Friday, September 11, 2009

Things You Should Know About Successful Leaders

Since leadership involves the exercise of power, it is easily corrupted, knowing human nature as we do.

  • A leader whose exercise of power causes fear in his subordinates will succeed in killing all individual initiatives in the organization that he heads. Nobody will dare contradict his views for fear of been punished or loosing his job. Such a leader alone will make all the decisions, and when he is wrong, will take the entire organization down with him.

  • On the other hand, a leader whose exercise of power leaves the unmistakable impression of genuinely wanting to be helpful will encourage individual initiatives in his organization. And although he will receive thousands of ideas and suggestions from his subordinates – some of which may not make sense at all – he will certainly find some that will improve the quality of his decisions.

  • Here we see two different approaches to the exercise of power and leadership. The guy in the pin-stripe suit, and the one with the dog collar are not the only leaders. What’s more their view of life, their definitions and their list of priorities are not the only way to lead.

  • Take your teachers; the ones who made you tuck your shirt in, do your tie up, remove your make up, ear rings, and often your smile.

  • Take your parents; doing their best as the leaders of your home and your childhood; using what they had and what they knew to bring you up with good morals and good values so you would be an acceptable member of society.

  • Take your peers: the leaders, the tall kids in the playground who developed first and got all the attention from the opposite sex. The first guy to have a car, the first one to leave and got a job, and rose rapidly through the corporate ranks into leadership positions.

  • In forming our own perception on what leadership is all about, we are often tempted to accept the ready made standard of leadership based on what the business experts think. Too often we gravitate toward the type of leadership skills that leads to the accumulation of material things.

  • Are you a leader who seeks inclusion and participation of all members of your organization when formulating your decisions? Are you a leader whose subordinates do not hesitate to come to with their problems? Are you a leader who uses persuasion instead of punishment to drive the implementation of your decisions?

  • Perhaps the standard of leadership of a person who walks her dog, chatting with the mums and kids on their way to the school bus, or the parent who handles the tantrum of a child with gentle persuasion, or the leader who helps you settle into a community by throwing a party for you, or the leader who helps an elderly person to cross the street, are the types of leaders we might want to consider being.

Real leadership is about creating a space for people to freely express themselves, and to give recognition to those whose ideas and suggestions have made a difference in the operation of the organization. Real leadership is about finding, defining and using your God given gifts in ways that changes, enhances and make better the lives of people affected by your decisions.

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