Leaders also need tools to help them understand the way that others behave, and create positive interactions. As a first step, it may be helpful to understand more about emotional intelligence—another vital quality for leaders to possess—but there are a number of other tools that may also be useful, including Transactional Analysis, and Myers-Briggs Type Indicators.
Mark van Vugt and Anjana Ahuja in Naturally Selected: The Evolutionary Science of Leadership present evidence of leadership in nonhuman animals, from ants and bees to baboons and chimpanzees. They suggest that leadership has a long evolutionary history and that the same mechanisms underpinning leadership in humans can be found in other social species, too. Richard Wrangham and Dale Peterson, in Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence, present evidence that only humans and chimpanzees, among all the animals living on Earth, share a similar tendency for a cluster of behaviors: violence, territoriality, and competition for uniting behind the one chief male of the land. This position is contentious. Many animals beyond apes are territorial, compete, exhibit violence, and have a social structure controlled by a dominant male (lions, wolves, etc.), suggesting Wrangham and Peterson’s evidence is not empirical. However, we must examine other species as well, including elephants (which are matriarchal and follow an alpha female), meerkats (who are likewise matriarchal), and many others.
This matters, because the research found that purposeful leaders are seen by their followers as ethical, and that workers are therefore more satisfied, perform better, are less likely to quit, and are more willing to go the extra mile.
Identify potential mentors who have similar values, then have casual meetings with them to find the one with whom you have good rapport. Be prepared to explain what you hope to learn, why you value their insight and expertise, and what you bring to the relationship.
Remember: Leadership is not an “action.” It is not a “solution” or a mask you wear in the moment. It emanates from who you are. Showing compassion first and setting that foundation is what will not only reassure those around you of your confidence and ability to lead, but will help keep you in a positive state, allowing you to make the best decisions possible.
Great leaders find the balance between business foresight, performance, and character. They have vision, courage, integrity, humility and focus along with the ability to plan strategically and catalyze cooperation amongst their team.
Finally, a good leader will have intuition. Sometimes obstacles will arise that nobody will know how to handle, perhaps even you. In such situations, it is important to be confident and make a decision. No matter what the decision is, if you show that you are giving the problem everything you have got, it will inspire your team to do the same, which can often be just all that is needed to help get past the situation to begin with.
Think about going to new restaurant (the restaurant is life). You get a waiter that greets with you a smile and outlines the flavors of three of their best dishes, guarantees your satisfaction and tells you he’ll personally whip up something else if you don’t like it. Somewhere in your head, you are breathing a sigh of relief thinking, “Ahh. Yes. This will be a relaxing night — I’m in good hands.” That’s what everyone wants in life (in most restaurants, too).
A third characteristic of great leaders–or, perhaps, group of characteristics–is having courage, tenacity, and patience. Having the courage to stand alone, the tenacity to not succumb to pressure, and the patience to keep fighting until you win the day–and sometimes being able to do all three at the same time–is something you will have to develop if you want to be a true and successful leader.
An organization that is established as an instrument or means for achieving defined objectives has been referred to as a formal organization. Its design specifies how goals are subdivided and reflected in subdivisions of the organization. Divisions, departments, sections, positions, jobs, and tasks make up this work structure. Thus, the formal organization is expected to behave impersonally in regard to relationships with clients or with its members. According to Weber’s definition, entry and subsequent advancement is by merit or seniority. Employees receive a salary and enjoy a degree of tenure that safeguards them from the arbitrary influence of superiors or of powerful clients. The higher one’s position in the hierarchy, the greater one’s presumed expertise in adjudicating problems that may arise in the course of the work carried out at lower levels of the organization. It is this bureaucratic structure that forms the basis for the appointment of heads or chiefs of administrative subdivisions in the organization and endows them with the authority attached to their position.
By showing others the same courtesy you expect from them, you will gain more respect from coworkers, customers, and business partners. Holding others in high regard demonstrates your company’s likeability and motivates others to work with you. This seems so simple, as do so many of these principles — and yet many people, too concerned with making money or getting by, fail to truly adopt these key concepts.
4. Engagement. Great business leaders are able to get all members of their teams engaged. They do this by offering them challenge, seeking their ideas and contributions and providing them with recognition for their contributions.
The validity of the assertion that groups flourish when guided by effective leaders can be illustrated using several examples. For instance, according to Baumeister et al. (1988), the bystander effect (failure to respond or offer assistance) that tends to develop within groups faced with an emergency is significantly reduced in groups guided by a leader. Moreover, it has been documented that group performance, creativity, and efficiency all tend to climb in businesses with designated managers or CEOs. However, the difference leaders make is not always positive in nature. Leaders sometimes focus on fulfilling their own agendas at the expense of others, including his/her own followers (e.g., Pol Pot; Josef Stalin). Leaders who focus on personal gain by employing stringent and manipulative leadership styles often make a difference, but usually do so through negative means.
Far too many bosses communicate far too little. It’s often difficult for busy business owners and executives to keep their employees up-to-date on the latest organizational news. Regardless, you must make every effort to get employees the information they need to do their jobs quickly and efficiently.
Bosses may consider themselves to be an “expert in everything” and may think of themselves as the only person able to deliver a solution to the entire team. A leader may facilitate brainstorming and encourage their team to ask smart questions. They may be more inclined than a boss to make a decision based on discussions they’ve had with their team. A leader may say what they think needs to be done, but the team members may help decide how it’s actually executed.
The key to being successful is taking calculated risks to help your business grow. A good question to ask is “What’s the downside?” If you can answer this question, then you know what the worst-case scenario is. This knowledge will allow you to take the kinds of calculated risks that can generate tremendous rewards.
We live in an age of ‘Big Data’ & burgeoning Artificial Intelligence. It may well be that ‘Expert Systems’ will increasingly take leadership roles- i.e. their actions will solve coordination and concurrency problems. Our hearts may misgive us, but our brains may see this is as a good thing. Compassion- as Ethical theorists and Behavioral Psychologists are increasingly finding- may be counterproductive. It may paralyse rather than catalyse needful policy decisions.
A clear, strong vision serves as a rallying point for employees. It helps people and teams prioritize investments and improvements. It gives everyone in an organization something to strive for in their daily pursuits.
Principal Parrott at Miraloma holds a monthly parent-principal chat, an informal time when parents can come to ask questions and give input. She also schedules meetings and events at times when parents are already at the school picking up their children, for example, when the after-school program closes for the day.
A 2006 Servant Leadership study, conducted by Jane T. Waddell of Regent University, suggests that some of the virtues of servant leadership that we all admire are also attributes that are more likely to be found in those who have a preference for introversion. One of these virtues is humility. Servant leadership is characterized by a primary desire to be of service to others and to empower followers to grow. Servant leaders believe their company goals are best achieved by developing the potential of their workers. They’re not self-seeking and interested in grabbing the limelight. On the contrary, they want to shine the light on others in the pursuit of a greater purpose: the success of their organizations, projects or ventures.