Leadership is a process by which a person influences others to achieve an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent. Leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal. Leaders carry out this process by applying their leadership knowledge and skills are called Process Leadership. However, we know that we have traits that can influence our actions which are called Trait Leadership, in that it was once common to believe that leaders were born rather than made.
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Good leaders are made not born. If you have the desire and willpower, you can become an effective leader. Good leaders develop through a never ending process of self-study, education, training, and experience. To inspire your workers into higher levels of teamwork, there are certain things you must be, know, and, do. These do not come naturally, but are acquired through continual work and study. Good leaders are continually working and studying to improve their leadership skills they are not resting on their success.
Factors of Leadership
Leader: You must have an honest understanding of who you are, what you know, and what you can do. It is the followers, not the leader or someone else who determines if the leader is successful. If they do not trust or lack confidence in their leader, then they will be uninspired. To be successful you have to convince your followers, not yourself or your superiors, that you are worthy of being followed.
Followers: Different people require different styles of leadership. For example, a new recruit requires more supervision than an experienced employee. A person who lacks motivation requires a different approach than one with a high degree of motivation. You must know your people. The fundamental starting point is having a good understanding of human nature, such as needs, emotions, and motivation. You must come to know your employees’ be, know, and do attributes.
Communication: You lead through two-way communication. Much of it is nonverbal. For instance, when you set the example that communicates to your people that you would not ask them to perform anything that you would not be willing to do. What and how you communicate either builds or harms the relationship between you and your employees.
Situation: All situations are different. What you do in one situation will not always work in another. You must use your judgment to decide the best course of action and the leadership style needed for each situation. For example, you may need to confront an employee for inappropriate behavior, but if the confrontation is too late or too early, too harsh or too weak, then the results may prove ineffective.
“(Also note that the situation normally has a greater effect on a leader’s action than his or her traits. This is because while traits may have an impressive stability over a period of time, they have little consistency across situations (Mischel, 1968). This is why a number of leadership scholars think the Process Theory of Leadership is a more accurate than the Trait Theory of Leadership).”
Various forces will affect these four factors. Examples of forces are your relationship with your seniors, the skill of your followers, the informal leaders within your organization, and how your organization is organized.
“(Although your position as a manager, supervisor, lead, etc. gives you the authority to accomplish certain tasks and objectives in the organization (called Assigned Leadership), this power does not make you a leader, it simply makes you the boss (Rowe, 2007). Leadership differs in that it makes the followers want to achieve high goals (called Emergent Leadership), rather than simply bossing people around (Rowe, 2007). Thus you get Assigned Leadership by your position and you display Emergent Leadership by influencing people to do grat things.)”
Be, Know and Do
The basis of good leadership is honourable character and selfless service to your organization. In your employees’ eyes, your leadership is everything you do that effects the organization’s objectives and their well-being.
Leaders should know (such as job, tasks, and human nature), what they are or be (such as beliefs and character) and do (such as implementing, motivating, and providing direction).
This is what makes a person want to follow a leader. People want to be guided by those they respect and who have a clear sense of direction. To gain respect, they must be ethical. A sense of direction is achieved by conveying a strong vision of the future.
The Two Most Important Keys to Effective Leadership
According to a study by the Hay Group, a global management consultancy, there are 75 key components of employee satisfaction (Lamb, McKee, 2004). They found that:
Trust and confidence in top leadership was the single most reliable predictor of employee satisfaction in an organization.
Effective communication by leadership in three critical areas was the key to winning organizational trust and confidence:
Helping employees understand the company’s overall business strategy.
Helping employees understand how they contribute to achieving key business objectives.
Sharing information with employees on both how the company is doing and how an employee’s own division is doing relative to strategic business objectives.
So in a nutshell you must be trustworthy and you have to be able to communicate a vision of where the organization needs to go.
The goals and performance standards they establish. Successful organizations have leaders who set high standards and goals across the entire spectrum, such as strategies, market leadership, plans, meetings and presentations, productivity, quality, and reliability.
The values they establish for the organization. Values reflect the concern the organization has for its employees, customers, investors, vendors, and surrounding community. These values define the manner in how business will be conducted.
The business and people concepts they establish. Concepts define what products or services the organization will offer and the methods and processes for conducting business.
These goals, values, and concepts make up the organization’s “personality” or how the organization is observed by both outsiders and insiders. This personality defines the roles, relationships, rewards, and rites that take place.
Creating an Inspiring Vision of the Future
In business, a vision is a realistic, convincing and attractive best case description of where you want to be in the future. Vision provides direction, sets priorities, and provides a marker, so that you can tell that you’ve achieved what you wanted to achieve.
To create a vision, leaders focus on an organization’s strengths by using tools such as Porter’s Five Forces, PEST Analysis, USP Analysis, Core Competence Analysis and SWOT Analysis to analyze their current situation. They think about how their industry is likely to evolve, and how their competitors are likely to behave. They look at how they can innovate successfully, and shape their businesses and their strategies to succeed in future marketplaces. And they test their visions with appropriate market research, and by assessing key risks using techniques such as Scenario Analysis.
Therefore, leadership is proactive problem solving, looking ahead, and not being satisfied with things as they are.
Once they have developed their visions, leaders must make them compelling and convincing. A compelling vision is one that people can see, feel, understand, and embrace. Effective leaders provide a rich picture of what the future will look like when their visions have been realized. They tell stories, and explain their visions in ways that everyone can relate to.
Here, leadership combines the analytical side of the vision with the passion of shared values, creating something really meaningful to the people being led.
Motivating and Inspiring People
A compelling vision provides the foundation for leadership. But it’s the leader’s ability to motivate and inspire people that will help them deliver that vision.
For example, when you start a new project, you will probably have lots of enthusiasm for it, so it’s usually easy to support the project’s leader at the beginning. However, it can be difficult to find ways to keep the vision alive and inspirational, after the initial enthusiasm fades, especially if the team or organization needs to make significant changes in the way that they do things. Leaders recognize this, and they work hard on an ongoing basis to connect their vision with people’s individual needs, goals, and aspirations.
One of the key ways they do this is through Expectancy Theory. Effective leaders link together two different expectations:
The expectation that hard work leads to good results.
The expectation that good results lead to attractive rewards or incentives.
This motivates people to work hard to achieve success, because they expect to enjoy rewards both intrinsic and extrinsic as a result.
Other approaches include restating the vision in terms of the benefits it will bring to the team’s customers, and taking frequent opportunities to communicate the vision in an attractive and engaging way.
What’s particularly helpful here is where leaders have expert power. People admire and believe in these leaders because they are expert in what they do. They have credibility, and they’ve earned the right to ask people to listen to them, and follow them. This makes it much easier for these leaders to motivate and inspire the people they lead.
Leaders can also motivate and influence people through their natural charisma and appeal, and through other sources of power, such as the power to pay bonuses or assign tasks to people. However, good leaders don’t rely on these types of power to motivate and inspire others.
Managing Delivery of the Vision
This is the area of leadership that relates to management. According to the Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Model, there is a time to tell, a time to sell, a time to participate, and a time to delegate. Knowing which approach you need to use, and when you need it, is key to effective leadership.
Leaders must ensure that the work required to deliver the vision is properly managed either by themselves, or by a dedicated manager or team of managers to whom the leader delegates this responsibility and they need to ensure that their vision is delivered successfully.
To do this, team members need performance goals that are linked to the team’s overall vision. Performance Management and KPI (Key Performance Indicators) explains one way of doing this, and our Project Management section explains another. And, for day-to-day management of delivering the vision, the Management By Wandering Around (MBWA) approach will help to ensure that what should happen, really happens.
Leaders also need to make sure they manage change effectively. This will ensure that any changes required to deliver the vision are implemented smoothly and thoroughly, with support and full backing from the majority of people affected.
Coaching and Building a Team to Achieve the Vision
Individual and team development are important activities carried out by transformational leaders. To develop a team, leaders must first understand team dynamics. A leader will then ensure that team members have the necessary skills and abilities to do their job and achieve the vision. They do this by giving and receiving feedback regularly, and by training and coaching people to improve individual and team performance.
Leadership also includes looking for leadership potential in others. By developing leadership skills within your team, you create an environment where you can continue success in the long term. And that’s a true measure of great leadership.
Seven Personal Qualities Found In A Good Leader
A good leader has an exemplary character. It is of utmost importance that a leader is trustworthy to lead others. A leader needs to be trusted and be known to live their life with honestly and integrity. A good leader “walks the talk” and in doing so earns the right to have responsibility for others. True authority is born from respect for the good character and trustworthiness of the person who leads.
A good leader is enthusiastic about their work or cause and also about their role as leader. People will respond more openly to a person of passion and dedication. Leaders need to be able to be a source of inspiration, and be a motivator towards the required action or cause. Although the responsibilities and roles of a leader may be different, the leader needs to be seen to be part of the team working towards the goal. This kind of leader will not be afraid to roll up their sleeves and get dirty.
A good leader is confident. In order to lead and set direction a leader needs to appear confident as a person and in the leadership role. Such a person inspires confidence in others and draws out the trust and best efforts of the team to complete the task well. A leader who conveys confidence towards the proposed objective inspires the best effort from team members.
A leader also needs to function in an orderly and purposeful manner in situations of uncertainty. People look to the leader during times of uncertainty and unfamiliarity and find reassurance and security when the leader portrays confidence and a positive demeanour.
Good leaders are tolerant of ambiguity and remain calm, composed and steadfast to the main purpose. Storms, emotions, and crises come and go and a good leader takes these as part of the journey and keeps a cool head.
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A good leader, as well as keeping the main goal in focus, is able to think analytically. Not only does a good leader view a situation as a whole, but is able to break it down into sub parts for closer inspection. While keeping the goal in view, a good leader can break it down into manageable steps and make progress towards it.
A good leader is committed to excellence. Second best does not lead to success. The good leader not only maintains high standards, but also is proactive in raising the bar in order to achieve excellence in all areas.
These seven personal characteristics are foundational to good leadership. Some characteristics may be more naturally present in the personality of a leader. However, each of these characteristics can also be developed and strengthened. A good leader whether they naturally possess these qualities or not, will be diligent to consistently develop and strengthen them in their leadership role.
Roles ad Relationships
Roles are the positions that are defined by a set of expectations about behaviour of any job sitting. Each role has a set of tasks and responsibilities that may or may not be spelled out. Roles have a powerful effect on behaviour for several reasons, to include money being paid for the performance of the role, there is prestige attached to a role, and a sense of accomplishment or challenge.
Relationships are determined by a role’s tasks. While some tasks are performed alone, most are carried out in relationship with others. The tasks will determine who the role-holder is required to interact with, how often, and towards what end. Also, normally the greater the interaction, the greater the liking is. This in turn leads to more frequent interaction. In human behaviour, it’s hard to like someone whom we have no contact with, and we tend to seek out those we like. People tend to do what they are rewarded for, and friendship is a powerful reward. Many tasks and behaviours that are associated with a role are brought about by these relationships. That is, new task and behaviours are expected of the present role-holder because a strong relationship was developed in the past, either by that role-holder or a prior role holder.
What makes a person want to follow a leader? People want to be guided by those they respect and who have a clear sense of direction. To gain respect, they must be ethical. A sense of direction is achieved by conveying a strong vision of the future.
When a person is deciding if she respects you as a leader, she does not think about your attributes, rather, she observes what you do so that she can know who you really are. She uses this observation to tell if you are an honourable and trusted leader or a self-serving person who misuses authority to look good and get promoted. Self-serving leaders are not as effective because their employees only obey them, not follow them. They succeed in many areas because they present a good image to their seniors at the expense of their workers.
Good Business Leaders
I refer to Ray Kroc, the founder of the McDonald’s Corporation: a leader driven by vision, but one willing to nurture talent and ideas not his own, a rare combination for an entrepreneur.
Look beneath the “Golden Arches” and you will find a leader of near-irrepressible enthusiasm who discovered late in life what his true mission would be. At age fifty-two, Ray Kroc invested himself, and over the next few years nearly everything he owned, to fulfill his dream. For the first eight years, Ray Kroc didn’t take one dime from McDonald’s. He lived entirely on the modest salary he took from his milk-shake mixer business.
The neglect of Kroc may perhaps be due to the fact that McDonald’s is an ubiquitous presence (some would say too much so) on the American landscape. But that presence, some 25,000 restaurants strong around the world, never would have occurred without the drive, enthusiasm, will, and sheer optimism of a man who dreamed of a chain of restaurants coast to coast that would all serve the same food prepared the same way in the same restaurants in the same fast and friendly way.
Once McDonald’s become established, the world forgot Kroc’s humble origins and instead focused on his life as a multimillionaire e.g owner of the San Diego Padres and contributor to Nixon’s second re-election effort. Forgotten too was his leadership style, which to this day, is very applicable to anyone who dreams of starting a business, or managing it.
Here are some of the principles Ray Kroc lived and led by.
Once he had witnessed the McDonald brother’s hamburger drive-in in San Bernardino, Kroc knew he had found what he was looking for: the opportunity to establish a nationwide chain of standardized, fast-food eateries. Today it seems obvious, but given the time, 1954, it seemed closer to fantasy.
Friends of Kroc warned him that he was crazy to consider building a business on 15-cent hamburgers. It must be said that Kroc initially envisioned McDonald’s as a opportunity to sell more Multi-mixers, but the more he investigated and the more he invested, he realized that McDonald’s had the potential to rewrite the fast-food rule book and in the process establish the quick service restaurant business.
“There’s almost nothing you can’t accomplish if you set your mind to it” he told a group of MBA students in 1976. And he lived those words. Kroc held fast to his dream of McDonald’s restaurants. And furthermore to the idea that the restaurant concept would only succeed if everyone in the system operators, suppliers, corporate held to the same strict standards in food offerings, food preparation, food delivery, and service principles.
As rigidly as Kroc held to strict standards in food preparation and service, he was open and eager for new ideas, chiefly from operators. New products like Big Mac and Egg McMuffin emerged from operators; Kroc’s attempts at new products the Hula Burger and a strawberry dessert, to name two were abject failures. Yet Kroc was smart enough to run with a good idea no matter who originated it. That’s leadership.
Kroc built the McDonald’s System on the simple, but fundamental philosophy, that everyone would profit or no one would. For this reason, he established a system that put operator profits first. Only by ensuring operator profitability would the system succeed. (In contrast to other franchisers of the time, Kroc charged no markup for supplies and equipment. He sold everything at cost.) He applied the same philosophy to his suppliers. This faith in letting others prosper first cost McDonald’s dearly in the early years, but it paid off handsomely in the end.
Ray Kroc loved the hamburger business. He could wax lyrically about the water content of french fries, or the curves of a hamburger bun. More so, he enjoyed talking up his restaurant business; it was his passion and his avocation. This kind of enthusiasm seems innate to many salespeople, and they need it in spades. Ardor for what they do steels them against the rejection that salespeople face on a daily basis. Kroc possessed so much enthusiasm; he was contagious. Since his enthusiasm was so infectious, he was able to attract so many of the right people to him.
* Toleration of Dissent
Many entrepreneurs live by the rule, “my way or the highway.” Not Kroc. His boldest move in this area was his hiring of Harry Sonneborn as his finance manager in 1956. As different as night and day, Kroc and Sonneborn formed a remarkable team. Where Sonneborn was taciturn and detail-driven, Kroc was outgoing and visionary. But without Sonneborn, McDonald’s would never have survived.
It was Sonneborn’s idea to establish the Franchise Realty Corporation, a real estate venture that enabled McDonald’s Corporation to profit from the growth of the chain. Sonneborn and Kroc clashed constantly, but Kroc tolerated the dissent because he knew Sonneborn was good for the System. (Sadly, the two eventually parted, but it was well after Sonneborn was a multi-millionaire and had prospered from his ideas.)
Salesman that he was, Ray Kroc had an eagle eye for talent. He plucked Fred Turner, the organizational mind behind the McDonald’s operating system, from the ranks of potential operators. Kroc nurtured Turner as he did others; and in the process, built his business by selecting the right people at the right time. (It must be said that Kroc was sometimes arbitrary. In a fit of pique he might demand that man who didn’t shine his shoes, or wore his hat incorrectly, be fired. Typically, the order would never be carried by Ray’s executive team who knew better. And in time, Kroc would forget the incident.)
As generous as he was with advice, Kroc was generous with a dollar. After becoming a centi-millionaire several times over, he established a foundation to support his charitable efforts. Even before he was wealthy, McDonald’s staged promotional events linked to local Chicago charities. To be certain, the original aim was publicity; but over time, Kroc and his team initiated a culture of giving that is alive and well today throughout the McDonald’s System.(The Ronald McDonald House, which provides housing for relatives of children undergoing lengthy hospital stays, is one such example.)
Of course, the point of giving is not to “get something back,” but rather to “give something back”; For leaders, giving helps create a culture where everyone in the organization becomes more outwardly focused in ways large and small that help benefit others. Kroc understood this principle and the organizations he built are a testament to it.
If ever there were the archetype of salesman who’s always looking for a rainbow in a hailstorm, it’s Ray Kroc. “I have always believed that each man makes his own happiness and is responsible for his own problems,” so wrote Kroc in his autobiography, Grinding It Out. It was a philosophy that served him well. Faced with adversity throughout his life, he overcame much of it and succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.
Curiously, Kroc’s original passion was music; he was a piano player in nightclubs. But since it was not the kind of lifestyle that appealed to his wife nor to Kroc’s own entrepreneurial aspirations Kroc gave it up for a career in sales. Still, he possessed the irrepressible optimism that come from someone who can break into a song to please a crowd.
All of these traits contributed to Kroc’s leadership style, but perhaps the greatest was his ability to sell an idea. The reason he was so persuasive was not because he was a good storyteller (he was); a good socializer (he was); had a way with words (he did). No, the chief reason for his leadership was Kroc was able to sketch out his vision and have the listen participate in it with him.
Whether Ray was talking about french fries, or the McDonald’s System, he believed in absolute truth of what he was saying. His sense of conviction larded with plenty of optimism, dwarfed doubt and helped the listener participate in the dream with him. Most important, this vision also was predicated on the idea that the listener would benefit by sharing in the dream with Kroc that would enrich and ennoble all who shared it.
Couple Kroc’s conviction with his overwhelming optimism and you have a leader of whom salesmen can be proud and from whom managers everywhere can learn.
Julia Gillard looks set to become Australia’s first female prime minister after Kevin Rudd’s support within the party all but evaporates.
JULIA Gillard has never suffered from a shortfall of self-confidence but, equally, she has never displayed the kind of naked ambition that defined Kevin Rudd before he got the job, either.
The confidence was on display four years ago when she discussed leadership as a hypothetical and observed: ”I think people are over the kind of really highly managed, suited, white bread style politicians. I think people are looking for more than that and different to that and, you know, I think I am different to that.”
But the confidence evident on the ABC’s Australian Story was always underpinned by self-discipline, patience and an absence of hubris.
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Rudd’s impatience asserted itself in an intellectual arrogance that meant the reservoir of goodwill was low when the chips were down. Gillard’s more grounded demeanour is just one of the reasons the disaffected are willing to embrace her.
The qualities that stamped her as a future leader are the ones that will be put to the test if, as now seems likely, she becomes the country’s first female prime minister.
There is no more perfect parliamentary performer on Labor’s side than Gillard, and no one who is better placed to take on Tony Abbott. She can master a brief, communicate a message, demonstrate wit and go for the kill. There is also the tenacity that asserted itself when, before her career even began, she failed in three separate pre selection bids – and again yesterday when she staked her claim.
The qualities that some suspected would constrain her ambition – being female, unmarried and from the left of the ALP will be of no consequence today.
But the gamble Labor has taken in tearing down the leader who delivered them power before he has served a full term is difficult to comprehend.
As a member of the Rudd kitchen cabinet, Gillard shares responsibility for virtually all the negatives of recent months the broken promises, the retreat on the emissions trading scheme, and the brawl with the miners over the proposed resource rent tax.
She has also presided over the schools building program that has faced heavy criticism, especially in New South Wales. But the truth of it is that Rudd’s inability to recognise his failures and project a confidence that he is capable of changing persuaded the plotters to put the weight on Gillard.
This is not the way Gillard, or those who believe in her leadership qualities, wanted her to become prime minister.
This is clear from what she told this writer in 2006 ”If, in the dim and distant future well down the road the Labor leadership were vacant, I would think about it then.
”But it’s never been in my nature particularly having seen what happened with Simon [Crean] to believe it’s about destabilising leaders.”
But in politics, you don’t get to choose, and she will find out soon enough whether she is what she believes the electorate is looking to embrace.
This doesn’t sound like a very nice position to be in and it does need addressing sooner rather than later; if so many of you are unhappy, the business will end up losing good members of staff through neglect. If you one member of senior management and have felt like you achieved nothing, don’t let this make you lose confidence/faith in the rest of the senior management team. There will be someone who is willing to listen and help where possible. You should request to have a team meeting/operator discussion with a member of staff either on the same level as the person you spoke with before or higher. Even better would be two members of staff from this level, one from your direct line managers (perhaps a team leader) and then possibly your HR officer.
This time, however, manager should stand up as an individual from the contact centre trying to be the voice for everyone else. This can often land you in trouble because even though you’re trying to help people who daren’t speak up, the result can be that it looks like you and you alone who has an ‘issue’. So, you need to get a couple of people together that feel the same and ask if a team meeting can be held. For this meeting you will need to have the points you want to discuss ready along with some ideas of how you feel the problem can be eased or even rectified.
Make sure your colleagues don’t try and turn this meeting into a slanging match, keep it as a civil discussion between all attendees as the management are more likely to listen and pay attention this way. The good thing about going forward as team should be that the senior management will sit up and listen. If just one person makes a noise, they might assume that the problem isn’t that big or even isn’t really a problem at all. The more people moved to become involved, the more likely your managers will actually want to resolve your issues.
It will also be more difficult for them to give you your ‘marching orders’ as they would have to treat your colleagues in the same way. And what company wants to lose three, four or more conscientious, committed staff members?
Office Politics and Lack of Teamwork
Where office politics exist there is almost always a lack of teamwork, this two politics overlaps. Since someone has decided to get ahead by limiting cooperation or information sharing. In fact, I think these are really the same issue. There’s only one reason that teams or individuals within a company should fail to work together effectively, and that’s when there are incentives to encourage them to do otherwise. If a business is established to make the best use of its resources, and then builds walls and political machinations that make it less efficient, those failures have to be obvious to the people in control. So office politics and a lack of teamwork are not just accepted but often implicitly condoned by a management team that can’t create clear incentives to work together and seems more intent on creating competitive teams that excel by eliminating team work.
These frustrations point to t
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