which ones do you currently have and which do you need to obtain?
Black celebrities and thought leaders in America will participate, including Cicely Tyson, Chirlane McCray, the First Lady of New York, author Luvvie Ajayi, Beverly Bond of Black Girls Rock, and political strategist Symone Sanders, among others.
All great leaders have to exhibit an air of confidence if they’re going to succeed. Please don’t confuse this with self-satisfaction and arrogance. You want people to look up to you for inspiration, not so they can punch you in the face.
House, Robert J. (1971). “A path-goal theory of leader effectiveness”. Administrative Science Quarterly. Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University. 16 (3): 321–339. doi:10.2307/2391905. JSTOR 2391905.
Jack rules by fear. He taunts and punishes. He doesn’t care for order or rules, only fun…HIS FUN. He is selfish and cruel. He is any number of the tyrants who have ruled in the world and have been made to stand down by other more humane leaders.
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Employee service is a commitment from the leader to provide the employee with a high level of service to satisfy the employee’s needs, Employees have many needs and satisfying these needs the leader will engage the employee’s discretionary effort of their people.
Be consistent. Though certain rules may change as your children reach a specific age, be clear about general household expectations. Make sure your expectations are the same for every sibling, so you don’t look like you’re playing favorites.
Think of the big picture. As you’re solving problems (or simply improving what’s already satisfactory), you might notice patterns, and wonder if many of those issues are symptoms of a deeper, bigger problem or construct. Thoreau once said, “For every thousand hacking at the leaves of evil, one is hacking at the root.” Take a step back and try to find the root. The deeper matter is often not something anybody can solve alone; it’ll require a group effort, which is where your role as a leader comes into play.
They look for the good in every situation and in every person. They seek the valuable lessons contained in every problem or setback. They never experience “failures;” instead, write them off as “learning experiences.”
Vision. You’re working towards a goal that’s greater than yourself. It could be something small, like the success of the team, or a larger vision like world peace. Working towards a vision is far more inspiring than working towards personal gain.
To succeed in business today, you need to be flexible and have good planning and organizational skills. Many people start a business thinking that they’ll turn on their computers or open their doors and start making money, only to find that making money in a business is much more difficult than they thought. You can avoid this in your business ventures by taking your time and planning out all the necessary steps you need to achieve success.
Group processes like coordination, effort expenditure, and task strategy. Public expressions of mood impact how group members think and act. When people experience and express mood, they send signals to others. Leaders signal their goals, intentions, and attitudes through their expressions of moods. For example, expressions of positive moods by leaders signal that leaders deem progress toward goals to be good. The group members respond to those signals cognitively and behaviorally in ways that are reflected in the group processes.
Employees, company stakeholders and the wider business community want their leaders to be “personally present”. As a result, the communications channels which a leader chooses to utilise have to reflect this in order for their communications to be effective.
The third and final theme that seems to be constant across the texts is that leaders are not shy about letting the world know about their accomplishments, and they are even less shy about letting the world know about their teams’ accomplishments. When sharing these successes they rarely use the subjective personal pronoun I, but always say we. Interestingly, this focus on sharing the success of the team is one of the ways that leaders accomplish the second theme we discussed above. It is a simple fact of human nature, that people like being recognized for their hard work. People also really dislike it when others take credit for their hard work. Good leaders understand that, and apply it to how they interact with their teams.
The biggest problem is that people major in minor things, they learn a little bit of this and that, go to school, waste some time working a job they hate (some even waste their whole life), and while they’re on the train to the land of misery they also tend to settle for a partner they don’t truly love.
Pace-setting leader: With this style, you could charge ahead with your idea, but your team is still struggling, they may not fully understand it. So while you have an idea that solves the problem, their low morale means you have to micromanage them to get them ready. You run out of time.