The world is more complex than ever before, and yet what customers often respond to best is simplicity — in design, form, and function. Taking complex projects, challenges, and ideas and distilling them to their simplest components allows customers, staff, and other stakeholders to better understand and buy into your vision. We humans all crave simplicity, and so today’s leader must be focused and deliver simplicity.
This is one of the most important leadership skills. Would you look to someone for guidance and leadership if they did not truly care about the goals of the group? Of course not! Great leaders are not just focused on getting group members to finish tasks; they have a genuine passion and enthusiasm for the projects they work on. Start by thinking of different ways that you can express your zeal. Let people know that you care about their progress. When one person shares something with the rest of the group, be sure to tell them how much you appreciate such contributions.
Once you’ve set the vision and engaged other people through communication, you need to lead the delivery. That’s where a clear understanding of the end goal, and metrics and evaluation to demonstrate outcomes, are important. It’s a good idea to stay ahead of the delivery curve, setting interim goals along the way which are stretching but attainable. Much of what I’ve just described in the last three points is encapsulated by Steve Radcliffe in the model he discussed at the Leadership Conference last year: future, engage, deliver.
This is critical because the longer you or an employee withholds key information, the more it hurts your organization. It prevents you from building trust and an open environment that will develop your team. You’ll earn credibility when you are open to feedback and work toward making changes to fix issues as they arise.
Once you have your leadership successes listed based on concrete examples, you should address your personal motivation. What motivates you in your desire to be a leader? Have you realized your avid interest in staff development during your supervisor’s last sick leave? Do you already have some good ideas that you would like to implement – perhaps a new approach to employee motivations? Make it clear that you are willing to take responsibilities and indicate your desire to positively influence the corporate culture. Show that you are one hundred percent behind your decision. If you explain your motivation authentically and provide compelling examples of how you have used your leadership skills successfully, you will have no trouble to confidently answer the question, “Why do you want to be a leader?”
Ralph has everything it takes to look like a leader. He is tall, straight, good-looking, and strong; during the elections, he stays above the noise and tumult, and the younger boys see his as a leader.
As president, Barack Obama exuded confidence and calm during stressful situations. But he was also known for his “dad jokes”,1 his genuinely funny speeches at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and appearing on Zack Galifianakis’s Between Two Ferns.2 Obama’s sense of humor made him grounded, realistic, and honest – no doubt that helped during some tense moments in the White House!
Jump up ^ Matthews, Michael D.; Eid, Jarle; Kelly, Dennis; Bailey, Jennifer K. S.; Peterson, Christopher. “Character strengths and virtues of developing military leaders: An international comparison”. Military Psychology. 18 (Suppl): S57–S68. doi:10.1207/s15327876mp1803s_5.
John F. Kennedy was a successful democratic leader. When Kennedy handled the Bay of Pigs situation, he gave everyone in his circle a voice. The way he made decisions had changed decision-making for the modern era.2
There is nowhere to hide anymore, and businesspeople who attempt to keep secrets will eventually be exposed. Openness and honesty lead to happier staff and customers and colleagues. More important, transparency makes it a lot easier to sleep at night – unworried about what you said to whom, a happier leader is a more productive one.
Good leaders are good communicators. You have to do it all the time. It means thinking about what other people know and how they are experiencing what you are doing, especially change. It’s important to communicate in a way other people can relate to and engage with. And you have to make it easy for people to remember what you are saying: make it simple, clear and coherent.
Pace-setting leader: With this style, you could charge ahead with your 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.
Potential management candidates are tested thoroughly during the interview process. If you have the ambition to become an executive, you should lay out a few strong arguments for your interviewer. We’ll show you how you should confidently respond to the question, “Why do you want to be a leader?”
Financially successful people do at least one thing better than just about everyone around them. (Of course it helps if you pick something to be great at that the world also values–and will pay for.)
Stop for a moment and think about it. A leadership position sounds promising, but it also corresponds with not only a lot of work, but also with great responsibility. Perhaps you already have some experience as a team leader? Then, you know that this position takes a lot more than just achieving success with your team. You not only have to organize, coordinate and delegate, but also motivate – you are even the number one contact person when problems arise. Before you are ready to answer the “Why do you want to be a leader” interview question, really think about it. Are you really ready for a leadership position? Ask yourself the following questions:
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, a series of qualitative reviews of these studies (e.g., Bird, 1940; Stogdill, 1948; Mann, 1959) prompted researchers to take a drastically different view of the driving forces behind leadership. In reviewing the extant literature, Stogdill and Mann found that while some traits were common across a number of studies, the overall evidence suggested that persons who are leaders in one situation may not necessarily be leaders in other situations. Subsequently, leadership was no longer characterized as an enduring individual trait, as situational approaches (see alternative leadership theories below) posited that individuals can be effective in certain situations, but not others. The focus then shifted away from traits of leaders to an investigation of the leader behaviors that were effective. This approach dominated much of the leadership theory and research for the next few decades
The bureaucratic top-down leadership style i.e. “The Commanding Leader” is increasingly less effective in the ever evolving digital age where people are more connected than ever. Employees want a more collaborative approach to leadership. 41% of employees say they want their leadership to come from the company that they work for as a whole and from all employees. They want a ‘leadership-by-all’ model. This is much more than the 25% who say that leadership should only come from the company CEO, according to the KLCM report. Interestingly, Millennial employees have higher expectations of leadership from CEOs and those in Senior Management. Only 35% of Millennials prefer the ‘leadership-by-all’ model, which is 6% less than the general consensus.
Jump up ^ Larson, J. R. Jr.; Christensen, C.; Abbot, A. S.; Franz, T. M. (1996). “Diagnosing groups: Charting the flow of information in medical decision-making teams”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 71: 315–330. doi:10.1037/0022-3518.104.22.1685.
Successful school leaders show great determination, with the willpower and patience to see things through. They are willing to take risks and are steadfast in challenging under-performance or poor behaviour. “There’s a mental courage that you don’t waver from,” says Madeleine Vigar, principal of the Castle Partnership Academy Trust in Haverhill, Suffolk.
Non-profit Ushahidi has helped seed the fast-growing East African tech industry and reimagined what technology can do. Witness its crowdsourced mapping platform, which helps communities track everything from violence to floods.
While Ralph looks like a leader, he is not a good thinker. He is interested in exploring and some of the more practical matters on the island, which is admirable; however, he is unable to motivate the boys to do anything they make plans to do. Piggy sticks with him (though he did not vote for him), but only because Piggy knows Jack hates him.
Jump up ^ Lord, Robert G.; Vader, Christy L. de; Alliger, George M. “A meta-analysis of the relation between personality traits and leadership perceptions: An application of validity generalization procedures”. Journal of Applied Psychology. 71 (3): 402–410. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.71.3.402.