What is leadership? Reply

You can find leadership in every sort of work and play, and in every sort of project, regardless of scale, and regardless of financial or official authority.
There are many different aspects of leadership. The following are some perspectives:

In my opinion – motivating others to achieve an aim is a large part of leadership. But why should people follow your direction? I believe that people are inspired by leaders that demonstrate value based leadership behaviors. These leaders follow principles and lead by example.

I think leaders need to “be out there” for their employees. They should continually demonstrate to them why and how they earned the position they now hold. They need to communicate with them using any of a variety of methods that show them they are worthy of being followed. I believe that if that process is inspiring and positive you can almost guarantee that your results will be consistent with your efforts.

Building a sense of trust and credibility is also key for leaders of today operating in a transparent world. They need to build the team around them, to listen with humility, act with courage and earn their rewards through building trust. Trust is achieved through the sincere demonstration of values and principles in daily conduct and by treating people with dignity and respect.

Values-based leaders are not defined by a position. Rather, they cultivate change, and are guided by healthy values and wise actions. They transform traditional organizations because they don’t surrender their values. Instead, they practice them.

Leadership is ‘Development of a clear and complete system of expectations in order to identify, evoke and use the strengths of all resources in the organization – the most important of which is people’ (Batten, 1991)

They focus primarily on healthy, timeless human values as ends in themselves.

They help others to lead themselves so that they can make key decisions. They encourage individual and group intelligence by giving the power to provide input and feedback on organizational decisions.

They demonstrate values and harness differences and diversity for innovation, creativity and a common vision. They are an agent of change and are leaders who help to bring about almost a revolution to fulfill values while leading their organization.

Leaders, by choice, have the ability to cultivate potential in others. The work begins with the leader who lives, works and leads in alignment with their core values, principles and beliefs to in turn ignite the potential in those around them.

There are many aspects to modern leadership. Future leaders need to be encouraged to be responsible and create an efficient, dynamic, and humane environment, while achieving ambitious goals with regards to both individual and organizational success, global co-operations, human values, human resource issues such as motivation, implementation of changes, personal ambitions, etc.

In my opinion, today’s leaders need to be able to gain trust and inspire employees to ultimately reassure and advance change in the unpredictable business environment of today. Today’s leaders must first have the natural desire to be a servant first, to serve others, which will then lead to their conscious effort to develop themselves into an effective leadership position (Hein, 2003). Being able to establish and achieve a sustainable strategic vision for their organization or community is the central role of a servant leader (Banutu-Gomez, 2004), rather than establishing and achieving their personally beneficial goals (Dubrin, Dalglish & Miller, 2006).

Dubrin et al suggest that the following leadership roles are adopted for success:

– Place service before self interest
– Listen first to express confidence in others
– Inspire trust by being trustworthy
– Focus on what is feasible to accomplish
– Lend a hand
– Provide tools

These are age-old principles that need to be fostered and grown in organizations today.

Leadership and Change Reply

Our ability to understand and manage organizational change increasingly depends on our ability to understand and manage the most important drivers for employees

These can vary considerably from situation to situation. We need therefore to be able to identify and interpret the nature of change, and other factors impacting employees, rather than merely referring to a checklist. People’s needs, and their perceptions of their needs, can change quickly, and tend to do so more when they are unhappy.

Organizational leaders naturally see change from their own standpoint. Crucially, to manage change more effectively leaders must now see change in terms of its effects on employees, and must understand how employees feel about it.

Managing change is often seen as merely a process – as in project management for example – but effective leadership style and behavior are also vital for successful change management.

Where a leader’s behavior is sensitive to people’s feelings, change happens much easier. Where a leader forces change on people insensitively, and without proper consideration then problems usually arise.

Great leaders know and understand that human beings are complex, and that change will come with time. There are a few things great leaders know, that enable them to lead their employees successfully through change.

People are not resistant to change just to be difficult. The more that leaders can help their employees notice and identify what might be holding them back, and then coach them to navigate forward, the better and sooner they will reach the desired state.

People want to feel confident and competent.

It is only natural to not want to be viewed as fumbling around.  It is easy to psyche oneself out by thinking everyone but you gets whatever this new strategy/ procedure/ thing is.

Leaders need to engage their employees in discussions, and ask good questions to help them begin to envision how things would work specifically for them, including where they would start, what obstacles they can anticipate, what success would look like.

They should not let mistakes be viewed as failure and encourage every sign of progress.

Another thing – the more people articulate the vision of the change, the more they own it. It’s hard for people to disagree with something they already said, especially when you have repeated it to them and made it a point to let them know they “got it.”

Leaders need to get people talking about how they understand the new vision, their role, expectations of them and their objectives.

Once they have received the message of change, we need to ensure they have a chance to digest it with every communication.

Designing activities and questions that help them verbalize how they understand things helps to digest and manage change.  Help people think out loud.  Listen.  Be responsive when they point out how to improve the process.  Reinforce when they are going the right direction. If we work closely enough with our people, after awhile, they will begin to act as if the changes were their idea all along.

Successful change management requires a large commitment and a great deal of skill from executives and senior managers, whether the change is occurring in a department or in a complete organization.

As leaders we need to recognize the human element in the change. People have different needs and different ways of reacting to change. They need time to deal with and adjust to change.

Leaders need to understand, engage and work with their employees. Their success will always be a reflection of leadership skills.

Leaders need to be honest and worthy of trust.  If we treat people with the same respect we expect from them, employees’ hearts and minds will be open to working with us to move the organization forward.

Therefore, better identification and selection of leaders would also help staff the top ranks of organizations with those who are better emotionally suited to produce change.

Successful change management leadership require not only an awareness of human behavior, but also workplace evolutionary trends.