Author: Richard Howard
To provide a basic overview on
• Defining Leadership
• Difference between Management and Leadership
• Leadership Styles
• Leadership Challenges
• How to become an Effective Leader
• Rick’s Key Points on Leadership
At the end of this module you will be able understand the major styles of leadership, and learn the basic principles of becoming an Effective Leader.
The Definition of Leadership
The action of leading a group of people or an organization
Different styles of leadership
1. the action of leading a group of people or an organization.
"different styles of leadership“
2. the state or position of being a leader. "the leadership of the party"
Leadership versus Management
- Focuses on systems and structure
- Relies on control
- Has a short-range view
- Asks how and when
- Has his or her eye always on the bottom line
- Accepts the status quo
- The classic good soldier
- Does things right
- Focuses on people
- Inspires trust
- Has a long-range perspective
- Asks what and why
- Leader’s eye is on the horizon
- Challenges it
- His or her own person
- Does the right thing.
Leadership and management work hand in hand, both are critical to the success of a effective organization. The manager’s job is to plan, organize and coordinate. The leader’s job is to inspire and motivate.
This one-on-one style focuses on developing individuals, showing them how to improve their performance, and helping to connect their goals to the goals of the organization. Coaching works best with employees who show initiative and want more professional development.
This style emphasizes the importance of team work, and creates harmony in a group by connecting people to each other. It's particular valuable when you need to improve team harmony, increase morale, and repair communication or repair broken trust in an organization.
This is the classic model of "military" style leadership – probably the most often used, but the least often effective.
In this style, the leader sets high standards for performance. He or she is obsessive about doing things better and faster, and asks the same of everyone. But Goleman warns this style should be used sparingly, because it can undercut morale and make people feel as if they are failing.
This style draws on people's knowledge and skills, and creates a group commitment to the resulting goals. It works best when the direction the organization should take is unclear, and the leader needs to tap the collective wisdom of the group.
This style is most appropriate when an organization needs a new direction. Its goal is to move people towards a new set of shared dreams.
Dictatorship-"Do what I say"
Mobilizes people towards a vision
Focuses on emotional needs over work needs
Uses participation, listening to both the bad and the good news
Builds challenging and exciting goals for people
Connecting corporate goals whilst helping people find strengths and weakness, linking these to career aspirations and actions
When to use it
In urgency-when time is scare, and in crisis
When a new vision and direction is needed
Best used for healing rifts and getting through stressful situations
To gain valuable input from employees and to gain Buy-in, when there is time to do so
When the team is already highly motivated and competent
Coach, mentor and develop individuals when they need to build longer term strengths
Members can feel stifled as they are treated as workers and not asked for an option
Lacks the ability to help team members understand how they get to a vision or goal
Confrontation and emotionally distressing positions can be avoided
Can be lots of listening but very little effective action
Can lack emotional intelligence
Can come across as micromanaging
Being a leader is in itself a challenge. The challenges of leadership are really of three kinds
1. External Challenges
- Public criticism
Especially uninformed criticism, of your group or mission.
- Flare-ups of others' interpersonal issues
Either within the group or outside it.
Which could be tied to finances, program, politics, public relations (scandals), legal concerns
These are different from crises
- Opposition and/or hostility from powerful forces
Business groups, local government
With another group or organization may call upon a leader to define clearly the boundaries
***How to cope with External Challenges
- Be proactive
Regardless of the situation, it's important for leaders to do something
- Be creative
Try to think "outside the box," i.e. in unexpected but effective ways.
- Face conflict squarely
This doesn't mean come out fighting, but rather identify and acknowledge the conflict, and work to resolve it.
- Always look for common ground
If there's opposition to what you're doing, it may only be to one specific part of it, or may be based on misunderstanding
- Look for opportunities to collaborate
This is important both within and outside your group or organization. Involve as many people as possible in decisions
2. Internal Challenges
Many people feel, at least some of the time, that they're not up to the tasks they face.
Also born of insecurity, defensiveness shows up most often as an inability to take criticism.
- Lack of decisiveness
Sometimes it's hard to make a decision.
- Inability to be direct when there's a problem
Many people want so badly to be liked, or are so afraid of hurting others, that they find it difficult to say anything negative.
- Impatience - with others and with situations
It may seem, given the importance of decisiveness and firmness, that patience is not a virtue a leader needs. In fact, it is perhaps the most important trait to develop.
***How to cope with Internal Challenges
Listen to people's responses to your ideas, plans, and opinions. Listen more than you talk. Listen to a broad range of people, not just to those who agree with you. Probe to find out why they think or feel the way they do. Assume that everyone has something important to say.
- Ask for 360-degree feedback and use it
This is feedback (people's views of you) from everyone around you - staff, volunteers, Board, participants, people from other organizations or groups yours works with - anyone you work with in any way
- Look at what's going on around you
Are you the center of controversy and chaos? Or do calm and good feeling seem to reside wherever you do?
- Reach out for help in facing internal challenges
Most of us find it difficult to change entirely on our own. A psychotherapist, a good friend, a perceptive colleague.
Leadership Role Challenges
- Keeping an eye on, and communicating, the vision
As the guardian of a group's vision, it's up to the leader to remind everyone of what that vision is
- Keeping the everyday under control while you continue to pursue the vision
You can't maintain the vision without making sure that there's paper in the printer, that you understand the legal implications of an action you plan to take, that people know what they're supposed to be doing.
- Setting an example
If you want others in the group to show mutual respect, to work hard, to embrace the vision and mission of the organization, to include everyone in their thinking and decisions, you have to start by doing those things yourself.
- Maintaining effectiveness over time
One of the hardest lessons of leadership is that you're never done. No matter how well things go, no matter how successful your group or organization or initiative is.
- Avoiding burnout
This is a challenge not only for leaders, because a burned out leader can affect the workings of a whole organization. Leader burnout is a product of being overwhelmed by the workload, the frustrations, the stress, and the time demands of the position, multiplied by the number of years spent in it.
- Finding support
Clichés often become clichés because they're true. It is lonely at the top, largely because a good leader tries to make things go smoothly enough that others aren't aware of the amount of work she's doing. The leader may have no one to share her concerns with, and may have to find her own satisfaction, because others don't recognize the amount and nature of her contribution.
Perhaps even more threatening than burnout is "burn-down" - the loss of passion and intensity that can come with familiarity and long service. You may still care about what you're doing, but the enthusiasm just isn't there anymore. In many ways, this condition may be even harder to deal with than burnout. At least if you're burned out, it's obvious: if you're burned down, especially if it's happened over a long period, neither you nor others may have realized it.
***How to cope with Leadership Role challenges
- Create mechanisms to revisit your vision
Hold occasional meetings and at-least-yearly retreats to discuss vision and renew commitment. These will serve both to review the vision to see if it still resonates (and to rework it if necessary), and to renew your and others' purpose and pursuit of it.
- Share the burden
Surround yourself with good people who share your vision. If you can find others who are competent and committed to whom you can delegate some of the tasks of leadership
- Find an individual or group with whom you can discuss the realities of leadership
In many communities, some heads of organizations meet on a regular basis to talk about the difficulties and rewards of their situations with others who truly understand.
- Make sure you have personal time
In order to maintain perspective and to keep yourself fresh, you need to take time away from being a leader, and away from your organization or initiative. It's important to have an activity that gets you away from your daily concerns, and to take days off from time to time. Some people meditate every day, others play music regularly, others participate in sports or fitness activities.
How to become a good leader?
- Be yourself, but be willing to grow
Learning how to be a successful leader involves knowing yourself well first Principles are important.
- Establish goals and commit to your vision
Once you’re in a leadership role, you must decide exactly how you want your group to accomplish your “vision”.
- Know your team and create camaraderie
In addition to providing goals and vision, you will also be in charge of motivation, and you must know how to get what you need from each individual member of your team.
- Communicate: Talk and Listen
It sounds simple and perhaps obvious, but in order to be an effective leader, you must communicate your ideas effectively and also listen to the opinions of your group.
- Evaluate Performances and Appreciate Others’ Work
Look at what you and your group have accomplished, daily, weekly, monthly or whatever time frame makes sense for the activity involved.
Richard’s Key Points on Leadership
- Principles are important
- Being an effective leader is not a popularity contest
- Leadership is both learned and innate
- Know “When” to use “What” Leadership Style
- People will always be your most important Asset, take care of them, be their Advocate
- Sometimes it is in our most difficult situations, when the leadership inside us comes out
Good Leaders never stop learning about how to become Great Leaders
7. One of the greatest challenges of leadership is shouldering the responsibility it confers. Part of that responsibility is the responsibility to deal with those aspects of yourself that can keep you from being an effective leader. That's not easy, but the rewards are great.
8. An important piece of information, one that's often quoted in community work, but which can't be overstated: the Chinese character for "crisis" combines the characters for "danger" and "opportunity."
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