Noam Chomsky and others have subjected the concept of leadership to critical thinking and have provided an analysis that asserts that people abrogate their responsibility to think and will actions for themselves. While the conventional view of leadership may satisfy people who “want to be told what to do”, these critics say that one should question why they are being subjected to a will or intellect other than their own if the leader is not a subject-matter expert (SME).
Leaders do this by staying true to our second theme, which is to stay motivated and motivate others. Have you ever seen a true leader who wasn’t always ‘on’? Me either. Ever seen a true leader who wasn’t inspiring those around them, no matter how challenging the task? Neither have I. Now this doesn’t mean that leaders are unnaturally hyperactive Pollyanna’s. Most great leaders I have known are exhausted at the end of the day. Many are concerned and even stressed about how best to lead their teams to the desired goals. They’re honest with their teams when they have such concerns, but they don’t get bogged down with worry and doubt. Instead they focus on finding the solutions, and they do so with zeal.
Followers need to believe that, at the end of the journey, their leader will recognize and reward them for their contribution. The leader must help followers answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” Successful leaders are honest about the potential risks inherent in the chosen path as well as the potential rewards.
Noah is a master at helping people (and himself) get laser-focused on their goals. Pay special attention at 3:53 where he talks about the strategy that he learned from Mark Zuckerberg that has brought him success.
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.
Your money and success isn’t going to do you any good if you’re not around to use it – so why would you live your life so dangerously that you would sacrifice your health? What good is all the passion you have for your business dreams if you’re not going to be around to see them come true? Too many of us get caught up in the game of life that we never think about the damage we all do to our bodies along the way. As entrepreneurs our days are so full of work and juggling projects that are lunch breaks become mere small breaks in the day where we shove fast food down our throats to get rid of our hunger. I personally inhale my food.
Magnanimity means giving credit where it is due. A magnanimous leader ensures that credit for successes is spread as widely as possible throughout the company. Conversely, a good leader takes personal responsibility for failures. This sort of reverse magnanimity helps other people feel good about themselves and draws the team closer together. To spread the fame and take the blame is a hallmark of effective leadership.
Be decisive. You’re standing in a circle of a group of friends, debating on what to do that night. Everyone is dilly-dallying, complaining, nixing everyone else’s ideas until one person finally steps up and says, “Guys, we’re doing this.” That person rose to the top, saw the situation needed direction, and took charge. Leader, leader, leader.
The Marine four-star general and leader of NATO’s coalition in Afghanistan “is probably the most complete warrior-statesman wearing a uniform today,” says a former Marine commandant. Dunford tells Fortune his first battalion commander told him the three rules to success. The first? Surround yourself with good people. “Over the years,” says Dunford, “I’ve forgotten the other two.”
Networking at the highest level is important in providing a fresh current of resource inputs for the organization, be it talent, ideas, material inputs, customers, information, markets, and more. Networking is not just for, actually, not even primarily for, making sales. [More on networking here]
A leader should be organized because it shows that they know what they are doing. If a leader is unorganized, people may start to question their policies and whether they really know what they are doing. Organization is also useful for the leader him/herself because it allows that person to keep track of their expectations and whether or not their subordinates have followed through on them. Essentially, a leader both looks and feels better if they are organized.
This charisma can be difficult to learn, it usually requires most people to go outside of their comfort zone by speaking with more strangers as well as learning how to command the attention and speak to a group of any size.
My role as a leader in business had reached a pivotal point. I was managing about 50 people in three large teams, just a couple of positions away from the CEO of a major retailer, making a nice income and eating out almost every day for lunch.
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!
It’s easy to burn out when you are very motivated. Observe yourself to recognize any signs of tiredness and take time to rest. Your body and mind rest when you schedule relaxation and fun time into your weekly calendar. Do diverse tasks, keep switching between something creative and logical, something physical and still, working alone and with a team. Switch locations. Meditate, or just take deep breaths, close your eyes, or focus on one thing for five minutes.
But you can’t be a leader just by saying you are one. Leadership needs to be worked at. Transform yourself into the kind of leader your small business needs with these five keys to business leadership.
Kurt Lewin, Ronald Lipitt, and White developed in 1939 the seminal work on the influence of leadership styles and performance. The researchers evaluated the performance of groups of eleven-year-old boys under different types of work climate. In each, the leader exercised his influence regarding the type of group decision making, praise and criticism (feedback), and the management of the group tasks (project management) according to three styles: authoritarian, democratic, and laissez-faire.
Evaluating those three key aspects of your relation with employees can obviously be hard without proper employee engagement and leadership tools like Officevibe. Keeping an eye on those elements and tracking their improvement over time is instrumental for any leader who want to improve.