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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

20th Century Leaders


The Future Leaders


Why life skills is incomplete without leadership.


Leadership is no longer about
position – but passion.
It’s no longer about image
but impact

Leadership skills have now been universally recognised as a key ingredient – some would say the key ingredient – in management. A good manager is now by definition a leader. Equally, a good leader will also be a manager. But how do you become such a leader ? Is it possible to develop your own abilities as a leader ?  Let me answer that last question with a resounding YES.

One word of caution – nobody can teach you leadership. It is something you have to learn. You learn principally from experience. But experience or practice has to be illuminated by principles or ideas. It is when the sparks jump between the two that learning happens.

People often debate the differences and similarities of leadership and management. But the majority of practical people are interested primarily in what they have to do, and not whether it should be labelled ‘leadership’ or ‘management’ or both. As a Chinese proverb says, ‘What does it matter if a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice ?’

Leadership is about seeing
the best in people
who’ve never seen
the best in themselves

Leadership success starts with authenticity. That means doing our jobs without compromising our values and personality. It means staying humble even when we succeed. People trust us when we are true to ourselves – and that trust makes it possible to get things done.


Setting the Example

Setting the example is probably the most important leadership skill. It is the most effective way to show others the proper way to conduct themselves, and is even more effective than verbal communication. Without this skill, all the other skills will be useless. One way to think about setting the example is to imagine yourself as part of a group and think about how you would like your leader to act.

Aristotle to Alexander the Great (336 to 323 B.C.) : Never ask a soldier to do something you wouldn't do yourself.

They say that communication is the life blood of an organisation, likewise leadership is the backbone. In the global competitive world companies sink or swim based on Leadership (Business continuity). Leadership is the key for success and growth. The truth is that no one factor makes a company admirable, but if you were forced to pick the one that makes the most difference, you'd pick Leadership. 

Leadership is one of the key soft skills along with communication, creativity, learning and teamwork. 

Managers and CEOs are necessary in making critical difference in a company’s success. They contribute to leading people in an effective manner. The term “people” includes yourself as well as your teams. Leadership involves managing conflicts, interviewing and selecting prospective team members, delegating responsibility and authority, coaching, networking, and developing others.


What Are Leadership Skills ?

When we talk about leadership skills, what exactly do we mean ? Leadership skills are the tools, behaviours, and capabilities that a person needs in order to be successful at motivating and directing others. Yet true leadership skills involve something more – the ability to help people grow in their own abilities. It can be said that the most successful leaders are those that drive others to achieve their own success.

A Born Leader ?

You’ve certainly heard the phrase. Who do you think of when you hear it ? Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, or other world-famous leaders in history ? Or perhaps there are leaders in your own life that have had a positive impact on you. What skills did all of these people have that made them effective leaders ? 

Here are a few :

Committed to a Vision / Mission

Understands His / Her Role

Demonstrates Integrity

Sets an Example

Understands How to Motivate the Behaviour of Others

Communicates Effectively

Willing to Take Risks

Good at Problem-Solving

Whereas many leaders may be so committed to a vision that they naturally find ways to pull others along with them, most of us cannot claim to have been born with that level of leadership ability. We certainly may have grown over time and learned many effective skills by experience. 


You don’t have to be born with leadership skills. They can be learned.

No one is a born leader – everyone can develop leadership skills and everyone can benefit from using them.

First, take time to honestly analyse yourself. (Self analysis)

Learn to understand yourself. It’s the first step to understanding others. (Know yourself to know others)

Question yourself : Consider these important questions :

What kind of leader am I ? One who helps solve problems ? A leader who helps people get along ? How do others see me as a leader ?

What are my goals, purposes, and expectations in working with this particular group ?

Identify areas for improvement.



Then – after analysing your strengths and weaknesses – work on areas of improvement.

Here are a few strategies to consider :

Whether you are faced with a decision to make or a conflict to resolve, following a logical approach will help. Solve problem in a step-by-step way

Take the initiative. Set an example. Accept responsibility for getting things done

Put your knowledge and understanding of each group member to work. Treat others as individuals

Everyone has different abilities, wants, needs, and purpose in life. To get along with others and get results, you need to get to know them. Get to know the people around you

Remind everyone, the group’s purposes from time to time. Keep everyone working toward agreed upon goals

Friendliness, Understanding, Fairness, Integrity, encourage enthusiasm and a sense of belonging

Most importantly listen actively and communicate effectively

Think big.
Start small.
Begin now.


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Video
Developing effective leadership skills
Courtesy Accenture


video

Keywords: Leader, Leadership, Future Leaders, Effective Leadership, Visionary Leadership, Great Leaders