Leadership

So leadership is a recent term but what do we really know about it? Yes, we know that leadership is a value-based process that encourages leaders and implementers to initiate actions that contribute to achieving a common purpose, and to willingly make significant contributions in meeting mutual objectives. “When every physical and mental resource is focused, one’s power to solve a problem multiplies tremendously” (Norman Vincent Peal) Nonetheless, there are more questions to answer: 1 . Why are some leaders successful, while others fail? 2. Which are the leaders’ roles? 3.

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Which leadership style is better? But before answering these questions let speak a little bit about what exactly adhering means. One way of doing this is to learn about the core leadership theories that provide the backbone of our current understanding of leadership that help us the understand the effective leadership style . Many theories have emerged. The leadership theories: Let’s look at each of the four core groups of theory, and explore some of the tools and models that apply with each. We have chosen the 4 most important to speak about but we have to keep in mind that are more out there . 1). Great Man” Theories Great Man theories assume that the capacity for leadership is inherent – that read leaders are born, not made. These theories often portray great leaders as heroic, mythic and destined to rise to leadership when needed. The term “Great Man” was used because, at the time, leadership was thought of primarily as a male quality, especially in terms of military leadership. 2). Trait Theories: What Type of Person Makes a Good Leader? Similar in some ways to “Great Man” theories, trait theories assume that people inherit certain qualities and traits that make them better suited to leadership.

Trait theories often identify particular personality or behavioral characteristics shared by leaders. If particular traits are key features of leadership, then how do we explain people who possess those qualities but are not leaders? This question is one of the difficulties in using trait theories to explain leadership. 3). Contingency Theories: How Does the Situation Influence Good Leadership? Contingency theories of leadership focus on particular variables related to the environment that might determine which particular style of leadership is best suited for the situation.

According to this theory, no leadership style is best in all situations. Success depends upon a number of variables, including the adhering style, qualities of the followers and aspects of the situation. 4). Situational Theories: Situational theories propose that leaders choose the best course of action based upon situational variables. Different styles of leadership may be more appropriate for certain types of decision-making. For example, in a situation where the leader is the most knowledgeable and experienced member of a group, an authoritarian style might be most appropriate.

In other instances where group members are skilled experts, a democratic style would be more effective. 5). Behavioral Theories: What Does a Good Leader Do? Behavioral theories Of leadership are based upon the belief that great leaders are made, not born. Rooted in behaviorism , this leadership theory focuses on the actions of leaders not on mental qualities or internal states. According to this theory, people can learn to become leaders through teaching and observation. 6). Participative Theories: Participative leadership theories suggest that the ideal leadership style is one that takes the input of others into account.

These leaders encourage participation and contributions from group members and help group members feel more relevant and committed to the decision-making process. In participative theories, however, the leader retains the right to allow the input of others. 7). Management Theories: Management theories, also known as transactional theories, focus on the role of supervision, organization and group performance. These theories base leadership on a system of rewards and punishments. Managerial theories are often used in business; when employees are successful, they are rewarded; when they fail, they are reprimanded or punished. ). Relationship Theories: Relationship theories, also known as transformational theories, focus upon the connections formed between leaders and followers. Transformational leaders motivate and inspire people by helping group members see the importance and higher good of the task. These leaders are focused on the performance of group members, but also want each person to fulfill his or her potential. Leaders with this style often have high ethical and moral standards. Leadership styles: Different situations call for different leadership styles.

In an emergency when there is little time to converge on an agreement and where a designated authority has significantly more experience or expertise than the rest of the team, an autocratic leadership style may be most effective; however, in a giggly motivated and aligned team with a homogeneous level of expertise, a more democratic or laissez-fairer style may be more effective. The style adopted should be the one that most effectively achieves the objectives of the group while balancing the interests of its individual members.

Engaging style Reaching out to employees during difficult times to better understand their concerns and interests by openly and honestly conveying the impact of the downturn on them and their organizations can provide a solid foundation for not only engaging them but retaining them when things do turn around. Autocratic or authoritarian style Under this leadership style, all decision-making powers are centralized in the leader, as with dictators Leaders do not entertain any suggestions or initiatives from subordinates.

The autocratic management has been successful as it provides strong motivation to the manager. It permits quick decision-making, as only one person decides for the whole group and keeps each decision to him/herself until he/she feels it needs to be shared with the rest Of the group. Participative or democratic style The democratic leadership style consists of the leader sharing the decision- making abilities with group members by promoting the interests of the group embers and by practicing social equality. This has also been called shared leadership styles.

Laissez-fairer or free-rein style A person may be in a leadership position without providing leadership, leaving the group to fend for itself. Subordinates are given a free hand in deciding their own policies and methods. The subordinates are motivated to be creative and innovative. Toxic leadership A toxic leader is someone who has responsibility over a group of people or an organization, and who abuses the leader-follower relationship by leaving the group or organization in a worse-off condition than when he/she joined it.

Task-oriented and relationship-oriented leadership Task-oriented leadership is a style in which the leader is focused on the tasks that need to be performed in order to meet a certain production goal. Task- oriented leaders are generally more concerned with producing a step-by-step solution for given problem or goal, strictly making sure these deadlines are met, results and reaching target outcomes. Relationship-oriented leadership is a contrasting style in which the leader is more focused on the relationships amongst the group and is generally more concerned with the overall well- being and satisfaction of group members.

Relationship-oriented leaders emphasize communication within the group, shows trust and confidence in group members, and shows appreciation for work done. Task-oriented leaders are typically less concerned with the idea of catering to group members, and more concerned with acquiring a certain solution to meet a production goal. For this reason, they typically are able to make sure that deadlines are met, yet their group members’ well-being may suffer Relationship-oriented leaders are focused on developing the team and the relationships in it.

The positives to having this kind of environment are hat team members are more motivated and have support, however, the emphasis on relations as opposed to getting a job done might make productivity suffer. Leadership skills: Here are 10 key business leadership skills you’ll need to succeed as a leader: 1 . Lead By Example. You can’t be an aloof leader, someone that’s never around and incapable of getting your hands dirty. One of the best ways to lead is by example -? pitching in where needed, lending a helping hand, and making sure that the work you do is clearly understood by your team. . Passion. A leader without passion isn’t a leader. He’s a paper pusher. Or a taskmaster. Or a government employee… Passion drives a lot, and you can inspire so much in others through your own passion and enthusiasm. That doesn’t mean you have to be constantly cheery, it means you’ve got to believe in what you’re doing and what your company is doing. 3. Be Organized. A disorganized leader isn’t leading, he’s chasing his own tail. Disorientation breeds nothing but more disorientation. If you’re frazzled and messy, your team will be too.

When you’re organized you’ll be much more productive and so will everyone else. 4. Delegate. You can’t do everything. A great leader needs to be able to delegate effectively. The key to delegating successfully is giving employees ownership of the work you assign them. They can’t just feel like they own the work, they really have to. 5. Take Ownership and Responsibility. Although you’ve just delegated work and truly given your team ownership, you also have to take ownership and responsibility at all times. Your team has to know you’ll be there for them through the good and the bad times.

That doesn’t mean you absolve people from making mistakes or ignore crappy work/effort, but it does mean you take responsibility for the big picture. 6. Communicate Effectively. Duh. Everyone knows great leaders eave to be great communicators. But there are certain points of communication that many people forget. For example, it’s critical that you communicate to employees how their work matters in the bigger picture. Are they a cog or does their work truly make a difference? Communicating success is also something leaders forget to do. People need affirmation.

They want to know they did a good job. You just have to tell them. And be precise. Insecure leaders will often ramble; uninterested leaders cut things off to quickly. Whether you’re giving praise, providing constructive criticism, or defining goals and to-dos, you have to figure out owe much to say and in what order. Be precise, specific and concise. Get to the point. 7. Be Brave and Honest. Cowardly leaders will shy away from any number of situations that crop up regularly when running a team. The project your team has worked on for 6 months just got shelved. Now what?

Or you have to talk to someone about their lack of effort recently. Do you ignore the problem? Or maybe it’s time to take your product into a new market. Do you hobble forward, scared and nervous, or do you grab the market by the throat? Leaders are brave and honest. Tell it like it is. Don’t sugarcoat, don’t obfuscate. Don’t be a jerk either. You have to learn how to present things to your team in an honest but balanced manner. 8. Great Listener. A huge part of being a great communicator is being a great listener. If all you want to do is talk, you’re not a leader.

Keeping people motivated means listening to them, asking them questions, understanding their issues. When you listen more, you can respond more effectively and get to the heart of things much faster. 9. Know Your People. You have to know your people. You don’t have to be best friends or even socialize outside work, but you do have to know what sakes them tick. You need to know something about their personal lives because their lives outside work matter. Their lives outside work drive a great deal of their success (or lack of) at work. Keep track of simple things: birthdays, marriages, children, etc.

The more you know your people the more common ground you’re likely to find, the more you’ll be able to connect. 10. Be a Follower. Benjamin Disraeli said, “I must follow the people. Am I not their leader? ‘That sums up many of the other points so beautifully. Great leaders are followers too. If you’re a leader without following you’re a dictator. And as fun as that sounds… Being a leader-follower means finding value in your team, getting inspired by your team, encouraging your team to communicate, brainstorm and be open. Very few people are great leaders overnight. It takes time and practice.

As long as you’re open about learning along the way and working with your team on leadership versus dictating to them, most people will be happy to go on the journey with you. The Role of Leaders Communities committed to being leader are not leaderless. Designated leaders under this conception, however, do not fit the common notion of leader as hero. Rather they are designers, teachers and stewards who practice the following six principles of community action leadership development. The first four are methodological, involving learners in processes that they will use, in turn, as leadership facilitators.

The other two are content principles. 1. Facilitation. Leadership development efforts should be based on informal or non-formal teaching, better described as facilitation. It involves facilitating the development of a cohesive learning group which values diversity and explores conflict constructively. This process is based on respect, encouragement, and community building. . Learner Focus. To customize leadership development, learning facilitators need to understand the context in which their leadership is situated; the learners’ needs, desires, and strengths; and the issues being addressed.

The most effective method of ensuring relevant is to give participants control of the learning process by engaging them in an on-going process of visioning, planning, decision making, and reflecting about their learning experiences. 3. Leadership Focus. Learner-focused leadership development does not mean leader-focused. Leadership exists as a set of relationships among group or organization members; and everyone in the group has leadership potential and can play leadership roles at various times. This view implies a group- centered approach to leadership development, one centered on organizational development and capacity building. . Issue/Action Focus. Out-of-context leadership development programs have limited impact because the transfer of learning to real-life situations rarely happens. Therefore, the main aim for long-term impact is to incorporate learning centered around real issues that groups are facing, learning in action, and on- going reflection or collective self-examination. Managers versus leaders Now that we got the main idea about what leadership is, let’s speak about the differences between managers and leaders, because we know that even if it seems that are pretty the same it is not. So let’s see why.

The leader must know it better and in a different way. S/he must grasp the essential facts and the underlying forces that determine the past and present trends in the business, so that s/he can generate a vision and a strategy to bring about its future. One telling sign of a good leader is an honest attitude towards the facts, towards objective truth. A subjective leader obscures the facts for the aka of narrow self-interest, partisan interest or prejudice. Effective leaders continually ask questions, probing all levels of the organization for information, testing their own perceptions, and rechecking the facts.

They talk to their constituents. They want to know what is working and what is not. They keep an open mind for serendipity to bring them the knowledge they need to know what is true. An important source of information for this sort of leader is knowledge of the failures and mistakes that are being made in their organization. Managers job Both manager and leader Leaders job * A good manager does things right. Managing is about efficiency. Managing is about how. * Management is about systems, controls, procedures, policies, and structure. Management is about copying, about managing the status quo. I * Both a manager and a leader may know the business well * Both are important “To manage” means “to bring about, to accomplish, to have charge of or responsibility for, to conduct. ” * A leader does the right things * Leading is about effectiveness. * Leading is about what and why * Leadership is about trust-? about people. * Leadership is about innovating and initiating. * Leadership is creative, adaptive, and agile. Leadership looks at the horizon, not just the bottom line.

To survive in the twenty-first century, we are going to need a new generation of leaders -? leaders, not managers. The distinction is an important one. Leaders conquer the context -? the turbulent, ambiguous surroundings that sometimes seem to conspire against us and will surely suffocate us if we let them -? while managers surrender to it. Leaders investigate reality, taking in the pertinent factors and analyzing them carefully. On this basis they produce visions, concepts, plans, and programs. Managers adopt the truth from there and implement it without probing for the facts that reveal reality.

Lots of people spend their lives climbing a ladder -? and then they get to the top of the wrong wall. Most losing organizations are over-managed and under- led. Their managers accomplish the wrong things beautifully and efficiently. They climb the wrong wall. Leaders base their vision, their appeal to others, and their integrity on reality, on the facts, on a careful estimate of the forces at play, and on the trends and contradictions. They develop the means for changing the original balance of forces so that their vision can be realized.

A deader is someone who has the capacity to create a compelling vision that takes people to a new place, and to translate that vision into action. Leaders draw other people to them by enrolling them in their vision. What leaders do is inspire people, empower them. Leadership issues in twenty first century: Time constraint and Parent rule: As Brian Tracy mentioned in his book” Eat that frog ” the best leaders apply parent rule in solving their tasks: they choose the most 20 % most efficient tasks that weight for 80 % in their final output .

This way they maximize their results with the minimum effort. Managing power What does it mean, to manage with power? First, it means recognizing that in almost every organization, there are varying interests. This suggests that one of the first things we need to do is to diagnose the political landscape and figure out what the relevant interests are, and what important political subdivisions characterize the organization. It is essential that we do not assume that everyone necessarily is going to be our friend, or agree with us , or even that preferences are uniformly distributed.

There are clusters of interests within organizations, and we need to understand where these are and to whom belong. Next, it means figuring out what point of view these various individuals and subunits have on issues of concern to us. It also means understanding why they have the perspective that they do . It is all too easy to assume that those with a different perspective are somehow not as smart as we are, not as informed, not as perceptive. If that is our belief, we are likely to do several things, each of which is disastrous.

First, we may act contemptuously toward those who disagree with us – after all, if they aren’t as competent or as insightful as we are, why should we take them seriously? It is rarely difficult to get along with hose who resemble us in character and opinions. The real secret of success in organizations is the ability to get those who differ from us, and whom we don’t necessarily like, to do what needs to be done. Second, if we think people are misinformed, we are likely to try to “inform” them, or to try to convince them with facts and analysis.

Sometimes this will work, but often it will not, for their disagreement may not be based on a lack of information; it may, instead, arise from a different perspective on what our information means. Diagnosing the point of view of interest groups as well as the basis for their ignitions will assist us in negotiating with them and in predicting their response to various initiatives. Third, managing with power means understanding that to get things done, you need power-more power than those whose opposition you must overcome-and thus it is imperative to understand where power comes from and how these sources of power can be developed.

We are sometimes reluctant to think very purposefully or strategically about acquiring and using power. We are prone to believe that if we do our best, work hard, be nice, and so forth, things will work out for the best. I don’t mean to imply that one should not, in general, work hard, try to make good decisions, and be nice, but that these and similar platitudes are often not very useful in helping us get things accomplished in our organizations. We need to understand power and try to get it.

We must be willing to do things to build our sources of power, or else we will be less effective than we might wish to be. Fourth, managing with power means understanding the strategies and tactics through who ICC power is developed and used in organizations, including the importance of timing the use of structure, the social psychology of commitment and other forms of interpersonal influence. If nothing else, such an understanding will help us become astute observers of the behavior of others. The more we understand power and its manifestations, the better will be our clinical skills.

More fundamentally, we need to understand strategies and tactics of using power so that we can considers the range of approaches available to us, and use what is likely to be effective. Again, as in the case of building sources of power, we often try not to think about these things, and we avoid being strategic or purposeful about employing our power. This is a mistake. Although we may have various qualms, there will be others who do not. Knowledge without power is of remarkably little use. And power without the skill to employ it effectively is likely to be wasted.

Managing with power means more than knowing the ideas discussed in this. It means being, like Henry Ford, willing to do something with that knowledge . It requires political savvy to get things done, and the willingness to force the issue. Developing trust: Why We Trust? The Building Trust in Business study specifically identifies three reasons why we trust our work colleagues: 1. Past Behavior: If you’ve behaved as expected in the past, I trust you to behave that way in the future. In this case “past performance” may very well predict “future returns. ” 2.

Capability: We trust people based on our perception of their capability, so I trust my doctor to treat my illness because of her training. 3. Alignment: If you and I are trying to achieve a common goal, I’ll trust you to do your part. Soldiers trust each other with their lives, because they are pursuing a shared goal. While all three reasons frequently come into play, in high trust organizations, alignment was cited as a trust driver by over 90% of the companies. How Leaders Build Trust? Building trust doesn’t happen overnight–but there are important steps leaders can take to foster a more trusting climate.

Steps that do impact business results. Here are three important steps to consider: Involve people in decisions that directly affect them. When people are involved in a decision, even if they don’t make the final call, they are more likely to support the decision. This means bringing people in before you’ve made the decision. If you’ve already made the decision, and you’re not open to changing your mind, don’t go through the motions of bringing people into the process. You won’t get buy-in. In fact, people will feel conned.

On the other hand, treating people as capable adults shows you trust them to be part Of good decisions. They’ll trust you more in return. Be transparent and consistent in your actions. We tend to focus on outcomes and ignore the process. Understanding how a decision was made, and the thought process behind that decision, can have a huge impact on how people feel about the decision. In one study, employees who understood how their performance bonus was determined were more satisfied than employees who received more money, but didn’t know how the bonus had been determined.

If you are transparent and consistent, people will see your motives and learn to rely on you. Pay attention to relationships. It’s a given that people join companies but leave managers. The connection between employees and managers makes a huge difference in the degree of engagement and involvement people will feel. If people know you understand what matters to them, they’ll trust you to act in ways that align with their interests. Empowering employees: As a manager or leader, do you let your people assume more responsibility when they are able?

Do you know when that is, or do you keep telling yourself hat they aren’t ready yet? For example there is a situation like this : a CEO who was the leader of one of the world’s largest global organizations. He received feedback that he was too stubborn and opinionated. He learned that he needed to do a better job of letting others to make decisions and to focus less on being right himself. He practiced this simple technique for one year: before speaking, he would take a breath and ask himself, “Is it worth it? He learned that 50% of the time his comments may have been right on, but they weren’t worth it. He quickly began focusing more on empowering others and eating them take ownership and commitment for decisions, and less on his own need to add value. Your employees understand their jobs. They know their tasks, roles, and functions within the organization, and it’s time for you to let them do what they need to do to get the job done. But there is a critical point that is often missed: It isn’t possible for a leader to “empower” someone to be accountable and make good decisions.

People have to empower themselves. Your role is to encourage and support the decision- making environment, and to give employees the tools and knowledge they need to make and act upon their own decisions. By doing this, you help your employees reach an empowered state. The process does take longer employees will only believe they are empowered when they are left alone to accomplish results over a period of time -? but it’s effective and worth the time.

If a company has a history of shutting down or letting go of initiators, for instance, the leader can’t just tell employees, “You are empowered to make decisions. ” part of building an empowering environment is dependent on the leader’s ability to run interference on behalf of the team. The leader needs to make sure people are safe doing their jobs. To make sure this happens, an ongoing discussion Of the needs, opportunities, tasks, obstacles, projects, what is working and what is not working is absolutely critical to the development and maintenance of a “safe” working environment.