Different leaders have different ideas about leadership. For example, below you will see Jack Welch’s perspective which even though quite modern compared to many leaders, is nevertheless based on quite traditional leadership principles.
First here is a deeper more philosophical view of effective modern leadership which addresses the foundations of effective leadership.
A British government initiative surfaced in March 2008, which suggested that young people should swear an oath of allegiance to ‘Queen and Country’, seemingly as a means of improving national loyalty, identity, and allegiance.
While packaged as a suggestion to address ‘disaffection’ among young people, the idea was essentially concerned with leadership – or more precisely a failing leadership.
The idea was rightly and unanimously dismissed by all sensible commentators as foolhardy nonsense, but it does provide a wonderful perspective by which to examine and illustrate the actual important principles of leadership:
1. Always, when leaders say that the people are not following, it’s the leaders who are lost, not the people.
2. Leaders get lost because of isolation, delusion, arrogance, plain stupidity, etc., but above all because they become obsessed with imposing their authority, instead of truly leading.
3. Incidentally, leading is helping people attain their goals while achieving a shared vision. It’s not telling people what to do.
4. It is not possible for a leader to understand and lead people when the leader’s ego is high in the clouds. That is to say – loyalty to leadership relies on the leader having a connection with and understanding of people’s needs and wishes and possibilities. Solutions to leadership challenges do not lie in the leader’s needs and wishes. Leadership solutions lie in the needs and wishes of the followers.
5. The suggestion that loyalty and a following can be built by simply asking or forcing people to be loyal is not any basis for effective leadership.
6. Prior to expecting anyone to follow, a leader first needs to demonstrate a vision and values worthy of a following.
7. A given type of leadership inevitably attracts the same type of followers. Put another way, a leadership can’t behave in any way that it asks its people not to.
8. In other words, for people to embrace and follow modern compassionate, honest, ethical, peaceful, and fair principles, they must see these qualities demonstrated by their leadership.
9. People are a lot cleverer than most leaders think.
10. People have a much keener sense of truth than most leaders think.
11. People quickly lose faith in a leader who behaves as if points 10 and 11 do not exist.
12. People generally have the answers which elude the leaders because the leader is giving answers and not asking questions.
13. A leadership which screws up in a big way should come clean and admit their errors. People will generally forgive mistakes but they do not tolerate being treated like idiots by leaders.
14. And on the question of mistakes, a mistake is an opportunity to be better, and to show remorse and a lesson learned. Also, often we learn more when hear about the mistakes others have made.
15. A leader should be brave enough to sell ideas to their people and not dictate. Anyone can resort to threats and aggression. Being aggressive is not leading. It might work for the short term but it builds open hostility long term.
16. A Leader lets people know where they stand frequently, they do not wait six months to give them a performance appraisal.
Leadership tips – Jack Welch style…
Jack Welch, respected business leader and writer is quoted as proposing these fundamental leadership principles:
1. Be open to the best of what everyone, everywhere, has to offer; transfer learning across your organization.
2. Get the right people in the right jobs – it is more important than developing a strategy.
3. An informal atmosphere is a competitive advantage.
4. Make sure everybody counts and everybody knows they count.
5. Legitimate self-confidence is a winner – the true test of self-confidence is the courage to be open.
6. Business has to be fun – celebrations energize and organization.
7. Never underestimate the other guy.
8. Understand where real value is added and put your best people there.
9. Know when to meddle and when to let go – this is pure instinct. As a leader, your main priority is to get the job done, whatever the job is.
Leaders make things happen by:
• Knowing your objectives and having a plan how to achieve them
• Building a team committed to achieving the objectives
• Helping each team member to give their best efforts
These have just been tips. In our “Leadership in Action” internally facilitated training system featuring W. Steven Brown, Chairman of the Fortune Group International, Inc. and author of “The 13 Fatal Errors Managers Make* * And How You Can Avoid Them” helps any organization build a constant leadership method that vastly improves people’s ability to perform.
For a PDF overview of this course and how it can be successfully implemented into your organization just request it by clicking here. We appreciate your time and hope this has helped.
Jim Strutton, CEO
770-205-8171 © 2010 Accountability Plus, Inc.
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