Monday, July 6, 2015

Print This One Out and Circulate It. Leadership Reading Suggested By My Son.

It begins with the excellent question: "Why Should Anyone Be Led by You?"
Matthew sends this with these comments: "This is definitely worth the look. . . I keep getting hip to these great reads and mixed media samples of management nuggets that can be easily applied to a small group leadership seminar reading list. . . It sounds like you have a bunch of guys who have elements of leadership but need a bigger picture. Leaders never being born but made."
We’ve discovered that inspirational leaders also share four unexpected qualities:
They selectively show their weaknesses. By exposing some vulnerability, they reveal their approachability and humanity.
They rely heavily on intuition to gauge the appropriate timing and course of their actions. Their ability to collect and interpret soft data helps them know just when and how to act.
They manage employees with something we call tough empathy. Inspirational leaders empathize passionately — and realistically — with people, and they care intensely about the work employees do.
They reveal their differences. They capitalize on what’s unique about themselves. You may find yourself in a top position without these qualities, but few people will want to be led by you.


Anonymous said...

The best leader expects none to follow behind, especially by ordered direction. Instead, the best leader goes a certain direction, because he understands its the right and proper direction, while others, who also choose to walk that same path by their own volition, travel shoulder to shoulder beside him.

Chiu ChunLing said...

A reasonable enough statement. Leadership is, after all, fundamentally about the willingness to step forward without worrying about whether anyone else is following. A person who constantly checks over their shoulder to make sure they are at the front of a crowd isn't a leader at all, just a follower trying to hide the fact.

As for the four criteria listed, a few of them are misidentified. Showing vulnerability doesn't really make a leader more effective, it is rather that attempting to hide weaknesses marks one as a poser and saps genuine authority. The same is true of failing to acknowledge real differences. If you are really the epitome of the group that follows you, then pretending to be 'different' would only undermine their trust in your honesty.

Being honest about reasons that people might not want to follow you is an essential characteristic of leadership because nobody wants to follow someone who is trying to be 'the leader' by anticipating the direction everyone else is moving rather than choosing a path that seems right regardless of who else is following.

Naturally, having a keen sense of appropriate direction and a firm determination to achieve objectives are hallmarks of genuine leadership. Perhaps the most significant characteristic of genuine leadership is the ability to recognize when someone else is either further advanced down the desired course or more capable of performing some task necessary to the short, being willing to be a supportive follower whenever appropriate.

It could also be called 'setting an example' by yourself doing what you believe others should be doing.