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.
It’s easy to dismiss the concept of “vision” as vague and woolly, but the best school leaders are visionaries with a clear sense of moral purpose. Successful leaders have “great vision – the ability to formulate and shape the future, rather than be shaped by events”, says Richard Harman, headmaster of Uppingham School, Rutland.
Thoughts influence feelings and feelings determine how you view your work. You have a lot of thoughts in your head, and you always have a choice of which ones to focus on: the ones that will make you emotionally stuck (fears, doubts) or the ones that will move you forward (excitement, experimenting, trying new things, stepping out of your comfort zone).
Leadership also includes looking for leadership potential in others. By developing leadership skills within your team, you create an environment where you can continue success in the long term. And that’s a true measure of great leadership.
In the end, neither boy is a great leader. Ralph certainly has more concern for his followers and a more developed conscience. Though he makes mistakes along the way, he obviously has a clear understanding of right and wrong and has compassion for others. While Ralph is a good leader in terms of his humanity and morality, Jack might have to be considered a more effective leader for one simple reason: at the end of the novel, every boy but Ralph has joined his tribe. Whatever his methods, he commands his savages and, if the does not arrive to rescue the boys, he would have been sole leader of the boys on the island. He is chief of the savages, but he has a tribe.
There’s no playbook for how to become an elite leader in basketball. Whether it’s John Wooden teaching his UCLA players the proper way to tie their shoes or Zen master (and new Knicks president) Phil Jackson referencing Buddha, the point is to get five players working in harmony — however you do it. Three active coaches with very different styles stand out. We’re hard-pressed to say which is best: Duke’s Coach K (above, right), who has developed players for decades with a mixture of toughness and love — in the process becoming the winningest Division I men’s college basketball coach in history and leading the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team to a pair of gold medals? Or the famously terse Coach Pop, who empowers his players by sometimes stepping back? “What do you want me to do?” he has challenged his stars in a time-out. “Figure it out.” And they do: Coach Pop has had more consecutive winning seasons (16) than any active NBA coach. Or Dawn Staley, who has led women’s teams at Temple and South Carolina to storied records? The former WNBA star initially didn’t want to coach. But as Staley noted at her induction into the National Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013, she knew she made the right decision when “I started to care more about my players than to win.” That might be the common trait of the great ones.
Cool-headed, farseeing, visionary, courageous – whichever adjectives you choose, leadership is a winning combination of personal traits and the ability to think and act as a leader, a person who directs the activities of others for the good of all.
Another factor that covaries with leadership style is whether the person is male or female. When men and women come together in groups, they tend to adopt different leadership styles. Men generally assume an agentic leadership style. They are task-oriented, active, decision focused, independent and goal oriented. Women, on the other hand, are generally more communal when they assume a leadership position; they strive to be helpful towards others, warm in relation to others, understanding, and mindful of others’ feelings. In general, when women are asked to describe themselves to others in newly formed groups, they emphasize their open, fair, responsible, and pleasant communal qualities. They give advice, offer assurances, and manage conflicts in an attempt to maintain positive relationships among group members. Women connect more positively to group members by smiling, maintaining eye contact and respond tactfully to others’ comments. Men, conversely, describe themselves as influential, powerful and proficient at the task that needs to be done. They tend to place more focus on initiating structure within the group, setting standards and objectives, identifying roles, defining responsibilities and standard operating procedures, proposing solutions to problems, monitoring compliance with procedures, and finally, emphasizing the need for productivity and efficiency in the work that needs to be done. As leaders, men are primarily task-oriented, but women tend to be both task- and relationship-oriented. However, it is important to note that these sex differences are only tendencies, and do not manifest themselves within men and women across all groups and situations.
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.
Most of the situational/contingency and functional theories assume that leaders can change their behavior to meet differing circumstances or widen their behavioral range at will, when in practice many find it hard to do so because of unconscious beliefs, fears or ingrained habits. Thus, he argued, leaders need to work on their inner psychology.
Ask for opinions in a face-to-face situations. At the end of a meeting, you can casually ask if people have any questions or opinions. This will give your employees time to consider what they’re working on. You may also pull individual employees aside, or invite them to your office, to discuss the project further. Tell them that their perspective is crucial to your success.
Marcia Parrott, principal at Miraloma Elementary School, pulled her staff out of a time-consuming teacher training program that was not meeting their needs. The techniques taught in the training program were not compatible with the reading program used at the school and the program instructors were not able to help the teachers integrate the two programs. Although she had to defend her decision to the school district, she was adamant that her teachers not spend their time on a program they could not use to help students.
Step 1: Focus on them. The person you’re trying to reach is probably very busy — that’s why you need to give them a reason to open the email. To this end, you need to make sure your subject line is engaging and your opening pulls them in.