The art of being a great leader is sought by almost everyone. Many claim to be great leaders, few define what it really means. In reality, we know much about leadership in general but the application of leadership creates most of the confusion.
Despite all the leadership books and journals out there, leadership remains a very personal concept, put into practice in many different and successful forms. Successful application always results in good leadership and unsuccessful application does more harm than good. So what does this mean for us? It’s thought that although we can’t define leadership precisely, we can recognize it when we see it.
There are formal and informal leaders. We are going to look at formal leaders because they are occupying positions of authority and that is the only reason they have a leadership position. Informal leaders on the other hand, show leadership from non leadership positions, thus creating a problem for the organization. The rise of the informal leader can come about by many different ways, it can often be caused by the lack of formal leadership. Why is someone not in a leadership role given authority by the group?
It may be they are a confident person with a bit of charisma, thus one who has the ability to demonstrate that they have good ideas. We see this in groups with particular problems; with no formal leader, the leader who emerges is often the person who shows the most knowledge and passion.
They may also simply be impatient for action and convinces others into a particular action. In this case, the group rallies behind the “visionary.” Often the visionary had no solid vision to begin with and just carries the group to failure.
Another possibility is that one of this group recognizes that things can be done in a way to benefit everyone involved. The concern is for the achievement of group goals, including the entire organization.
These leaders aren’t initially noticed, because they are too busy working toward their goals to be distracted by blowing their own horn. Yet they do things that we can see demonstrates their leadership. We will focus on some of these things now.
Leaders who are passionate about their vision make sure everyone in the organization knows what that vision is. They push their vision so to everyone it is not simply a vision but a part of the work environment, so much so it becomes part of the employees and effects how they act. The vision guides the actions of everyone in the organization.
Those leaders know their people well because of the leadership involved in attracting and keeping the right people to get the job done. If the right people are in the job and they are given the resources to get the job done, these workers get out of bed in the morning excited about going to work. Motivation is boiling inside each one of them. They know their jobs, they know what’s expected of them, and they know that they have a responsibility to do the best job possible. One reason that happens is that the individual has been involved in development of their job and their responsibilities for that job.
When leaders have these kinds of employees they are freed up to do the visionary tasks: keeping the goal in sight.
There are some things we can do to develop our own leadership:
1. Keep focused on your organisations primary goal.
2. Don’t just surround yourself with people who agree with you but also the right people for the job and give them the tools to do the job better.
3. Recognize the benefits of having different personalities around you. Different approaches are important to the success of your company’.
4. Having hired the right person, get out of their way and let them do the job. Don’t micro manage them as this wastes your time and they end up doing a worse job trying to follow your solution which they probably don’t fully understand.
5. Make sure things are working as you expect, and that you can make appropriate changes timely. Failure to do this with hasten the failure of your organization.
6. Know when you have overstepped your limitations, Then get help to overcome it.
We all have the capability to be a leader, but we will only become great leaders when we lose our fear of making mistakes and share responsibility for the goals of our organization.