This week I want to finish up our look at leadership. If you didn’t hear the CHI FOR YOURSELF interview with Linda Kohanov ( author of The Five Roles of a Master Herder: A Revolutionary Model for Socially Intelligent Leadership) you can click on here and start the player on the page.
Here’s a look at some of the features of a good leader. Could this be you?
Do you get frustrated at work when things don’t seem to be happening the way you think they’re supposed to? You see people milling around but nothing gets accomplished.
And in the daily hustle and bustle, do you feel that your goals remain only goals? Then it might be time for you to stand up and do something about it. Most people are content to stand around waiting for orders. It isn’t unusual to adopt a follow-the-leader mentality.
But it could be that somewhere inside of you, you feel the desire to make things happen – to be the head, not the tail. Leadership might be a good fit for you. There’s a saying- “great leaders are made, not born.” Yes, it may be true that some people are born with natural talents.
But, leadership doesn’t develop without practice, drive, enthusiasm, and experience.
And, good leaders continuously work and study to improve their natural skills. This takes a commitment toward constant improvement.
First of all, let’s define leadership. To be a leader, one must be able to influence others to work toward a result. He or she contributes to the organization and cohesion of a group.
Contrary to what many people believe, leadership isn’t about power. It’s not about harassing people or driving them using fear.
It’s about motivating others toward the goals of the organization. It’s getting everyone on the same page and helping them see the big picture.
Aim to be a leader, not a boss. You have to get people to follow your lead. How is this accomplished? People follow when they see that the leader has a clear sense of purpose. People will follow you if they see that you know where you’re going.
Remember that bumper sticker? The one that says, ‘Don’t follow me, I’m lost too’? The same holds true for leadership.
If you yourself don’t know where you’re headed, chances are people will not follow. You must understand the vision and mission of the organization.
Have a clear sense of hierarchy. Know who the bosses are. Who to talk to, and the organization’s goals and objectives and how it works. Being a leader is not about what you make others do. It’s about who you are, what you know, and what you do.
Studies show that a basis of good leadership is the trust and confidence of those you’re leading. If they trust you they’ll likely go through hell and high water for you and for the organization.
Trust and confidence are built on good relationships, trustworthiness, and high ethics. The strength of your relationships will build faith in your capabilities.
Communication is key to good leadership. You must be clear when you impart your knowledge and technical expertise. As a good leader, you’ll want to have sound judgment.
You must be able to assess situations, weigh the pros and cons of any decision, and actively seek out a solution.
It’s this judgment that those you lead will come to rely upon. So, good decision-making is vital to the success of your organization.
Leaders are not do-it-all heroes. Don’t claim to know everything, and don’t rely on your skills alone.
Recognize and take advantage of the skills and talents of your personnel. This way you’ll be able to work as one cohesive unit. Remember, being a leader takes a good deal of work and time. It is not learned overnight.
Remember, also, that it is not about just you. It’s about you and the people around you. So, do you have the drive and the desire to serve required of leaders? Do you have the desire to work cooperatively with other people?
Then start now. Take your stand and be the leader today.