Are you in a leadership position? Do you “lead” leaders? If so, you should know what leadership qualities are important to you. People are often placed in leadership roles with little support. This is a formula for failure.
What Makes a Good Leader?
There seems to be some confusion between leadership and management. I could be trite and list the definitions of both, but you can do that as well as I can. For me, the difference is simple. You manage projects, and lead people. I just had lunch with a young employee who, filling a void in a department, has assumed a leadership role. Although he’s been given approval to train, critique, and plan – he hasn’t been given a title or formally introduced as a manager. He doesn’t need it. He already is a leader. Before he was given approval, he was already helping everyone in the department. He’s always willing to help, he is never self-serving, and those he works with know he has their best interest at heart. He is a leader – he doesn’t need the title.
How Do You Identify Leaders?
In a recent discussion on Facebook, I discovered people had various perceptions of leadership. Leadership has become synonymous with “good” leadership, but that’s not the true meaning of leadership. Leadership can be poor, ineffective, and sometimes evil (you can think of plenty of examples), but bad leadership is still leadership. If we define leadership only as good leadership we may be ignoring opportunities. If we accept that someone can be in a leadership position, and not be a good leader, we can pursue the possibility that his or her leadership skills may be improved. If they have the potential to improve – a plan to help them can be initiated. If we only look for “good” leaders, where are they found? They’re usually not “found” — they’re developed. And there’s the crux – don’t limit yourself by looking for only good leaders to run your organization – develop them.
How Do You Train Leaders?
Create a formalized leadership development program that covers policies, procedures, and more importantly, people skills. This may be easier than you think. There are plenty of free sources available such as managementhelp.org. At TKO, we conduct three 30-minute leadership development classes per week. Leaders lead people. People enjoy being led by leaders who serve. This makes a happier workplace, and happy employees are more productive employees. Lead the way…