Leadership - An Elusive Attribute Critical To Business Success
When a person is deciding if he respects you as a leader he observes what you do so that he can know who you really are.
He uses this observation to tell if you are a honourable and trusted leader, or a self serving person who misuses your authority.
The basis of good leadership is honourable character and selfless service to your organisation. In your employees' eyes, your leadership is everything you do that affects the organisation's objectives and their well-being.
- "Be" - what he/she is (beliefs and values),
- "Know" what he/she knows (job, tasks, human nature),
- "Do" what he/she does (implement, motivate, provide direction).
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.
Studies have shown that trust and confidence in top leadership is the single most reliable predictor of employee satisfaction in an organisation.
- 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 or department is doing - relative to strategic business objectives.
So basically, you must be trustworthy and you have to be able to communicate a vision of where you are going.
- Know yourself and seek self-improvement. In order to know yourself, you have to understand your "be, know, and do", attributes. Continually strengthening your attributes by reading and self-study.
- Be technically proficient. As a leader, you must know your job and have a solid familiarity with your employees' jobs.
- Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions. Search for ways to guide your organisation to new heights. And when things go wrong, do not blame others.
- Make sound and timely decisions. Use good problem solving, decision-making, and planning tools.
- Set the example. Be a good role model for you employees. They will believe what they see not what they hear.
- Know your people and look out for their well-being. Know human nature and the importance of sincerely caring for your workers.
- Keep your people informed. Know how to communicate with your people, seniors, and other key people within the organisation.
- Develop a sense of accountability ownership and responsibility in your people. These character traits will help them carry out their professional responsibilities.
- Ensure that tasks are understood, supervised, and accomplished. Communication is the key to this responsibility.
- Train your people as a team. By developing a team spirit, you will be able to employ your organisation, department, section, etc. to its fullest capabilities.
- Inspire a shared vision - Next, share you vision in words that can be understood by your followers.
- Challenge the process - First, find a process that you believe needs to be improved the most.
- Enable others to act - Give them the tools, authority and methods to solve problems themselves.
- Model the way - When the process gets tough, get your hands dirty. A boss tells others what to do; a leader shows it can be done.
- The six most important words: "I admit I made a mistake."
- The five most important words: "You did a good job."
- The four most important words: "What is your opinion?"
- The three most important words: "If you please."
- The two most important words: "Thank you,"
- The one most important word: "We"
- The least most important word: "I"