Sure, it’s easier to do just enough to get by. To do what you’re used to doing. But if you seek out opportunities to create phenomenal returns and ramp up the quality of your work, success will come easier than you think.
Over the past 13 years working as a journalist, I’ve talked to thousands of company founders, business consultants, and leadership gurus about what it takes to lead a company. Usually, during these interviews and meetups, I’ve nodded in agreement after recognizing the successes and failures during my own corporate tenure.
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.
It sounds corny, and maybe you can overdo this one, but I honestly believe many employees in young companies need constant encouragement. We live in complex, competitive times and people are inundated with too many tasks and not enough time. Technology and business life can be overwhelming, so it’s important to point out any “wins” no matter how small. And, if you do have to criticize, think seriously about the impact first.
Van Wormer, Katherine S.; Besthorn, Fred H.; Keefe, Thomas (2007). Human Behavior and the Social Environment: Macro Level: Groups, Communities, and Organizations. US: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-518754-7.
In the business world, ego is praised too often. We applaud the strong-arm approach. We celebrate the “hard-won battle.” But the truth is, ego rarely gets you anywhere. It comes with a sour taste, it leaves ill feelings in your wake, and it ends up burning bridges that could have otherwise stood the test of time.
Stop for a moment and think about it. A leadership position sounds promising, but it also corresponds with not only a lot of work, but also with great responsibility. Perhaps you already have some experience as a team leader? Then, you know that this position takes a lot more than just achieving success with your team. You not only have to organize, coordinate and delegate, but also motivate – you are even the number one contact person when problems arise. Before you are ready to answer the “Why do you want to be a leader” interview question, really think about it. Are you really ready for a leadership position? Ask yourself the following questions:
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.
6. Cohesive force: Finally, the leader should be a cohesive force between all the team members. In a professional atmosphere, it is a miracle that all the people in a team are on good terms with each other. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the leader to make sure that all of them are comfortable with each other and have a working relationship that makes the team a productive one instead of a team that is wracked by problems.
With rare skill, Polman has combined noble corporate goals with savvy management in his five years as CEO (UL). Of course, strong leadership also often goes hand in hand with bold ambition: Polman took a big risk by declaring his — to double the company’s size even while reducing its environmental footprint and increasing its positive social impact. He is pulling it off and energizing employees in the process.
To all my fellow learning leaders, I leave you with my final thoughts for strong leadership. Listen to your team, learn together and remember to have fun along the way! As Churchill wisely said: “You cannot deal with the most serious things in the world unless you understand the most amusing.”
Sharing your leadership vision helps your vision grow your business leadership develop. As you tell your leadership vision to others, you will strengthen your own belief in your vision and strengthen your determination to make your leadership vision become reality. And other people will start to see you as a person who’s “going places” and recognize you as a person with leadership potential.
Hadley Cantril (1958) “Effective democratic leadership: a psychological interpretation”, Journal of Individual Psychology 14: 128–38, and pages 139–49 in Psychology, Humanism and Scientific Inquiry (1988) edited by Albert H. Cantril, Transaction Books.
Being passionate about your organisation is about looking beyond your strategy and seeing the value your organisation adds to the people outside of it, the customers who receive your organisations goods and services. It is about linking that value to each and every employee’s contribution whilst keeping a focus on those few things that lead to greater business success.
See what happened? In less than 5 whys, we figured out how to begin solving this HUGE issue with just one step: taking the time to find a book. Now this person knows the first step to getting started with his investments.
Jump up ^ Chan, K., & Drasgow, F. (2001). Toward a theory of individual differences and leadership: Understanding the motivation to lead. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(3), 481-498. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.86.3.481
Nearly 60 percent of Moscone Elementary School’s students are English language learners, but Principal Patty Martel is determined that all of her students will be proficient in reading in English by the time they move on to middle school. In support of this goal, she allocates money from her limited school budget to pay for an early intervention literacy program as soon as a student begins struggling with reading. She also requires that all programs at her school include an element of literacy. Reading and writing are integrated into art, science, and everything else the students do.
A key to successful management is the relationship between the manager and his or her staff. It’s the manner in which managers manage people that separates the ordinary from the good and the exceptional.
Self-Direction. You’re able to direct yourself effectively and powerfully. You know how to get things done, how to organize tasks and how to avoid procrastination. You know how to generate energy for projects, to calm yourself when angered. You can make decisions quickly when necessary, but can also slow to consider all the options on the table.
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.
On game day, it’s important to look your opponents in the eye, shake their hands, and to show that your focused on the game, not whether or not the other team’s point guard is a jerk. Even if you feel someone on the other team acted unfairly, take it up with your coach or a ref as the situation dictates, but avoid name calling and foul language.
I love his definition because of all of the possibility it holds. You don’t have to rise to the top of a company, have a huge following on social media or lead a movement to be a leader. Everyone has the potential to lead because all you have to do is influence people about the things you’re passionate about.
Surround yourself with other people who are successful. When you’re surrounded with people who are highly-driven, it’s encouraging. You can bounce ideas off people, and they can even connect you with other people. Surrounding yourself with driven, successful people is a way to create a culture of success.
Motivate: There may not be a more important leadership trait than being a good motivator. When you can inspire, you can transform your team into a well-oiled machine. Raw talent is nice but when a team is motivated they can be unstoppable.
All to often, career development is a box to be filled in during a performance review. Unfortunately, it is then not discussed again until the next review. Even if someone is promoted, they’re set up to fail as they haven’t been groomed for the new role.
4. Serve as an Example: This is also quite am important aspect of being a leader of a team. Only if a leader acts as an example, would the leader be respected enough to be given the proper respect as a leader. Being an example can be anything, right from the way they work, to the way they make professional decisions. Serving as an example is not easy in this fast paced world, but one can always try.