Everyone Should Be a Leader

While we usually think of the leaders in an organization as being “at the top,” no great organization would be what it is without leaders at every level. Whether it’s a mail clerk expediting the delivery of a letter he recognizes as important or a VP going the extra mile to close the next big deal, leadership is important at all levels of an organization.

Being a leader comes down to wanting to make the world a better place, believes Helen Handfield-Jones, independent consultant on leadership and author of The War for Talent. “What does that mean? That sounds grand, but when people apply that idea to their work situations, it means having a vision of how your unit, or you as an individual, can be more effective and creative, go beyond day-to-day requirements, and energize others around that vision.”

The idea that a single, super-talented personality will guide and foster growth in an organization with out the help of others has been idealized in first-world cultures, but is not very realistic.

While it is true that such an outstanding personality can bring a lot to an organization no organization can thrive without team members from the bottom up who are willing to set the example and make it their mission to go beyond the base requirements of their office.

Why Everyone in an Enterprise Can — and Should — Be a Leader

5 Tips For Self-Improvement That Will Make Anyone a Better Person

Since we are all leaders in some small capacity, whether it is as a member of a family, a community sports team or in our career or other social relationships. Trying to improve our leadership skills will, generally speaking, make us all better people.

It only makes sense we would all want to become better people. And even if one were the type to step out of the way and let someone else lead, these skills will still make you a more valued member of any team.

Consider these five tips for how to improve your leadership skills so to become a better leader and think about ways that you can implement these strategies in your daily life at work.

1. Have a clear vision
Make it a point, in clear simple statements, what your goal is as a team. A family motto or an encouraging chant for your community softball team can be a good way to vocalize and remind each other periodically what the goal is. It is also important to explain why the goals are important and to ask for feedback. As a team member it is important to be both supportive, but critical. Actively help the team develop the vision.

2. Know and utilize your strengths and gifts.
You have unique gifts and natural leadership skills that you were born with and personal strengths you’ve developed over your lifetime. Realizing and utilizing these gifts and strengths will assist you in being a formidable leader. Make sure to ask your team members what they think there strengths are and give them opportunities to utilize their talent. As a team member, if you feel your strengths aren’t being utilized, speak up!

3. Be Passionate
Find a way to appropriately express you enthusiasm. Great leaders are not just focused on getting group members to finish tasks; they have a genuine passion and enthusiasm for the projects they work on. Let people know that you care about their progress. When one person shares something with the rest of the group, be sure to tell them how much you appreciate such contributions.

4. Live in accordance with your morals and values.
Integrity is important. Don’t ask your team members to do something you wouldn’t do yourself. Be the same person in your public and private life. making choices and taking actions aligned with your morals and values helps you succeed almost effortlessly as key leadership skills. People sense integrity and will naturally respect your opinion and leadership.

5. Serve as a role model
The best leaders walk the walk and talk the talk. As a result, group members admire these leaders and work to emulate these behaviors. If you want to become a better leader, work on modeling the qualities that you would like to see in your team members.

Jody Victor: Alternatives to Directive Leadership

In most cultures today directive or autocratic leadership is considered to be outdated. Directive or autocratic leaders tell subordinates what to do and how to do it and the subordinates are valued for their ability to do things as they are are told to do them.

One issue with this style of leadership is that it is unlikely to maximize the perspectives and talents of each employee or team member. There are several other fairly distinct style of leadership that modern leaders are employing, however.

Consultative leaders seek and value the council of their entire team. While this type of leader is usually still task oriented, by including everyone’s ideas the team has the biggest pool of solutions to choose from when problem solving. A consultative leader is still directive in that they will make a final decisions and therefor stand apart from the team. A good example of this style is a baseball coach consulting with the pitcher and catcher about strategy.

The consultative leader might take their style a step further by becoming a participative leader and put himself on more even ground with his team by working in the group. Participative leaders will still need to be directive at times by moderating the conversation or setting down timelines for decision making. However, final decisions are owned by the group, not by the leader alone.

At the other end of the spectrum from the participative leader, the delegative steps back and allows the team autonomy. Again, this type of leader may to be directive when it comes to logistics, but will be a hands-off mentor figure to the group. Decision making may be owned completely by the team in this type of relationship.

Finally, there are negotiative leaders. This style involves offering incentives to entice his followers towards success. This type of leader is often fairly directive and values his own decision making as a leader. Unlike a fully directive leader, a negotiator often values ends over means, allowing individuals and teams room to try their own ideas. There is a long standing tradition of this style in sales in which sales people or teams receive commissions on sales.

Whatever alternative leadership style one adopts it will be necessary at times for a leader to step in and make some directive decisions, however choosing one of these alternative styles will allow a leader to get the most out of their team.

http://www.leadershipgeeks.com/directive-leadership/