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While leadership is easy to explain, leadership is not so easy to practice. Leadership is about behaviour first, skills second. Good leaders are followed essentially because people respect and trust them, rather than the skills they possess. Leadership is different to management. Management relies more on planning, organizational and communications skills. Leadership relies on management skills too, but more so on qualities such as integrity, honesty, humility, courage, commitment, sincerity, passion, confidence, positivity, wisdom, determination, compassion, sensitivity, and a degree of personal magnetism.
Some people are born more naturally to leadership than others. Most people don't seek to be a leader. Those who want to be a leader can develop leadership ability. And many qualities of effective leadership, like confidence and charm, continue to grow from experience in the leadership role.
Incidentally as a quick case-study, the BBC illustrates an important aspect of leadership, namelyÂ philosophy.
PhilosophyÂ (you could call it 'fundamental purpose')Â is the foundation on which to build strategy, management, operational activities, and pretty well everything else that happens in an organization.
Whatever the size of the organization, operational activities need to be reconcilable with a single congruent (fitting, harmonious) philosophy.
Executives, managers, staff, customers, suppliers, stakeholders, etc., need solid philosophical principles (another term would be a 'frame of reference') on which to base their expectations, decisions and actions. In a vast complex organization like the BBC, leadership will be very challenging at the best of times due to reasons of size, diversity, political and public interest, etc. Having a conflicting philosophy dramatically increases these difficulties for everyone, not least the leader, because the frame of reference is confusing.
For leadership to work well, people (employees and interested outsiders) must be able to connect their expectations, aims and activities to a basic purpose or philosophy of the organization. This foundational philosophy should provide vital reference points for employees' decisions and actions - an increasingly significant factor in modern 'empowered' organizations. Seeing a clear philosophy and purpose is also essential for staff, customers and outsiders in assessing crucial organizational characteristics such as integrity, ethics, fairness, quality and performance. A clear philosophy is vital to the 'psychological contract' - whether stated or unstated (almost always unstated) - on which people (employees, customers or observers) tend to judge their relationships and transactions.
Leadership associated with positions of authority
According to Thomas Carlyle, leadership emerges when an entity as "leader" contrives to receive deference from other entities who become "followers". The process of getting deference can become competitive in that the emerging "leader" draws "followers" from the factions of the prior or alternative "leaders"
As the word itself sounds, Assertiveness is nothing but a skill to assert yourself effectively to get the things done. Assertiveness is an integral part of effective communication.
Assertiveness is the quality of Leaders. No one can become leader without abundance of assertiveness skills. Every Leader will have their own way of demonstrating their assertiveness to get the things done in the workplace. One can identify the assertiveness of Organisations with the way they are exposing themselves to the general public. Lack of assertiveness means lack of confidence and lack of confidence means, lack of leadership qualities. A Leader without Assertiveness Skills cannot manage people. Assertiveness is the key to master the art of people management.
There are four styles of Communication, Passive, Passive-Aggressive, Aggressive and Assertive Communication. All styles have their proper place and use. Among these styles of Communication, Assertive Communication is the healthiest. Assertive Communication is the style of Leaders, who wish to get the things done by motivating the team, for the benefit of the organization.
Creativity & Innovation
Creativity and innovation are not mysterious forces over which leaders have no control. Progressive leadership can and does create a climate that encourages creativity and innovation. There are many specific leadership initiatives, validated by the success of certain high-tech companies, that enlightened leaders can take to stimulate creativity and innovation in any work setting.
Leaders know in their gut that creativity and innovation are the lifeblood of their organization. New ideas can lead to programs that are superior to those that are already going on or planned in the organization and which would have been divested or never initiated had a better idea or program come along. So, the mission of every leader should be to search continually for ideas and programs that are superior to the ones the organization is currently committed to. In a word, it's called PROGRESS.
To get a creative idea is one thing, but to get it transitioned into the innovation of a new product or service requires other personal characteristics. Innovative people need the kind of mind-set that can produce the succession of processes that lead to successful innovation, such as
1. Generating the idea,
2. Informing "significant others,"
3. "Selling" the idea effectively,
4. Planning the development process, and
5. Overcoming constraints (time, money, relevance).
Leadership is passion. Without passion, a person will have very little influence as a leader. I believe passion provides an individual with the light of leadership and creates an undeniable drive to make a difference.
John Maxwell said "leadership is about influence - nothing more, nothing less." This moves beyond defining the leader to looking at the ability of the leader to influence others. Indirectly, it also builds upon leadership character, since without maintaining integrity and trustworthiness, the capability to influence will disappear.
Passion is the light of the leadership torch that will help guide the way now and in the future!
"In all great leaders there is a purpose and intensity which is unmistakable."Â (L. Ron Hubbard) Passion is a self-generated tool. You have the ability to motivate yourself; to concentrate on your purpose; to get yourself excited about what you do.
Ability to Make Decisions
Involvement in decision-making improves the understanding of the issues involved by those who must carry out the decisions. People are more committed to actions where they have involved in the relevant decision-making. People are less competitive and more collaborative when they are working on joint goals. When people make decisions together, the social commitment to one another is greater and thus increases their commitment to the decision. Several people deciding together make better decisions than one person alone.
A Participative Leader, rather than taking autocratic decisions, seeks to involve other people in the process, possibly including subordinates, peers, superiors and other stakeholders. Often, however, as it is within the managers' whim to give or deny control to his or her subordinates, most participative activity is within the immediate team.
The best action of the leader depends on a range of situational factors.
When a decision is needed, an effective leader does not just fall into a single preferred style, such as using transactional or transformational methods. In practice, as they say, things are not that simple.
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All Businesses talk about needing better communication skills, but often don't know exactly what that means or they don't know how to go about making it happen and without doubt, unless you are a company of one, at some point or another, communication will go awry through no one's fault or intention - it's just the way it happens.
If your business has groups of people who simply have to communicate more effectively then giving them communication training may be just what you need.Â
This is the identification and control of conflict within an organization. There are three main philosophies of conflict management: all conflict is bad and potentially destructive; conflict is inevitable and managers should attempt to harness it positively; conflict is essential to the survival of an organization and should be encouraged by organisations. Successful leaders have the skills to handle conflict in the organisations. A leader must be able to
Identifying sources of conflict - functional and dysfunctional conflicts,
Understanding personal style of conflict resolution,
Choosing the best strategy for dealing with a conflict, and
Developing skills in promoting constructive conflicts in organization and teams.
SECTION - II
Personal Skills Audit
Let us suppose that I am the manager of a Tesco Extra Southampton. As a manager, Tesco would definitely want me to lead from the front. I will adopt those policies which would be possible to improve the customer's services of the organization. The most important parts of my strategies would be to improve the customer's satisfaction. I would like to share my opinions with the other staff members of the Tesco. Those policies will be adopted which will be beneficial for all the people including staff and customers.
To check my skills level and further improvement, a questionnaire was designed and had been distributed to all the workers working in the Tesco. A summary of their responses was as under.
Being a manager of the Tesco, it is my duty to work with full devotion, motivate employees to work more efficiently and make a plan about the organization. Based on the final rating and findings, this is the summary of the responses I received from workers.
Decision Making Ability
Based on the responses of questionnaires,
My strengths are creativity & innovation, passion and conflict management.
My worse weakness is to make Decisions.
There are some opportunities for me, as the employees marked "Assertiveness" and "Communication Skills" as my good qualities, I need to make some more improvement in these fields.
There is tough competition in the market among senior workers to become managers and due to slump in the economy, there are more educated and trained people are available for Tesco to serve.
SECTION - III
Personal Development Plan
Basically I consider it a better experience to work collectively for a common goal rather than individual performance. However there are important things when dealing with a number of people. I call the folk, a group, by taking the roles played by different individual, into account. Those are the unity and inter-personal understanding that determine how the project proceeds. I can also support my group idea by considering the basic understanding of a group. By convention, there should be a leader for a team, whereas it doesn't matter if there doesn't exist the character of a leader when it comes to a group. Thus, in my group responsibility is equally shared.
There should be a compromised goal when working as a group. Everyone should contribute to that with the best possible way. It should be highlighted that the different roles played by the members of the group will also be fundamental for the success of a project. Hence one needs to better understand what the objectives of the project are. Then there could be colloquial expressions, discussions to determine the path to achieve the relevant objectives.
This can also be taken as an example. Suppose you have a main goal/ objective to pursue. Now you can negotiate with your crew to find a way to categorize the whole goal into few sub goals. The completion of sub goals will automatically complete the whole goal. Now you can get into sub groups, each being responsible for a sub goal and work only for that cause. Thereby, you can easily attain the success with such an identification of the objective.
Additionally it would be better if you can set yourself a unique goal in the start. This will drive you correctly and continuously on the right track, till you approach the personal target. In other words you will feel psychologically advanced as you have already accomplished the personal goal set by you earlier. This is a good way that is feasible if you can control yourself and you are able to adapt to different situations.
Moreover each member of the group should be fully aware of the collaboration of the project. It's essential that every group member understands how important their role is, in getting the goal succeeded. The individuals should be able to have good communication and inter-personal relationships in order to get the project going smoothly. Working as a group will also result in team spirit which can boost the whole project in general.
SECTION - IV
Evaluation & Review
In the beginning I had fewer amounts of qualities and here is the PDP, which relates how I have to gain the selected skills over the time.
Skills Selected to be developed
Resources used for development
Date skill achieved
Reading books on punctuality and how to adopt punctuality to life
Talking about punctuality among colleagues
Referring to articles written by professionals on the niche of punctuality
After completion of this task, I will be able to hand over the segments, assigned to me prior to the deadline, imposed
Practically being with people
Associating my colleagues often
After the completion of this task, I will be closer with colleagues.
Articles written by Richest people on Earth
Documentaries arranged for personality development
I will be able to do more work than I did prior to starting the project.
I will be able to work more hours a day.
Colloquia with managerial level employers
I will get the distinction certificate of the managerial skills development course, followed.
EBooks on planning
Whenever I get stuck &I need something to plan. This task will help me how to make a plan.
Basically it is no more than how you are dealing with the people. It's a classic art that one must practice. I feel fortunate that I got the chance of practicing it at the same time in Tesco. You can't live alone with yourself. That is the basic idea; you need other people as well. The way you behave and your characteristics determine how attractive you are in the social etiquette. After completion of all the tasks, I am pretty sure that I will be in a position to speak in a way so that others will be willing to listen.
Yes, Punctuality, another nice concept that I need to master, during the period I spent in Tesco as a Manager, I have found it to be very effective and productive. If you're doing business, you're bound to go ahead with this principle. It's all about working according to the time plan. If you're not punctual, you might lose your business opportunities and clients. Same thing will happen to your reputation & fame. Therefore one must be skilled enough with punctuality, to get along with success.
Yet, planning is also an advanced skill I want to inculcate in myself, during this schedule I have set for me for the next 12 months. As for as I think, the first thing is that you should plan your work and then move on to working your plan. That's the main idea of planning. However if you are in for a large scale project you should have an action plan, enabled. An action plan lets you to synchronize the activities, with respect to a chronological arrangement. In simple terms, you make a way to reach your goal. In this process, you have to accomplish certain amount of work, as per the plan, pre-arranged. You have to ensure that you punctually accomplish the daily routine of work, which will guarantee that you will be reaching the main goal or the destination of your project. Day by day you can assess how your progress is and compare the work done, each day. You might have heard about the saying that 'Nothing is Impossible'. This is also dominated from a good plan if you perceive it deeply.
In addition to those skills discussed above, I need to be able to implant in myself, dedication, hard-working, and planning. They are really valuable in terms of skills, developed. By the way I feel glad to see them paying off at the moment.
If you desire to lead a passion-filled life wherein you are a positive influence to everyone, you will enjoy incorporating the following practices to assist you in consistently living your life as a conscious and strong LEADER.
1. Have a clear vision of yourself, others, and the world
2. Know and utilise your strengths and gifts
3. Live in accordance with your morals and values
4. Lead others with inclusiveness and compassion
5. Set definitive goals and follow concrete action plans
6. Maintain a positive attitude
7. Improve communication skills
8. Motivate others to greatness
9. Be willing to admit and learn from your failures and weaknesses
10. Continue to educate and improve yourself
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