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Challenge the Process and Enable Others to Act
In this short paper we will explore three leadership areas of development; communication, credibility and trust by using the Challenge the Process and Enable Others to Act Practices. An analysis of an applicable Leadership Theory will also be identified that will most relatively enhance the selected areas of improvement.
Areas of Development
Leaders must realize that to be successful they must include others in the process. Solid leadership comes from the repetition of embracing those around you in partnership for one common purpose. An employee’s success, the lens they see through, the decisions they make and how they navigate their careers are all heavily influenced by the types of leaders they are able to observe and learn from (Llopis, 2014). Wise leaders enforce efforts to involve others and instill free open creativity that are specific under the next series of the Five Practices; Challenge the Process and Enable Others to Act. In the development areas of communication, credibility and trust; challenging the process encourages you with the occasion to stretch yourself- “think- out- of- the- box”. Seek and discover new opportunities, and plummet yourself past limitations, barriers and question the status quo. “Maintaining the status quo simply breeds mediocrity. Leaders seek and accept challenging opportunities to test their abilities.” (Kouzes, Posner, 2012). Championing both external and internal communication methods and take advantage of utilizing more sources outside your comfort zone. Challenging the Process ignites your initiative to communicate by making things happen, by opening yourself to be vulnerable and have faith in those abilities of those around you. Clear concise planning, collaboration, and team- building exercises display your willingness to have open transparent relationships. Challenging the Process also provides an avenue to exhibit credibility through self- confidence; your actions will speak louder than words. DWYSYWD—Do What You Say You Will Do (Kouzes, Posner, 2012). Credibility is demonstrated by your willingness to respect different viewpoints with poise and tact. Challenging the Process will also positively impact your character perceived by your constituents; they will learn to trust your motives and intentions. Challenging the process is inclusive of the scope of taking calculated risks. These risks can be interpersonal by opening and sharing weaknesses or in more upscale areas such as strategic project management.
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Through all development areas; communication, credibility and trust, challenging the way promotes an action plan to be open and observant of ideas, areas of continuous improvement and acceptance of small rewards in progress. “Progress is not made in giant leaps; it’s made incrementally. Leaders turn adversity into advantage, setbacks into successes. They persevere with grit and determination.” (Kouzes, Posner, 2012).
Leaders have a commitment to actively exercise their own skills and attributes, but also to include and promote others to utilize their strengths and talents as well. “The best leaders are those that can identify and appreciate the differences that one brings to the table and knows how to put them to full use. These leaders are emotionally intelligent enough to connect the dots and the opportunities within each dot to enable the full potential in each of their employees.” (Llopis, 2014). True collaboration and routine (positive and negative) feedback from all areas cultivates an open unrestricted exchange of ideas. When people feel heard and they are heard they are more apt to participate and feel valued and desire to be part of the bigger picture. One of the biggest hurdles I have had in my career is influencing new Supervisor’s to let go of the “power”- show openness in sharing information, the transparency in including the staff in on the short and long term goals. Some of the most successful rewarding accomplishments I have had in my career came from the efforts I made in involving my staff to provide data and input in their relevant areas of expertise. Allowing staff to not only be part of the problem but part of the solution- and always give credit where it is due. There is nothing more credible and trustworthy than a leader stepping aside and showcasing the people behind the successful outcome! You will earn respect, trust and credibility by merely asking for help and including those “resident experts”. “Leaders actively involve others in planning and give them the discretion to make their own decisions. Leaders make others feel like owners, not hired hands. (Kouzes & Posner, 2012). I once had an unfortunate experience of being questioned from an obviously naive manager as to “Why would I ever ask/include any of “them”- I should know what I am doing.” Sadly he lost credibility and respect from me, with such a blindsided comment. “The practice of enabling others to act presents the idea that leaders must actively engage their followers in the decisions being made in the organization to foster collaboration (Kouzes & Posner, 2012).
In my real world experiences I must continue to experiment and be acceptant of smaller works in progress while still working the bigger picture. Being patient and more intuitive that not all people withhold the same values and integrity as I have. It would be advantageous to focus further in my areas of error and make more determination to learn from them. By seeking out deeper into the root cause and the overall effectiveness of my planning, execution and communication I will display resilient characteristics of self-confidence and willingness to be more transparent. I also like the idea of adding another step in my leadership process and place more precise measures in place to allocate more specific work to people so that they can see how their efforts contribute significantly to outcomes.
I tend to relate that the Authentic Leadership theory is most applicable to the developmental areas within communication, credibility and trust. Authentic leadership is an approach to leadership that emphasizes building the leader’s legitimacy through honest relationships with followers which value their input and are built on an ethical foundation. Authentic leaders are positive people with truthful self-concepts who promote openness. (Wikipedia, 2017). In the area of leadership development communication, credibility and trust it is prevalent as the authentic leader seeks to include others to participate, experiment, make mistakes and learn from them. The authentic leader appreciates the smaller victories and incorporates them into the long term mission. An authentic leader believes in practicing what they preach and inspires those around them to work in partnership and nourishes a culture and climate of faith, trust and acceptance. An authentic leader is confident of their abilities and does not fear to share vulnerabilities.
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In conclusion the authentic leadership theory and the authentic leader are immensely reliant on modeling by example, with genuine care and concern for their people. Authentic leadership is transparent, withholding high integrity and values towards a unified approach to reach expectations.
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