Wednesday, July 3, 2013

10 Ways To Make a Difference in Leadership

Leadership lesson today is come from John Mariotti. He will tell us 10 ways that leadership makes the difference. It's a very good lesson to be added to our knowledge. Let's start learning. Enjoy :) 

Ten Ways That Leadership Makes The Difference

Nothing matters more than leadership, whether it is in business, government or life.  Leaders see the vision, chart the path and inspire others to follow them to success.  I have often said, “Leadership potential in a person is like beauty, it’s hard to describe, but you know it when you see it.”  This might explain why some people seem to find leading roles in every organization they join.  It just comes naturally.  Then there are those who want desperately to be leaders, but the harder they try, the less accepted their leadership becomes.

1.  Thus the first lesson is, beware of a leader who relies on style and oratory, and doesn’t back it up with character, substance and integrity.  Grand presentations and great oratory may be impressive, but results are what matters, and those require more than glib delivery and well-rehearsed style.  Words matter, but actions, results and character matter more.

2.  Leadership skills grow with experience.  Leaders who are short on experience make foolish mistakes that undermine their credibility.  People who work with them notice this and quietly question the leader’s right to lead.  Inexperienced leaders also make a common mistake of “throwing money at problems.” They think they can “buy their way to success” when they don’t know what else to do.  Thus they are often unable to choose between good (wise) investments with good likely returns and the bad ones, which are simple wasteful or excessive spending.

4.  There is a big difference between leadership and management—which is not always well understood. Management skills are almost always present in good leaders.  The opposite is not always true.  The simplest example is an excursion.  The manager makes sure details are attended to: provisions, routes, transportation plans.  The leader makes sure the people want to go, will follow wherever they go, and stick together along the way.   That’s a very big difference.

5.  Weak leaders often resort to ordering or directing people on what to do, using the power of their position.  Strong leaders build consensus, collaboration, and cooperation—not simply compliance.   People choose to follow if the leader “walks his/her talk”—e.g., does what s/he says.  If the leader fails to “walk the talk,” the followers soon lose faith, and doubt the leader.

(An even worse case is when the leader practices “two-faced talk,” saying one thing and doing something entirely different.  That kind of hypocrisy is a failure of integrity.)

6.  Leaders must earn (and deserve) the right to lead, and not rely on having it “bestowed on them.”  The great leaders take charge, get results, and take less than their share of the credit (for success) and more than their share of the blame (for failure).  Great leaders are accountable and take responsibility for the consequences of their actions.  Weak leaders do not.

7.  Weak leaders whine, complain and blame others for their failures.  This is a dead giveaway of a leader who is long on style and short on substance—and integrity.  The best leaders have long been found to be “servant leaders,” people who realize that they actually enable the success of others—of those they lead—based on plans they have developed together.

8.  There is little room for a too-big ego and narcissism in a leader’s makeup. A strong leader neither pretends to be, nor needs to be the “smartest person in the room.”  That kind of leader demotivates followers.  A truly effective leader encourages the ideas and input of followers, listens to them and then includes their input in the decisions about what to do, and how.  Only an ego-driven narcissist (or an insecure leader) insists that his/her ideas be the basis of all decisions.

9.  In the ultimate act of desperation, the failed leader tries to practice “victory by definition.”  This is a form of denial (or delusion) that portrays a failure as success by redefining the measures—after outcomes are known. This is a devastating mistake, since reality ultimately defines success or failure—and not some contrived set of distorted metrics.

10.  A common myth, perpetrated over the past few decades is that great leaders are (or must be) “charismatic.” They may be—or may not.  Jim Collins, the best selling author of Good to Great studied this premise extensively.  Many of the best leaders in his studies were self-effacing, modest people of great substance, achievement—and earned-respect.  Collins conclusions were that while “charisma” helped inspire people temporarily, character, experience, behavior, skills and personal attributes—most of all integrity—were far more important.

There you have it.  Ten ways that leadership can be recognized and how each of them leads to success.  No matter how many more ways you look at it, in business, in government, and in life, leadership makes all the difference—it always has, and it always will.

Source : John Mariotti Via Forbes
John Mariotti is an internationally known executive and an award-winning author.