I used to fight organizational changes with every ounce of my being. (Those who know me would agree–there are a lot of ounces when you’re over 6-feet tall.) I viewed an org chart as my enemy. What I didn’t realize is that org chart changes create opportunities for leaders. We can adapt and grow once we know how things are changing. We get a clearer picture of what the company is trying to do. It’s a cheat sheet for better leadership.
Most of these traits tie directly into emotional intelligence (EQ). Leaders with high EQ are intrinsically more self aware. They understand their mental processes and know how to direct themselves. They’re more in touch with what they’re deeply passionate about. They naturally care more for others and receive more compassion in return. They’re more socially in tune.
Malala Yousafzai first stood up to the Taliban when she was 11. A fierce and outspoken defender of a female’s right to education, the Swat Valley schoolgirl was shot by them four years later aboard her school bus. The senseless act stunned the world, just as her recovery and continued activism — despite more death threats — have drawn many to her cause. Bede Sheppard of Human Rights Watch calls Malala a “radiant example that children can be intelligent and savvy advocates for their own rights.”
Second, leaders should think about their own personal moral code: what are the core values that matter most to you as an individual? People don’t leave their values at the door when they go into work, so think about how can these values can be integrated into your work. Finally, when making decisions, don’t just focus on short-term performance outcomes, but also take time to think about the various stakeholders who are affected.
Leaders and managers both need to understand how to build and manage a team. They need to know how to recruit effectively, and bring people ‘on board’ through induction processes. They also need to understand the importance of performance management, both on a regular basis, and to manage poor performance.
A lot of people don’t realize how important inner circles are because all we see are individual leaders. When you look at CEOs, best selling authors, world-renowned speakers, etc. you rarely hear about the mentors and colleagues who make their success possible.
Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., left, speaks to David Rubenstein, co-founder and managing director of the Carlyle Group, during the Economic Club of Washington dinner event in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, June 5, 2012. Buffett said he doesn’t expect another U.S. recession unless Europe’s crisis spreads. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
So what does it really take to be a leader? With the bloated CEO salaries we are seeing in the news these days that can be a multi-million dollar question. To be honest, however, only a small number of leaders bring in the seven and eight figure incomes. Moreover, our discussion isn’t really about how to end up as chairperson of a Fortune 500. It is about what differentiates a leader from someone in the crowd. What makes someone able to drive a group to a desired set of outcomes? What allows someone to exhibit true leadership?
There have been thousands of books written about what it takes to be successful in business, and a thousand more about achieving success in life as well. You can find another thousand articles on the web that discuss the topic, and a thousand more will be written tomorrow. With such a broad subject and with so many things that can play a role in making us happy, it can be difficult to boil it down to a short list of things that anyone can read and apply in their lives.
Listening is the foundation of any good relationship. Great leaders listen to what their customers and prospects want and need, and they listen to the challenges those customers face. They listen to colleagues and are open to new ideas. They listen to shareholders, investors, and competitors. Here’s why the best CEO’s listen more.
Leaders who rely on fear and power and intimidation aren’t so much leaders as bullies. True leaders are always nurturing and mentoring others on the team, which means letting them take the wheel sometimes. When you allow others to take the lead, you give them a chance to showcase their skills and talent, and you inspire your whole team to bring their best.
One of the greatest challenges that will stand in the way of an entrepreneur from getting what they want is understanding what “to do” with the opportunities that fall in their laps along the way. This is where leverage becomes such an important concept that people going into business need to understand, and it takes a certain kind of mind to think “outside the box” in situations to find the value in a new relationship or circumstance. The same people who are too scared to quit their day jobs are also the same people who do not know how to leverage the assets and relationships in their life. A successful entrepreneur, on the other hand, is constantly finding ways to create profits and new opportunities each and every day.
^ Jump up to: a b c d e Lamarre, Carl (2009-08-31). “Trey Songz Talks Lack of Accolades, Collabo Album With Drake & Possible ‘LOL’ Remix”. BallerStatus.com. Archived from the original on February 8, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-04.
Social Awareness. Understanding social networks and key influencers in that social network is another key part of leadership. Who in the organization has the most clout, both officially and unofficially? Who moves the hearts of the group?
The winning formula for business success will have been created many years ago – but it’s important to remember how the business started. Honour those early pioneers and instil a sense of pride across the organisation. J Sainsbury is a great example of this. The legacy of the supermarket chain is of a small high street delicatessen store. If Sainsbury’s wants to promote quality, then it has historical proof to fall back.
Start Today: One on ones are the perfect time to talk about career goals. You can check in every few one on ones to ensure progress and stay on top of changing interests. These posts can help with those conversations:
Great leaders demonstrate effective leadership skills, but most importantly, continue to improve themselves in every possible way. The person who thinks he is an expert, has a lot more to learn. Never stop learning. Be receptive to everyone’s perceptions and information from around the world and beyond. Always grow and learn.
“So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you’ll move mountains.”
From introverts, we can derive inspiration to free ourselves from an egotistic approach and instead devote our full attention to strengthening subordinates as a way to build a solid footing for a thriving business. It takes humility to do this, but humility pays.
Consequently, people can have confidence that their leader won’t punish them for their efforts if they take reasonable and responsible risks that are well thought out and well-founded. They are accountable and responsible to deserve their leader’s confidence and trust.
Democratic leaders work best when team members are experienced and have strong knowledge in their functional area. Inexperienced members may be confused under such leadership, or wondered why their voice was sought after despite their lack of experience.
Great leaders with excellent management skills encourage input and change, and the best way to measure them is based on feedback they get from their best people. People usually give the best scores to leaders you trust and to leaders who listen.
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.
Be a good friend to your teammates. Though you should be respected first of all, being a team captain is more casual than being a boss, and you should make an effort to make friends so you can have fun while working hard.
Many people quickly assume that being a good leader means you’re a good manager and vice versa. The two concepts are actually quite distinct and understanding that distinction can help you understand what it means to be good at either or good at … Read more
People also struggle with the concept of how being a leader is different from being a manager. You may have heard the idea that ‘leaders do the right thing, and managers do things right’. This is a fairly delicate distinction, and many leaders are also managers (and vice versa). Perhaps the key difference is that leaders are expected to create and communicate a compelling vision, often associated with change. Managers, on the other hand, are perhaps more often associated with maintaining the status quo.
Solve problems. People who are successful encourage progress by solving problems and answering questions. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, look around and try to think of ways you can contribute. What are people struggling with or complaining about? How can you make life easier for them in an effective way? Can you re-design or re-organize some aspect of the situation so things run more smoothly? Can you create a product or provide a service that fills a critical gap?
Start Today: Take a few minutes today and think about who on your team is an unsung hero and take a few minutes to send them an email, chat message, or walk over to their desk and tell them why you appreciate them. Watch them light up and then consider these links:
In the 19th century the elaboration of anarchist thought called the whole concept of leadership into question. (Note that the Oxford English Dictionary traces the word “leadership” in English only as far back as the 19th century.) One response to this denial of élitism came with Leninism, which demanded an élite group of disciplined cadres to act as the vanguard of a socialist revolution, bringing into existence the dictatorship of the proletariat.
It’s important you provide ample channels for two-way communication between employees and managers, and also solicit and reward them for their ideas and contributions. This facilitates progress toward reaching organizational goals.
The downside of regular coaching is that it’s time-consuming. It also takes patience to coach each of the team members. In an organization that focuses on immediate results, coaching is not preferred because it takes time to see significant results.
Lagarde became IMF chief in July 2011 as the European debt crisis grew most acute. Her unenviable task required juggling the concerns of 188 member countries while supporting IMF bailouts of Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and other troubled countries. She did so and is still doing so largely with success, though the IMF’s stringent conditions on aid have angered some. Lagarde combines her tough prescription of austerity with an argument that reforms will help the poor and unemployed above all — a balance that has increased acceptance of her message.