Nohria also feels that leaders are able to distill their message, however complex it may be, to something that is accessible to those who may not share their knowledge or background. Joe Badaracco agrees. “You need a talent for simplicity — for saying things in a few words. General Electric’s Jack Welch is a good example. He is astonishingly articulate and able to convey complicated concepts in just a few phrases.”
In fact, in organizations, one of the reasons employees are promoted to positions such as team leader, supervisor, or department manager, is that they have demonstrated over time that people will follow them.
Your teams looks up to you and if you want them to give them their all, you will have to be passionate about it too. When your teammates see you getting your hands dirty, they will also give their best shot. It will also help you to gain the respect of your subordinates and infuse new energy in your team members, which helps them to perform better. If they feel that you are not fully committed or lacks passion, then it would be an uphill task for the leader to motivate your followers to achieve the goal.
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.
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Commanding leaders work best when quick decisions are to be made in a crisis or situation with inexperienced team members. As a result, many famed generals and politicians operating in times of strife fall into this category.
Warren Buffett, one of the richest people in the world, has mostly made the right calls. But in dealing with huge amounts of money, has also made several multi-million (and sometimes multi-billion) dollar mistakes. He has stated that buying the company Berkshire Hathaway was his biggest mistake.4 From that poor choice, he realized that it was unwise to pursue “improvements” and “expansions” in the existing textile industry. Despite mistakes like this, Buffett has invested wisely – and it shows.
Leaders with humility recognize that they are no better or worse than other members of the team. A humble leader is not self-effacing but rather tries to elevate everyone. Leaders with humility also understand that their status does not make them a god. Mahatma Gandhi is a role model for Indian leaders, and he pursued a “follower-centric” leadership role.
When test scores at Alvarado Elementary School showed that some groups of students were not reading and writing as well as others, Principal David Weiner helped teachers develop a new plan. Teachers across the school coordinated their reading and writing instruction, so that struggling students could receive direct instruction from a literacy specialist in addition to the classroom teacher.
None of the old theories successfully address the challenge of developing “leadership presence”; that certain “something” in leaders that commands attention, inspires people, wins their trust and makes followers want to work with them.
Many people have the tendency to compare the low points of their own lives with the high points of other peoples’ lives. Remember that no matter how perfect somebody’s life may seem, behind closed doors everybody deals with tragedy, insecurity, and other difficulties. Pay attention to and limit your use of social media to help you remember this.
Successful school leaders show great determination, with the willpower and patience to see things through. They are willing to take risks and are steadfast in challenging under-performance or poor behaviour. “There’s a mental courage that you don’t waver from,” says Madeleine Vigar, principal of the Castle Partnership Academy Trust in Haverhill, Suffolk.
A leader is a person who influences a group of people towards a specific result. It is not dependent on title or formal authority. (Elevos, paraphrased from Leaders, Bennis, and Leadership Presence, Halpern & Lubar.) Ogbonnia (2007) defines an effective leader “as an individual with the capacity to consistently succeed in a given condition and be viewed as meeting the expectations of an organization or society.” Leaders are recognized by their capacity for caring for others, clear communication, and a commitment to persist. An individual who is appointed to a managerial position has the right to command and enforce obedience by virtue of the authority of their position. However, she or he must possess adequate personal attributes to match this authority, because authority is only potentially available to him/her. In the absence of sufficient personal competence, a manager may be confronted by an emergent leader who can challenge her/his role in the organization and reduce it to that of a figurehead. However, only authority of position has the backing of formal sanctions. It follows that whoever wields personal influence and power can legitimize this only by gaining a formal position in the hierarchy, with commensurate authority. Leadership can be defined as one’s ability to get others to willingly follow. Every organization needs leaders at every level.
If you want your staff to do their best work, you need to give them the freedom to brainstorm and explore, Negrash said. Be open to your team’s ideas and suggestions, and be ready to consider them and possibly develop them further.
There is, in fact, no one right way to lead in all circumstances, and one of the main characteristics of good leaders is their flexibility and ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Leadership skills are highly sought after by employers as they involve dealing with people in such a way as to motivate, enthuse and build respect.
Don’t do everything yourself. Great leaders, such as Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Virgin mogul Richard Branson, surround themselves with talented individuals who can offer their own solutions. Set the vision and determine the goals, but trust people to make it happen. Tolerance is good; indecisiveness is bad. Communicate the vision for the future and if things need changing, tell people and involve them in making the changes. Show your confidence by letting them participate in the design of a new strategy. If the team is too cautious in their approach to change, give them one more chance but with greater clarity.
We know if we want to achieve something we have to do something, and maybe the actions you take aren’t getting you the results you want, so here are seven things you should start doing for yourself today because they will give the success you want tomorrow.
Reinforce positive behavior when employees are accomplishing their goals and objectives. This could be recognition in front peers and other rewards that don’t cost money, but are meaningful to the employee.
Ma became a billionaire not just through brilliant management but also by leading his company in a big, brash way. From the day in 1999 when he founded Alibaba in a Hangzhou apartment, he has exhorted employees to “think big” and “work for their dreams!” He did that himself and built Alibaba into the world’s largest online business, with some 100 million shoppers a day and higher revenues than Amazon and eBay combined.
Care about your followers. Just because they are not leaders doesn’t mean they are idiots. They’ll be able to tell if you’re compassionate and genuinely concerned for them. And if you’re not, they’ll chuck you off your pedestal. Remember who butters your bread! Without them, you have no one to lead and are a leader no longer.
Rescuing a giant, old industrial corporation in decline is almost impossible; few leaders have ever done it. Fewer still — maybe none except Ghosn — have done it while also a top executive at a separate industrial giant on the other side of the world. His salvation of Nissan from 1999 to 2005 remains “one of the most dramatic turnarounds in the history of the modern corporation,” says McKinsey. He did it by smashing Japanese cultural norms — laying off thousands of workers and cutting ties with members of the Nissan keiretsu. Japanese citizens and media were enraged, but the shock treatment worked, and Ghosn soon became a Japanese hero, his exploits even celebrated in a manga comic book. No wonder the Insead business school calls Ghosn a “transcultural leader.”
The “how to be a better leader” test: When was the last time you praised an employee? If it wasn’t this week, you may be a boss. Taking time to praise an employee for a job well-done may help you become a better leader.
In most situations, no leader will be titled as such. It’s just a position that someone naturally gravitates to. People will not grant you the outright privilege, but they can keep you from having it. Avoid coming off as a dominant, who-does-he-think-he-is go-getter and wait for the right moment. You’ll feel it.
Would you look to someone for guidance and leadership if they did not truly care about the goals of the group? Of course not! Great leaders are not just focused on getting group members to finish tasks; they have a genuine passion and enthusiasm for the projects they work on.
There are further challenges to delegating work within a team, including balancing workloads, and ensuring that everyone is given opportunities to help them develop. See our page on Overseeing Work for more.
In recent years, considerable evidence has emerged that the strongest organisations and groups tend to permit and actively encourage each member of the group or organisation to take the lead at the appropriate point. Organisations and families with particularly controlling leaders, by contrast, tend to be fairly dysfunctional.
If you enjoyed reading this and would like to learn more, read my true story, Many Miles to Go. In it, I explore an important truth that has led me to the kind of success I enjoy today and I reveal my proven method for creating, nurturing and maintaining the mindset you need to achieve anything you want to! This book will change your life!
Find the purpose or goal of your life. Identify the things you love to do, the things that give you satisfaction. Once you identify what you love to do, use this information to find the purpose of your life or the objective of your life.
Start paying attention to negative thoughts so that you can move on from them and enjoy the present moment. If a negative thought arises in your head, then acknowledge it, label it a negative thought, and then let it fade away. Regular meditation or mindfulness exercises can help to make this feel more natural for you.
One of my greatest challenges as a leader had to do with my introverted personality. I didn’t share enough about myself, my family life, and my aspirations for the team. (I’ve since realized how being hyper-focused and analytical by nature also helped me get promoted and were probably my greatest strengths.) I wish I had tried to understand my team’s personal motivations more and relate on a personal level.
Jump up ^ Arvey, R. D.; Rotundo, M.; Johnson, W.; Zhang, Z.; McGue, M. (2006). “The determinants of leadership role occupancy: Genetic and personality factors”. The Leadership Quarterly. 17: 1–20. doi:10.1016/j.leaqua.2005.10.009.
Make decisions and take responsibility for the consequences. To exert influence and tackle bigger problems, you’re going to need decision-making power, and those decisions will affect the people who grant you that power. This is as much a responsibility as it is an honor. Not only do you need to be able to make sound decisions, but you also need to be willing to be held accountable to them. If things go wrong, people will assume it’s your fault (whether it is or not).
At the onset you need to be opened-minded and willing to put in hard work! But if you’re passionate about becoming a great leader, then it can be an enjoyable adventure. Becoming a good leader does not mean becoming perfect, it’s more like understanding your imperfections and learning to work with them.
A boss may tend to think that there can only be one boss, and that they need to be at the center of everything. A leader may thrive by creating more leaders inside the company to perhaps replace them one day.