4. Do your fair share. Even though you’re the project leader, you still have to do some of the heavy lifting. Others will notice if you aren’t pitching in or continually push off unexpected and last-minute problems to someone else. You’ll exert the most influence when others see you working as hard – if not harder – than they are.
In a meeting, while everyone is busy talking, introverts are busy processing their thoughts. As clinical psychologist Laurie Helgoe states in Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength, introverts have an “internal power—the power to birth fully formed ideas, insights, and solutions … An introvert who sits back in a meeting, taking in the arguments, dreamily reflecting on the big picture, may be seen as not contributing—that is, until he works out the solution that all the contributors missed.”
In our research, we set out to discover what makes an effective leader. We were particularly interested in “purposeful leadership” since a more thoughtful and purposeful approach is often been hailed as the antidote to failings caused by a relentless focus on short-term financial imperatives.
Jump up ^ Graen, G. B.; Novak, M. A.; Sommerkamp, P. (1982). “The effects of leader-member exchange and job design on productivity and satisfaction: Testing a dual attachment model”. Organizational Behavior & Human Performance. 30 (1): 109–131. doi:10.1016/0030-5073(82)90236-7.
Jump up ^ Tagger, S.; Hackett, R.; Saha, S. (1999). “Leadership emergence in autonomous work teams: Antecedents and outcomes”. Personnel Psychology. 52 (4): 899–926. doi:10.1111/j.1744-6570.1999.tb00184.x.
A particular danger in these situations is that people or organizations that are being managed by such an individual or group think they’re being led; but they’re not. There may actually be no leadership at all, with no one setting a vision and no one being inspired. This can cause serious problems in the long term.
It’s an age-old question: Are we influenced more by nature or nurture? Applied to leadership, the question becomes: Are great leaders born or made? It’s one of the most frequently asked questions in leadership development.
Even when things look bleak and your followers start to feel disheartened, try to stay positive. This does not mean viewing things through rose-colored glasses. It simply means maintaining a sense of optimism and hope in the face of challenges.
The “how to be a better leader” test: Ask five employees what the vision and mission of your company is. If you receive blank stares or five different answers, you may be a boss. To be a better leader, it may be worthwhile to home in on your company’s vision and mission, and begin creating a company culture that reflects those values.
A great leader is one who successfully serves the people he/she is supposed to lead. Period. Success will be dependent upon circumstances and opportunities. What does not make them a great leader: serving self interest, ducking responsibity, enriching themselves, not caring for their people, blindness for reality.
Create a team of leaders. Developing leaders across the team is developing a better team. The strongest teams are those in which more members inspire, support, challenge and hold each other accountable. Yet even in teams full of capable leaders you remain ultimately accountable. A leader’s work is never done.
Dissatisfied with the results of most organizations helping the urban poor in the mid-1990s, Canada launched an experiment, an effort to reach all the kids in a 24-block zone of New York City — he called it the Harlem Children’s Zone — and give them education, social, and medical help starting at birth. The idea was to make success a self-reinforcing phenomenon, as children and their families saw it all around them and recalibrated their expectations. The experiment has worked spectacularly. zone now covers over 100 blocks and serves more than 12,000 children, with 95% of high school seniors going off to college. Canada plans to step down as CEO later this year, but his idea — and leadership here — will no doubt endure.
Learning doesn’t stop once you make the C-suite! Whatever someone’s title, be it L&D officer, manager, CEO or Superhero-in-Disguise – there’s always more to learn. So, make sure managers have access to the leadership training they need to develop their own skills. This way they will be best positioned to support their team’s growth and unleash other’s potential. Give your managers the power to lead by example!
The neo-emergent leadership theory (from the Oxford school of leadership) sees leadership as created through the emergence of information by the leader or other stakeholders, not through the true actions of the leader himself. In other words, the reproduction of information or stories form the basis of the perception of leadership by the majority. It is well known[by whom?] that the naval hero Lord Nelson often wrote his own versions of battles he was involved in, so that when he arrived home in England he would receive a true hero’s welcome. In modern society, the press, blogs and other sources report their own views of leaders, which may be based on reality, but may also be based on a political command, a payment, or an inherent interest of the author, media, or leader. Therefore, one can argue that the perception of all leaders is created and in fact does not reflect their true leadership qualities at all.
Instead, focus on one small change you can make today, and watch as that impact reverberates through the rest of your year. You don’t need it to be January to make a change, and there’s no time like the present.
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.
While leadership is unique to everyone, there are some common ways to define the term. Peter Economy, also known as “The Leadership Guy,” listed the qualities of today’s best leadership in an Inc.com article. According to Economy, leadership embodies:
There is more than one way to be a success. Many a person gets a degree but still fails to think well, especially in this age of teaching by results rather than learning for learning’s sake. College graduates get into a comfort zone of high expectation that doesn’t always amount to success, or turns into mediocre success at best, due to training in thinking like a pack and all wanting the same, safe outcomes. This isn’t to denigrate degrees — a degree well done is a degree well worth it. But it’s not the only answer. Start your own business or company, think about online solutions, use social media, find the gaps in the world in need of fixing and be a self made success not driven by textbook standards. You can still be successful, just think beyond your current circumstances.