The following are the most popular expert advice articles on leadership:
Leadership Advice 1
Essential Qualities Of Leadership
Webster says that leadership is "the position or function of a leader; the ability to lead; an act or instance of leading, guidance, direction." Do you enjoy leading, guiding or directing? Do you look forward to making decisions that impact the lives of others? Would you rather give the responsibility for making choices to someone else? Most of us have been in a position of authority and all of us have met someone who possesses the qualities of an effective leader.
Being a leader is a difficult task especially if you are given responsibilities that you are not familiar with. If you accept this position, you are going to be scrutinized by how you act, the way you look and the way you talk. It is important to be conscious of your actions because the goal is to project an image of influence. Good leaders possess certain characteristics that can help them gain the respect and recognition of others.
Be A Good Example
The first concept is to lead by example. You need to work harder than those who surround you in order to gain their respect. Demonstrate your dedication by being early and staying late. Distinguish yourself through character and integrity when situations are difficult or they are not going your way. Go the extra mile for those who are in your circle of influence.
Be A Good Listener
The second quality of an effective leader is the ability to listen more and talk less. It is more important to listen to the issues that are being raised instead of expressing your opinion about them. Some individuals have the misconception that a good leader talks as much as possible. Effective leaders realize that listening provides them with a deeper understanding of the needs of those that surround them. It also gives them a greater insight into the issues that must be addressed.
The third concept for effective leadership is the ability to ask the appropriate questions. Analyzing information provides the opportunity to probe the concerns and issues that confront those around you. Express sincerity and as you examine the regards of others. Asking penetrating questions provides the possibility to discover the root causes of problems so that they can be addressed.
The fourth quality of an effective leader is the ability to make decisions. Make a choice and stick to the plan. A conscientious leader will have options if the original solution is not working. With leadership comes the responsibility for making selections that affect the lives of others. If one has taken the input of those who surround them before making a decision, other considerations can be developed. It is important to examine all of the options thoroughly to avoid unnecessary mistakes and failures.
Not everyone wants to lead. If you are the owner of your home business, the head of your family or the director of a social group you are wearing the hat of a leader. Effective leadership is not necessarily an inherent quality. It can be learned and applied to the different areas of your life. Consider these four qualities as a foundation for developing your leadership skills.
"People never improve unless they look to some standard or example higher and better than themselves."
Author: John Fortner
Business Leadership Now!
Leadership Advice 2
Are you the owner of a small business? A professional in private practice? Or an executive in a small company? If you are any of these and you don't think of yourself as a "business leader," shame on you.
By default, when you have decision-making responsibility and authority, you are the leader.
A recent Entrepreneur Magazine cover text reads "Who are America's future business leaders? You are. So what does it take to succeed? The best leaders combine bold new strategies with time-tested values. Are you up to the task?"
I couldn't have said it better myself. This is the message I continue to communicate. NOW is the time to accept the role. Allow it to challenge and motivate you.
The leader's old role of charismatic superstar has been redefined as a dedicated team leader with a mission. Spectacular business failures such as Enron, Tyco and others, have shown that short term glory is short sighted and will eventually come back to haunt you.
Strategies that effective leaders are using today are:
Down-Time Response: Use down-time to reassess how you want to lead (and where you want to go). Prepare yourself to start the next phase of your business on a stronger foundation.
Grassroots Strength: A leader gathers the strength of the group. Great leaders are able to attract followers within their company, their community and their industry.
Make Tough Decisions: Real business leadership means making tough decisions and getting them carried out. Take a stand and back it up. This requires accurate information and input from trusted sources.
Good of Company First: Builders of strong and profitable businesses make decisions based on long term benefit to their company, not the short term benefits for themselves. This mindset is what's termed a level 5 leader in Jim Collins' book, "Good to Great", published by Harper Business. Jim's book is a great leadership reference even though the research is based on findings from large corporations.
Develop Leadership from Within: Great things come from trial and error. Of course, it's important to try on a small scale to limit damage from failure. Analyze it! Learn from it! Leadership requires courage - the courage of one's convictions. Jim Collins reiterates this in his strategy of getting the right people on board first, then allowing them to learn how to lead through trial and error in their own area of expertise.
Being a great leader requires that you...
Some of these may not be your natural behavior. Business leadership coaching is certainly a great way to develop courage, communication skills and perspective. You can also add these to your capabilities through affiliations and networking. It's more important than ever to have an active network that can be tapped for its expertise, new business potential and reinforcement of leadership skills.
I believe (yes, I'm taking a stand) that by small business leaders coming together to learn from each other, each will gain in their own leadership skills. As a result their business will be the direct beneficiary, becoming stronger and more valuable.
Final words for the leaders of today's...and tomorrow's...strong and
profitable businesses: recognize that you are the leader of your
business. As such you must make good business decisions, take effective
actions and get what you need to follow through.
Author: Marian Banker
Leadership Advice 3
Is your Vision Something your Employees Can Focus On?
Recent work with several healthcare clients has taught me a lesson. My encouragement that leaders and managers help employees maintain focus on organizational goals and objectives may be premature.
If the organization doesn't have a clearly defined vision, what are employees to focus on?
Please note I am not referring to a “vision statement.” That is typically no more than an advertising slogan. If there is no vision behind the words, the statement has little meaning and less impact.
I offer three quick, simple steps you can use to build a true and clear vision for your organization, your department or your team.
Articulate. Build your own picture of where you want the organization to go, what you want it to become. Without describing your picture to the extreme detail, share it with your team in clear, everyday language.
Allow. Hold several discussion sessions. Invite people to express their perceptions of the vision fulfilled. Ask them for specific examples of what they "see." Encourage them to be more and more specific. (Prepare to ask repeatedly, "What does that look like?)
Actualize. Using images suggested by team members, construct a true and clear organization vision. You may translate it to a verbal vision statement. However, a visual vision statement will have true value in its visibility. Consider a poster filled with scenes and situations representing the vision achieved. (Bonus: use pictures of your team members in that poster!)
The cost: probably less than $200 for a "visual vision statement.” Otherwise, just a bit of your and your people's time.
The reward: increased engagement by the employees who know their foresight contributes to their organization’s vision of the future.
Author: Timothy Wright
Leadership Advice 4
Lead by Example
“Example is the greatest of all seducers.” French proverb
People will eventually DO as you DO and not as you SAY! This does not mean that we can say anything because no one is paying attention. What the expression tries to convey is more to watching out what we model or do because people will eventually use us as an excuse to do what’s in their flesh anyway! So much of our success is due to WHAT WE DO both in private and in public.
What we think people are NOT seeing, they ARE. And, what we think we’re modeling, we’re NOT! There is nothing more contagious than a bad example! How did all this get so complicated anyway?
It is said that there are at least four sides to our personalities. There is the side that all see and the one that we usually try to sell which is called the PUBLIC side of us. While it is important to put our best foot forward knowing we may never get a second chance, we need to understand that everyone also understands this side as we all play the game.
Secondly, there is the PRIVATE side to each of us that’s usually reserved to ourselves only and maybe a close friend, spouse, or confidant. We seldom let people IN to SEE this person although this is the REAL person everyone is sensing.
The BLIND side is what others SEE in us but even though we look in the mirror everyday, we fail to see this side of us.
Finally, there is the UNCONSCIOUS nature within us. It’s the part we and our friends struggle with. It’s those things which are within us that we neither see nor can describe: neither can anyone else. Nonetheless, it is still there and as real as the known aspects of our life.
Now, when you throw all of these “pictures” together of WHO we are, we usually get something entirely different than what we’d expected. And, it’s no wonder people do something other than what we say (unless they have no other choices). So, knowing exactly WHO we are and WHY we were put here on earth goes a long way to getting people to follow us and do as we tell them.
“The first great gift we can bestow on others is a good example.” Thomas Morrell
In the work place, we want people to represent us and follow our LEAD but unfortunately, we’re not sure WHO we are and nether are those who work for us. So, how can we be efficient and effective in the work place? Leading and being PROMOTED is more than setting records and excelling in various endeavors.
Promotion comes when we BECOME who we ARE (built and intended to be!).
One cannot become ANYTHING they choose to be! It all sounds great but in reality it does not work. We can only BE who we were BUILT to be. We have a destiny and the first step is discover that destiny. As I step into my calling and start to BECOME who I AM, things begin to flow effortlessly because I am in tune with my destiny, maker, and nature. So, let us NOT try not be OURSELVES in a field that we choose, but let us find our Father’s field that He choose for us before the foundation of the world and let us begin to express ourselves (the REAL us) therein.
“Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened.” Winston Churchill
We cannot play the game of charades too long, at least not in one location. Life is a lot simpler when we line up with the REAL ME! When I am following my true and real calling, operating out of the substance for which I was created, then there is something that people can really follow. And, if they can’t, why would we want to seduce them into following us in a false fashion anyway?
The answers to that question are many. Answers such as: want control, are insecure, need reaffirming, and a host of other character flaws that cause us to lead by anything other than example. Find the REAL YOU and BE THAT!
Author: Ernie Fitzpatrick
Leadership Advice 5
Team Building - The Choice Of Champions
Many workers tend to look at the job as simply a means of funding what they enjoy doing on the weekend (when they are no longer at work). Employment is relegated to the lowly position of simply paying bills while carving out just enough time to enjoy some time away from work on occasion.
What if work could be more than that? What if work did not feel have to feel like work? For some people this scenario is true.
A story has been told about a truck driver who appreciated the money involved in over-the-road trucking, but struggled with the many hours behind the wheel. He had been partnered up with an older driver who never complained about getting behind the wheel and even seemed to enjoy the many hours of driving. The young driver felt as if his partner actually seemed more invigorated the longer he drove and could never understand why.
When his curiosity could no longer stand it the young man asked for the secret the old man had that allowed him to withstand the rigors of over-the-road travel. The old man looked at the younger man with a smile and said, "You went to work this morning while I took a ride in the country."
The older man learned a valuable secret. Every day you get to choose your attitude.
If you have employees who come to work, watch the clock and are ready to leave long before the day is up perhaps you can help them rethink work. It could be these employees are not enjoying their work and that can and should be addressed, or it could be they are filling a position that is not well suited to their skills. However, it could also be that the employee has simply never considered the joy involved in actually doing work.
The truth is you can't actually enjoy work if you have made a conscious decision not to enjoy it. As a business owner you can help your staff learn skills that make them better employees and essentially allow them to enjoy what they do
1) Each employee has a choice to make about how they respond to work. They can have negative attitudes and be clock-watchers or they can be productive and find themselves surprised when the workday has come to an end. They can even look forward to a new day of employment.
2) By finding the right fit in a career employees can tap into their own personal passion for the work they do and it becomes something much greater than a job.
If you have a team member who seems to be borderline you should do everything you can to invite them to join in the fun that work can be. They will likely resist at first and feel as though those who are having fun are living a lie. However, for those whose perspectives have been altered the difference is compelling and will be noticed by other team members as well as customers.
Author: Scott Lindsay
Leadership Advice 6
Leadership: First Step to Success
Have you ever heard of a business where there is no leader or in a more technical term, a boss? Perhaps it is quite inconceivable, since it highly significant in every field that one directs them towards their goal. For instance, if you want to employ a change in system within your business, a leader would have to stand out for you to get through the swamp.
Changing an entire business won't come easily especially if the employees do not have faith with the capacity of the senior who is leading them towards their end. But, doing so is never really that impossible as you have thought it was.
The part played by leadership
If you are a part of an organization, you may have noticed how important it was that the subjects have faith on the capacities of the leaders since they are supposed to be the living models that the subjects must look up to. Actually, in every area where people are involved, there's a great need that someone be responsible enough to lead everyone, because if not every organization would be distinguished as futile for they won't be able to achieve any goal that they have set.
Putting it under the setting of employing sudden change within a business, the subjects or the employees would anticipate for an improved, sensible, effective decisions and regular if not absolute communication from the leader to the employees. During these moments the employees expect more from the leaders such as confidence, support and commitment.
When all things has been said, it all boils down to the trust of the employees to the leader which in the future might bring them better working relationships and would possible strengthen their confidence with each other.
Consequences of poor leadership
Suppose it is inevitable that every leader would possess the essential leadership skills, then you ought to familiarize yourself with the ramifications of this possibility. It is but normal that when the leader is not able to exude any act of leadership that the employees begin to assume that there won't be any positive outcomes with their relationship.
There are certain incidents when the organization gets clouded by distrust and the chance that the employees would act in an illegible manner that they start to be apathetic with the goals of the organization. Feeble leadership would only result to the deficiency of hope which might probably go on for too long and in turn would lead to the organizations inevitable decline.
Leadership then is very significant in every organization because with its absence the whole team under the organization won't be able to function accordingly and they will not be able to operate with a harmonious relationship with one another.
Author: Cherie Ang
Leadership: The Step To Success
Have you ever heard of a business where there is no leader, or in a more technical term, a boss? Perhaps it is quite inconceivable, since it is highly significant in every field that someone directs them toward their goal. For instance, if you want to employ a change in system within your business, a leader would have to stand out for you to get through the hard times. Leading an entire business does come easy, especially if the employees do not have faith with the person who is leading them toward their goal. Being a leader requires a strong personality with skills to persuade. Without these two traits not much will be accomplished, as others will not follow someone who is not dynamic and fails to get others to move forward with them.
The Part Played By Leadership:
If you are a part of an organization now, you may have noticed how important it is that the subjects have faith on the capacities of the leaders since they are supposed to be the living models that the subjects must look up to. Actually, in every area where people are involved, there's a great need that someone be responsible enough to lead everyone. Because if not, every organization would be distinguished as weak for they won't be able to achieve any goal that they have set. Even in the family setting, a father or mother is always in the leadership role. Failing to be a leader in a family creates children that are unruly, and challenging. Do you know any families like this? Maybe your neighbors? Maybe your own family?
Putting it under the setting of employing sudden change within a business, the subjects or the employees would anticipate for improved, sensible, effective decisions and regular if not constant communication from the leader. During these moments the employees expect more from the leaders such as confidence, support and commitment. These qualities give hope to the followers, and in return bring about loyalty. When all things have been said, it all boils down to the trust of the employees in the leader. Which, in the future might bring them better working relationships and would possible strengthen their confidence with each other.
Consequences Of Poor Leadership:
Failing to lead in a decisive and effective manner can result in chaos and mayhem. With no clear vision from leadership, the subjects are unfocused and not willing to complete tasks for the good of the organization. Projects don't get finished, goals are not met, unrest and chaos is the order of the day without a clear leader. Feeble leadership would only result to the deficiency of hope which might probably go on for too long and in turn would lead to the organizations inevitable decline. Consider how poor leadership can even create chaos and disorganization in your home business. Without focus, your goals are not met and you lose confidence on whether you can continue.
Leadership then, is very significant in every organization because with its absence the whole team under the organization won't be able to function accordingly. The members of such an organization would not be able to operate with a harmonious relationship regarding one another. Harmony, understanding, goal setting and focus are qualities and emotions that good leadership will bring to an organization to create cohesiveness. Without it, chaos wins. Don't let yourself fall into a trap of being indecisive and ineffective with your business or life. Project confidence in your decision making and show leadership qualities, so others will follow you to the ends of the earth.
Author: William Drapcho
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