If there is great success the credit is given to the leader. Likewise, if there is a problem, or worse, a disaster the leader is blamed. Harry Truman had a sign on his desk that said, “The Buck Stops Here.” Leaders set the tone, and direction, and mode the behaviors. They lead by example. Positive results are the result of positive leaders. Show me an organization that functions very well, and I can show you a positive engaged leader. I recently asked a group of employees what was wrong with their company. They replied, “We need positive leadership. We need leadership with people skills.”
It is important to have the management skills for a job but there are many smart managers who fail. In most cases it is the lack of interpersonal skills, empathy, emotional intelligence, and leadership worth following.
Let’s start with you and your personal leadership. Ask yourself these questions:
- Am I the best I can be?
- Am I goal directed and do I provide goal-directed leadership to my employees?
- Do I lead by example?
- Am I motivating my people?
- Do I invest my time in the right things?
- Do I create a culture of accountability?
Those who have studied management know that the five functions of management are planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling. But the manager, to be successful, must also be a leader. The title of manager is something the organization conveys on you or you call yourself owner or manager if you are in your own business. However, a leader is not given his or her power by the organization but rather by the people that are led.
To have an effective organization or team you must have an effective leader. An effective leader achieves results THROUGH people and WITH people. The leader empowers people. To effectively achieve results through people you must communicate, interact, create, and achieve goals, establish an environment of accountability, reflect vision, and establish an atmosphere where people can get motivated.
When you lead by example you create an atmosphere where people are inspired to apply organizational values and develop their shared values. This creates a sense of ownership and belonging. Further results include the establishment of strong self-discipline, respect for others and strengthened relationships, and greater work life balance. Our behavior creates the results, and as leaders, our behavior creates the results we achieve through people.
Become the most effective leader you can be by assessing yourself and looking within for the changes that may need to happen to achieve that goal. Here is my challenge to you: If you don’t get the results you desire, as a leader it is your leadership behavior that requires change. Look at your leadership. Learn to change. Start your journey in leadership and remember that it is a continuing journey and not a destination.
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