“a recommended approach for understanding the impact of leadership on performance is to ask how to make leaders”

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, a series of qualitative reviews of these studies (e.g., Bird, 1940;[14] Stogdill, 1948;[15] Mann, 1959[16]) 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 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

Although leadership is certainly a form of power, it is not demarcated by power over people – rather, it is a power with people that exists as a reciprocal relationship between a leader and his/her followers (Forsyth, 2009).[108] Despite popular belief, the use of manipulation, coercion, and domination to influence others is not a requirement for leadership. In actuality, individuals who seek group consent and strive to act in the best interests of others can also become effective leaders (e.g., class president; court judge).

Rescuing a giant, old industrial corporation in decline is almost impossible; few leaders have ever done it. Fewer still — maybe none except Ghosn — have done it while also a top executive at a separate industrial giant on the other side of the world. His salvation of Nissan from 1999 to 2005 remains “one of the most dramatic turnarounds in the history of the modern corporation,” says McKinsey. He did it by smashing Japanese cultural norms — laying off thousands of workers and cutting ties with members of the Nissan keiretsu. Japanese citizens and media were enraged, but the shock treatment worked, and Ghosn soon became a Japanese hero, his exploits even celebrated in a manga comic book. No wonder the Insead business school calls Ghosn a “transcultural leader.”

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.

Make a list of your goals, and what you might do to achieve them. Be sure to address both short-term and long-term goals; try to think beyond financial and career goals, such as relationship goals, personal goals for bettering yourself, things you would like to experience, or things you want to learn. Draw up a timeline that says when you want to achieve each part.[2]

Robert Kiyosaki is most famous for teaching the world about the importance in how financial literacy plays such a crucial role in the lives of successful entrepreneurs. Those who live from paycheck to paycheck are also those that fill their lives with liabilities – car and house payments, credit cards, and other materialistic things that cost them money. Those who are financially literate, however, understand the importance of building assets – things that make them money instead. Once you start having a positive asset column, you can then learn how to make even more money through investing. To be a successful entrepreneur you need to know how to take money and make it work for you.

If I asked you to define a leader, what would you say? If you’re like most people, you’d probably mention people like managers, politicians or maybe even trendsetters. Maxwell argues that all of the labels to determine who’s a leader and who’s not are wrong. He believes that a leader is someone who influences others. It’s that simple.

Take the time to share your vision, your mission and your goals with your team. Your job as a leader is to provide a clear path that your team can follow. Your team also must understand why the goals you have set are valuable to them. Take the time to explain to them, in detail, why and how your vision will not only improve the business, but how it will benefit them in return. Include your team in your strategic planning sessions, ask for feedback and get them to “buy into” your vision for the future of the company.

Individuals with higher intelligence exhibit superior judgement, higher verbal skills (both written and oral), quicker learning and acquisition of knowledge, and are more likely to emerge as leaders.[68] Correlation between IQ and leadership emergence was found to be between .25 and .30.[79] However, groups generally prefer leaders that do not exceed intelligence prowess of average member by a wide margin, as they fear that high intelligence may be translated to differences in communication, trust, interests and values[80]

Of course, knowing your audience is also essential. “Great communicators have an appreciation for positioning,” states John Kotter. “They understand the people they’re trying to reach and what they can and can’t hear. They send their message in through an open door rather than trying to push it through a wall.” Badaracco believes part of knowing your audience is the ability to listen. “Communication can’t always follow the top-down model,” he says. “With the fluidity of information in business today, leaders need to be masterful listeners; they need to be able to receive as well as send.”

Practise what you preach. You must believe, in order for people to follow and buy into your vision. Show you are passionate, enthusiastic and proud. People spend a large part of their lives at work, and having a leader who is genuinely excited about the future of the company is hugely motivating and inspiring.

If success is what you really want, pre-order my new book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You And Your Greatness, because sometimes what got us here isn’t going to get us to where we need to be.

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.

Instead of pursuing their big dreams, most people settle for less. Somewhere along the line they were convinced by the world that following their passion wasn’t possible. And now they’re on a mission to discourage you too: “That’s why you need faith – a deep-down belief that, regardless of the evidence, you are going to make it! You are going to achieve what you have set out to accomplish. You are going to make a difference in this life.”

Likeable leaders are ever grateful for the people who contribute to their opportunities and success. Being appreciative and saying thank you to mentors, customers, colleagues, and other stakeholders keeps leaders humble, appreciated, and well received. It also makes you feel great! Donor’s Choose studied the value of a hand-written thank-you note, and actually found donors were 38% more likely to give a 2nd time if they got a hand-written note!

The danger of this kind of thinking is obvious when you consider some of the examples Brown features: Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, and Mao. Though their stories are notorious, it’s well worth reading Brown’s insightful analysis of each man’s rise and reign.

Be you: You can’t be something that you’re not. If you want to be a good leader, you have to be yourself. Take a look in the mirror and figure out your strengths and weaknesses. Let your team know who you are and encourage them to help you in your weaker areas.

A boss may tend to think that there can only be one boss, and that they need to be at the center of everything. A leader may thrive by creating more leaders inside the company to perhaps replace them one day.

The true leader will have the ability to gather people around him. People will listen to him even when he’s not known as the leader. He’ll motivate people. The one with those abilities should be the right leader.

The 34th President of United States, Dwight.D.Eisenhower once said, “The supreme quality of leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.” Honesty and integrity are two important ingredients which make a good leader. How can you expect your followers to be honest when you lack these qualities yourself? Leaders succeed when they stick to their values and core beliefs and without ethics, this will not be possible.

Step 2: Make them care. You need to establish rapport as quickly as possible. If you can, name drop someone you have in common with them. In most cases though, you’ll need to establish common ground another way.

Although research has indicated that group members’ dependence on group leaders can lead to reduced self-reliance and overall group strength,[108] most people actually prefer to be led than to be without a leader (Berkowitz, 1953).[118] This “need for a leader” becomes especially strong in troubled groups that are experiencing some sort of conflict. Group members tend to be more contented and productive when they have a leader to guide them. Although individuals filling leadership roles can be a direct source of resentment for followers, most people appreciate the contributions that leaders make to their groups and consequently welcome the guidance of a leader (Stewart & Manz, 1995).[119]

Competence in most cases refers to someone being properly qualified and educated, but just people some people can learn something quicker than others doesn’t necessarily mean they are more intelligent.

It’s the same with people in credit card debt — many don’t even know how much debt they have! They’d rather avoid their statements and bury their head in the sand than face the reality of how much they owe.

Work hard and be very disciplined. Success does not come overnight; you must work hard for it and be disciplined. Without these two, it is almost impossible for you to be successful. It won’t be easy, but it can be done. As the famous quote goes, “Heights of great men reached and kept were never attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, kept toiling onward through the night.”

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?

One Reply to ““a recommended approach for understanding the impact of leadership on performance is to ask how to make leaders””

  1. 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.

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