In Google’s Project Oxygen referenced above, they also found three traits of lower performing managers. These are the things that Google now works with those managers to improve on and avoid in the future.
Have fair assessments. Whether you’re giving a quiz or a final exam, it’s important to make sure the assignment is fair and useful for your students. They will be better students after all of your hard work, and will thank you for being an understanding teacher and classroom leader.
A variety of leadership behaviors are expected to facilitate these functions. In initial work identifying leader behavior, Fleishman (1953) observed that subordinates perceived their supervisors’ behavior in terms of two broad categories referred to as consideration and initiating structure. Consideration includes behavior involved in fostering effective relationships. Examples of such behavior would include showing concern for a subordinate or acting in a supportive manner towards others. Initiating structure involves the actions of the leader focused specifically on task accomplishment. This could include role clarification, setting performance and holding subordinates accountable to those standards.
To have a truly happy and fulfilling life, it’s important to know what’s really important and to develop values around what you can do each and every day to make that world a reality. Sure, many who start a business venture want to achieve a certain level of financial independence. But what does one do with those riches once they finally have them? Those with the attitude that having money means they can buy more “things” to surround themselves with in order to feel superior to others will never be successful in their life. The entrepreneurs who focus on how they can create wealth that can help others and solve problems have the right attitude needed to obtain true happiness and be seen in a positive light by their peers and partners, and are the true embodiment of the word “success”.
If a person in a leadership position views his or her role as “just a job,” it’s going to show. To be an effective leader, you need to have the right motivation. Is it the money or the prestige you care about, or do you sincerely want to inspire people to do their best? St. Marie advised leaders to really ask themselves why they want to lead.
However, this is only the beginning of the road for those who want to be truly successful in business. Overcoming your fears and getting started is noble, but the true tests of a fearless entrepreneur will be constant, from initiating a conversation at a networking mixer, asking for the sale on a major deal, severing ties with a partner who is causing harm to the venture, and perhaps the most frightening of all situations – watching a business fail (it happened to Henry Ford twice before he designed his famous assembly line!) One who can fail miserably and not be scared to dust themselves off and try again and again until they are successful is truly fearless.
Once you have completed the quiz, read about the major characteristics of your dominant style. Are these qualities helping or hindering your leadership? Once you’ve determined which areas need some work, you can begin looking for ways to improve your leadership abilities.
HBS professor Joe Badaracco agrees that the traditional manager versus leader argument (“Clark Kent versus Superman,” he jokes) tends to undermine the value of management. “There are lots of people who look and act like managers, who have excellent managerial skills, and who don’t make a lot of noise. Nobody is writing cover stories about them. But after they have been in an organization for a period of time, things are significantly better,” observes Badaracco. “Now, are these mere managers because we can’t compare them with Martin Luther King? Or are they leaders because they accomplished something that needed to be done?”
Taking leadership action based on external sources suggests that in order to get people to follow you, you must get them to like and approve of you. But the reality is that people tend to follow leaders who are true to what they believe in and act consistently on their beliefs, even when their actions may not be popular. These are the resilient, courageous leaders.
Leadership may mean different things to different people, but in a business, leadership must always start with the owner, who has to define exactly what leadership means to him or her, and then decide what success means to the business. However, being a leader also means articulating that vision to everyone else in the company, convincing them of its importance, and encouraging and motivating them to work together to achieve it. And while doing so may come more naturally to some than to others, it’s never easy. In fact, as Vince Lombardi, the legendary Green Bay Packers coach, once said, “Contrary to the opinion of many people, leaders are not born. Leaders are made, and they are made by effort and hard work.”
Success is about getting all that you wanted to have. It’s finding that you have achieved your goals or fulfilled your plans and it’s waking up in the morning feeling victorious rather than feeling defeated.
Self-Awareness. You have an intimate knowledge of your inner emotional state. You know your strengths and your weaknesses. You know when you’re working in flow and you know when you’re over worked. You know yourself, including your capabilities and your limitations, which allows you to push yourself to your maximum potential.