You have to be the one to discover your passion. Take some alone time and think about what you enjoy doing the most. Think about what leaves you fulfilled when you’re done doing it. Don’t try to force it, though. Your passion should come naturally to you.
Malala Yousafzai first stood up to the Taliban when she was 11. A fierce and outspoken defender of a female’s right to education, the Swat Valley schoolgirl was shot by them four years later aboard her school bus. The senseless act stunned the world, just as her recovery and continued activism — despite more death threats — have drawn many to her cause. Bede Sheppard of Human Rights Watch calls Malala a “radiant example that children can be intelligent and savvy advocates for their own rights.”
Let’s take a look at that healthy lifestyle example again. Say you’re training for a race and your goal is to be able to run a 5 kilometre race in a couple months time. Each run that you successfully complete is a success. But will every one of those runs feel good? Likely not. Not when you collapse through your front door, dripping in sweat, muddy past the ankles, and gasping for water.
Great leaders with excellent management skills encourage input and change, and the best way to measure them is based on feedback they get from their best people. People usually give the best scores to leaders you trust and to leaders who listen.
To transition from a manager to a leader, you must let go of the reins and allow your team to take full control of their roles and responsibilities. Believe in their abilities wholeheartedly, even if the position they are taking on is more demanding. Not only will this give you the opportunity to put more of an emphasis on long-term goals, capabilities, and the company’s vision, it also helps everyone grow and develop. So be sure to give them (and you!) the opportunities they deserve.
If you are interested in learning more about leadership and how to advance your career by on the human side of business, we encourage you to check out our Master of Science in Management and Organizational Behavior Degree or talk to a Program Manager today.
Live purposefully. In order to achieve your dreams and be the person you want to be, you will have to start paying attention to your actions. Ask yourself, “Is what I’m doing going to lead me to where I want to be in life?”
The search for the characteristics or traits of leaders has continued for centuries. Philosophical writings from Plato’s Republic to Plutarch’s Lives have explored the question “What qualities distinguish an individual as a leader?” Underlying this search was the early recognition of the importance of leadership and the assumption that leadership is rooted in the characteristics that certain individuals possess. This idea that leadership is based on individual attributes is known as the “trait theory of leadership”.
There’s a tendency in any job to do the easiest tasks first. Duh! They are the easiest! It’s always nice to look like we’re getting more done each week and clearing up our time for the harder challenges in the workplace. In leadership, that’s a big mistake. That troublemaker on your team? The drop in sales after a marketing snafu? A big tax change? Address those problems first to free up your time to lead better the rest of the week.
A successful pursuit might be going to the grocery store with your children and not experiencing any meltdowns or tantrums. A successful pursuit could be securing an interview for the job of your dreams. Or, a successful pursuit could simply be getting out of bed in the morning.
“A leader places the people around him or her in a position that sets them up for success,” said Andor Kovacs, CEO and founder of property restoration brand Restoration 1. “This is a difficult task, because a leader must have an in-depth understanding of each individual, such as understanding their career goals and knowing what motivates them. By being committed to helping each person achieve their own personal goals, the leader sets the organization up for greatness.”
Some leaders may drive their teams to work hard, while others will constantly be at their sides, giving every task their one hundred percent. The latter is the type of leader that can expect to achieve more. Teams work better when they see that the one that they answer to is right by their side, sharing their struggles and triumphs.
Kurt Lewin, Ronald Lipitt, and Ralph 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.
The leader-leader model engages team members in a way that is more difficult (or impossible) with the leader-follower one. Employees are more engaged, and achieve a sense of meaning and purpose in their work. As a result, retention rates improve, collaboration increases, and the organization benefits from empowered workers who take the initiative instead of waiting around to be told what to do.
There is nowhere to hide anymore, and businesspeople who attempt to keep secrets will eventually be exposed. Openness and honesty lead to happier staff and customers and colleagues. More important, transparency makes it a lot easier to sleep at night – unworried about what you said to whom, a happier leader is a more productive one.
Even in the worst situations such as experiencing low team morale or team members having made a big mistake at work, a great leader stays positive and figure out ways to keep the team motivated to solve the problems.
They communicate, not just the overall direction, but any information their followers need to successfully and skillfully carry out their responsibilities. They recognize that for their followers to perform most effectively they need to understand the big picture. They also know that their job is to remove barriers that may have a negative impact on the employees’ success—not to micromanage how the employees accomplish their work.
Every employee wants to do a good job. And when they do a good job, employees want recognition from their bosses. Unfortunately, few bosses do much in the way of recognizing and rewarding employees for a job well done. The good news is that there are many things bosses can do to recognize employees that cost little or no money, are easy to implement, and that take only a few minutes to accomplish.
Executives are energetic, outgoing, and competitive. They can be visionary, hard-working, and decisive. However, managers need to be aware of unsuccessful executives who once showed management potential but who are later dismissed or retired early. They typically fail because of personality factors rather than job performances.