Learning to be a leader isn’t easy because it takes a conscious commitment and consistent effort to develop one’s business leadership skills. But on the positive side, anyone who is willing to make the effort can become a good leader.
The validity of the assertion that groups flourish when guided by effective leaders can be illustrated using several examples. For instance, according to Baumeister et al. (1988), the bystander effect (failure to respond or offer assistance) that tends to develop within groups faced with an emergency is significantly reduced in groups guided by a leader. Moreover, it has been documented that group performance, creativity, and efficiency all tend to climb in businesses with designated managers or CEOs. However, the difference leaders make is not always positive in nature. Leaders sometimes focus on fulfilling their own agendas at the expense of others, including his/her own followers (e.g., Pol Pot; Josef Stalin). Leaders who focus on personal gain by employing stringent and manipulative leadership styles often make a difference, but usually do so through negative means.
Although Steve Jobs is known for focusing in on the smallest of details, he knew how to delegate. By finding, cultivating, and trusting capable team members – like Tim Cook – Jobs was able to make Apple run smoothly, even while he had to be absent for extended periods of time.
At the time, I convinced myself I had to communicate more with my team leads about “best practices” and “company direction” but the truth is, I should have demonstrated the ideas instead. I should have helped team members reach goals and paved the way for them by my example. It’s the difference between just giving information versus nurturing growth.
Don’t wait for feedback from your team — they may never offer it. After all, you’re the one dictating how things are going; they may not think their opinion matters. Ask them how you’re doing, how they’re doing, and what they see to make the whole process better. Just because they’re not leading doesn’t mean they’re not full of great ideas!
Motivate: There may not be a more important leadership trait than being a good motivator. When you can inspire, you can transform your team into a well-oiled machine. Raw talent is nice but when a team is motivated they can be unstoppable.
The Michigan State Studies, which were conducted in the 1950s, made further investigations and findings that positively correlated behaviors and leadership effectiveness. Although they similar findings as the Ohio State studies, they did contribute an additional behavior identified in leaders. This was participative behavior; allowing the followers to participate in group decision making and encouraged subordinate input. Another term used to describe this is “Servant Leadership”, which entails the leader to reject a more controlling type of leadership and allow more personal interaction between themselves and their subordinates.
Individuals with dominant personalities – they describe themselves as high in the desire to control their environment and influence other people, and are likely to express their opinions in a forceful way – are more likely to act as leaders in small-group situations.
4.3.1. “Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success.” –Thomas J. Watson
There is a collective sigh from leaders for the first time in recent history as the slow tide of economic recovery washes in. For some, the sigh may be more or less audible. Nevertheless, leaders are moving away from expending energy on preventing failure or avoiding crisis and shifting their energy toward creating new growth opportunities and seeking fresh success strategies.
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.
Finally, a good leader will have intuition. Sometimes obstacles will arise that nobody will know how to handle, perhaps even you. In such situations, it is important to be confident and make a decision. No matter what the decision is, if you show that you are giving the problem everything you have got, it will inspire your team to do the same, which can often be just all that is needed to help get past the situation to begin with.
So, do not waste your time searching for the “perfect” leader. Chances are that you already have one in your organization! Whether they are one of the 20% or the 60%, all you need is to be able to identify those individuals and determine how to best develop their skills.
Leaders emerge from within the structure of the informal organization. Their personal qualities, the demands of the situation, or a combination of these and other factors attract followers who accept their leadership within one or several overlay structures. Instead of the authority of position held by an appointed head or chief, the emergent leader wields influence or power. Influence is the ability of a person to gain co-operation from others by means of persuasion or control over rewards. Power is a stronger form of influence because it reflects a person’s ability to enforce action through the control of a means of punishment.
Individuals with high emotional intelligence have increased ability to understand and relate to people. They have skills in communicating and decoding emotions and they deal with others wisely and effectively. Such people communicate their ideas in more robust ways, are better able to read the politics of a situation, are less likely to lose control of their emotions, are less likely to be inappropriately angry or critical, and in consequence are more likely to emerge as leaders.
Fear of failure (or even fear of success) often prevents you from taking action and putting your creation out there in the world. But a lot of opportunities will be lost if you wait for things to be right.
Lolly Daskal is the president and CEO of Lead From Within, a global consultancy that specializes in leadership and entrepreneurial development. Daskal’s programs galvanize clients into achieving their best, helping them accelerate and deliver on their professional goals and business objectives. Her new book “The Leadership Gap” What Gets Between You And Your Greatness. Has become an instant best seller.
Don’t criticize your coach in front of your teammates. Though you may disagree with your coach’s actions, you can talk to him about it. Discussing it with your team can make everyone angry, and can make your team fall apart for lack of strong leadership.
However, over the past several decades, we’ve seen a shift from physical-labor oriented jobs to thought and connection centered work. Today’s workers are not simply motivated the same way as their parents’ parents were. This is common knowledge, yet we insist on managing this new breed of workers as if they were still working on the factory floor.
The most successful organizations often have a mix of these leadership styles for teams and deliverables. There is no one-size-fits-all answer. The important thing is to understand where you fall, what your achievements and drawbacks are, and how you can grow or most benefit your team by considering adapting a slightly different leadership style.
But purposeful leaders don’t emerge in a vacuum; some organisations are more adept than others at creating an environment where leaders can behave purposefully. When we looked in more detail in case studies at the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, some interesting differences emerged.
If you’re ready to overcome your fear of speaking and start leading more effectively, just take the first step and the rest will become history. You can get started right now by signing up for a spot in my free webinar, 4 Steps to a 6-Figure Speaking Career.
Commanding leader: You could just tell your team what to do. However as they’ve already been struggling they have low morale. Your extra demands only causes their morale to decrease further, and in the end they work poorly.
What most people do: Wing it. They make a list of the reasons why they should get a raise — why they DESERVE it — and then they practice what they’re going to say in their heads a few times. They think the fact that they’ve done great work will be enough.
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
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Remember that it is about the entire team. The greatest leaders saw their role to an end, and themselves, as an instrument of a deeper purpose; any prestige, or wealth was a side effect rather than a motivation. After all, nothing would get done with just the efforts of one man. Or woman!
For example, when you start a new project, you will probably have lots of enthusiasm for it, so it’s often easy to win support for it at the beginning. However, it can be difficult to find ways to keep your vision inspiring after the initial enthusiasm fades, especially if the team or organization needs to make significant changes in the way that it does things. Leaders recognize this, and they work hard throughout the project to connect their vision with people’s individual needs, goals and aspirations.
Bring current events into class discussion. Even if you’re not teaching a history class, you can find a way to bring up current events, whether it’s something related to the government or sports, and tie them into your material. This will make your students feel that your discussion is relevant to the real world.
If you want your staff to do their best work, you need to give them the freedom to brainstorm and explore, Negrash said. Be open to your team’s ideas and suggestions, and be ready to consider them and possibly develop them further.
There are a lot of tips and strategies out there on how to be successful in life, but I am still a firm believer that there is no better way to succeed than to follow that footsteps of those who have already done so. Here are 13 success tips from some of the world’s most successful and renowned people:
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.
Do you care about the people you manage? Does your team feel like they can trust you and come to you with any problem? If not, it turns out there’s very little chance they’re engaged at work according to research by Gallup:
Keep in mind that it is perfectly fine to spend some time doing nothing and just being lazy each day. This can actually help with your imagination and self-awareness. Strive for a balance between doing things you want to do and allowing yourself to just “be.”