Thursday, July 19, 2012

Leading Right

I came across an interesting article which speaks of the gist of leadership. Take a five to read this:
One of the many things I’ve learned over the years is that most leadership “wounds” (problems) are self-inflicted. After all, supervisors are human … they aren’t perfect … sometimes they shoot themselves in the feet. And of all the mistakes we can make, two stand out as the most common and the most problematic.

The first mistake is relying almost entirely on authority and control to get the job done – telling employees what to do and looking over their shoulders to make sure they do it. Described conversationally, it’s “I talk, you listen … I direct, and you comply. “Described attitudinally, it’s I’m the boss. No matter how you describe it, IT’S A PROBLEM! Why? Because most employees don’t like being bossed around. They resent it and they resent you for doing it. Worse yet, authoritarian approaches typically stifle team member initiative, creativity, commitment, and satisfaction. Eventually, employees turn off. Some quit and leave … others quit and stay. Either way, you’re toast!

The second supervisory mistake is the opposite extreme of the first – being (or trying to be) “one of the guys or gals” and then trading on friendship in order to get the job done. What’s wrong with that? Lots of things – including the increased potential for favoritism and loss of objectivity when dealing with issues and problems. Then, there’s the blurring of your role and authority – which leaves team members with the task of figuring out which “hat” (friend or supervisor) you’re wearing at any given moment. Finally, there’s the reality that it’s just plain tough to manage your buddies. Too often you end up having to choose between doing your job and keeping a friend. Either way, you lose!

So, here’s the deal in a nutshell: Your people don’t want a “boss” and they undoubtedly have more than enough friends. If you’re looking to get the most and best from your group, don’t be a dictator or a chum, be a LEADER – someone who motivates, inspires, and models top-notch performance and conduct.

Does that mean you should give assignments or hold people accountable for their performance and results? No, it doesn’t. Does it mean you can’t have positive and friendly relationships with the members of your team? No, again. What it means is that your primary mission is enabling and empowering your people to succeed.

Lead well ... LEAD RIGHT,

No comments: