ONE: THE ARENAS: There are three distinct “arenas” in which I can develop my leadership skills: Individual Leadership, Team Leadership, and Organization Leadership. Each arena presents a distinct leadership challenge and so requires a distinct set of leadership skills and tools.
TWO: INDIVIDUAL LEADERSHIP: If I were to become your new supervisor you would allow me to manage you right away because management is a role. I set goals, coordinate actions, allocate resources etc. Management is given. Leadership must be earned. Before you will be willing to follow me I have to establish a relationship with you. There are a number of steps I can take to establish this relationship:
1. I must CARE about you. I might not particularly LIKE you (not possible to like everyone), but I must care about you. I must care about your career, about how you are getting along with your coworkers, your family situation if applicable etc. And I cannot fake it. You will know very quickly if I genuinely care about you.
“I don’t have to like my players, but I have to love them.” - Vince Lombardi
2. I must RESPECT you, regardless of my assessment of your competency. There is a book with a great title: “Contact the First Three Minutes.” Isn’t it true we tend to assess another with so little information? Respect comes from the Latin: RE – again. PECT – look. Respect is to look again….and again at an individual and know you will never know the whole story.
“I may forget what you said.
I may forget what you did
But I will never forget the way you made me feel”
3. I must LISTEN. I must listen to your words, your emotions and your non- verbals. I may not agree but I must use my two ears instead of my one mouth.
4. I must recognize and acknowledge your TALENTS. We each have a unique set of innate talents. We can each do a few things better than most.
“If at first you don’t succeed, try once again. Then quit. No sense making a fool of yourself”
Only then will we be able to develop this dance we call leadership.
THREE: TEAM LEADERSHIP: Teams cannot be larger than seven. They break down after that. Teams must be able to talk about their PROCESS as a team: who is delivering and who is not; how we are communicating; how we make decisions, how our roles are defined; how we resolve conflicts. This must be done AS A TEAM in front of everyone.
FOUR: ORGANIZATION LEADERSHIP: No one is in charge of a large complex system. By it’s nature it is out of control. So YOU take charge. You do this by developing your own network. Work every room you enter. Find out who does what. So when one of your people has a problem, you know who to call,,,,,,,,and that person has MET you. In addition do people favors when you can: help them. So now when you know who to call, they remember you and they OWE you. Simple sound Social Exchange Theory. It works.
FIVE: LASTLY LEADING SELF IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ARENA. Find your PASSION and deliver it. Develop your own sense of CENTER. COMMAND your verbals, non verbals and tone of voice so they are consistent and send the message you want to send. Walk your talk. NEVER fail to do what you say you will do.