Is Effective Leadership missing in the Equation?
I was reading an article this morning from Harvard Business School called American Idle: Workers Spend Too Much Time Waiting for Something to Do. It was cute, to the point, but had one thing I thought that was missing. Effective leadership was missing from the equation.
Effective leadership was missing from the equation
This is the type of topic that authors write about. You find one disgruntled employee who had a manager or supervisor who turned out to be the devil him or herself, and you have a story. How that story is spun will determine the type of outcome you will have. I know the problem, I want the solution. Are you that type of leader? Are you tough enough to tell the old devil where to go?
Leadership verbiage is probably way overused by many. Leadership has to deal with taking a lead role in a project or endeavor. Leadership is not teaching someone how to fill out routine reports or turn on a computer, that’s training or guidance. It’s not leading a meeting where all you do is discuss the same thing over and over again – that’s training. It’s not filling out the same forms or collecting samples, or even answering the phones. Leadership is working with a group of people to see a project or endeavor through to the goals end. You work with everyone.
Leadership is working with a group of people to see a project or endeavor through to the goals end.
While your manager/supervisor may know the job well, they may not have the people skills necessary to motivate their staff. They often get by with either a micro-managing style and/or have a laissez-faire attitude toward others. That is not leadership.
To avoid ending up with a culture of micromanaging employees trying to scrape together work from the bottom of the barrel, keep your communications open and active. Be active, and help your employees develop their own work ethic – by modeling those same good ethics you want to see. Show them a leader they can work beside. Notice that I didn’t say follow – I said, work beside.
Show them a leader they can work beside
Outcomes are what matters to the client or your future prospects. As long as you are meeting their goals, they’re happy. Are you also happy? What about your employees?
Leadership, management, community outreach, research, training, they all mean very different things to different people. What I know, is that you need to be able to show your work. In any working relationship, you should be able to reflect on your leadership skills and provide guidance in the direction you want your team to go. Some examples:
1. Show me your teamwork, and how you manage challenges together
2. Show me leadership that moves others into motion
3. Tell me how you perform community outreach
4. Show me how you motivate your employees to increase productivity
5. While doing research did you actively engage in experimentation that provided you and your team with factual data that could be useful to your organization or business? What was your teams feedback?
6. Training usually has some long-term benefit, plus you provide your team with material or backup data. Where do you store your assessment data? How does your team use that data?
7. Do your employees enjoying engaging with you?
Leaders know that we can’t all be managers or supervisors. You have to be able to delegate and let go of some of the controls in order for your vision to manifest itself. Nor can we thrive in a constant environment without some form of monetary benefit keeping us afloat. We need to learn to pace ourselves – and offer others the same pace. Different jobs/tasks require different paces.
As stated above: Leadership has to deal with taking a lead role in a project or endeavor.
Leadership is more about directing others and assuming a role of authority and taking responsibility for that position. When you do community outreach, that generally entails that you have many contacts and work through those contacts to form some sort of alliance that has a similar goal. It is a bringing together of large circles of people, employees, businesses, and community leaders for the common good or goal.
You have a completely different ideology about what constitutes leadership skills. For instance, I have an aversion to those who claim certain skill sets that are not unique to them. On-the-other-hand, I enjoy those professionals who are willing to discuss even the more basic skills they possess. Basically, unless I know you personally, the only thing I can pretty much assume is that you can type, talk, or maybe turn a wrench. I can probably glean a fair amount of information from your writings, but there has to be more. Details tend to matter, so those basic skills might just be the ticket.
I am a professional who looks for those out of the ordinary individuals who just want to work. Individuals who want to be a part of the team. They feel good about accomplishing something, and being a part of something more.
If you know the problem, focus instead on a solution. Lead by example.
The “As Usual” series
Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.