|Fulfillment@Work: BOSS OR LEADER?
May 5, 2002
Welcome to the Fulfillment@Work Newsletter
Published by Joel Garfinkle, Dream Job Coaching
Message from Joel
Are You Fit To Lead? In our last feature article we focused on the ten elements of a great leader. Once you know you are calling the shots, what truly sets apart the mediocre, overbearing boss from a highly respected and effective leader?
Kenneth "Thane" Walker once said, "A manager remains a leader only as long as he keeps proving that he is the superior man with the best method."
In this week's feature article, I will explore the following checkpoints to help today's leaders avoid becoming yesterday's news:
- Sometimes leadership is merely letting people do their jobs.
- Leader's cannot be aloof they must constantly show that they care.
- A good leader keeps the entire team tuned to the fundamentals of success.
- Leadership is getting your employees to compromise for the good of all.
- Leaders must learn to sacrifice for others
1. Boss or Leader?
3. Executive Coaching
4. The Great Question
Boss or Leader?
In our last feature article we focused on the ten elements of a great leader. However, once you know you are leading, how do you avoid developing a so-called "swollen head" that can hinder your ability to maintain your employees respect? Why do so many fast-track executives perish while others flourish?
The American Management Association conducted in-depth interviews with 41 executives and uncovered seven common traits that most often lead leaders to failure:
- Insensitivity to co-workers.
- Aloofness and arrogance.
- Tendency to misuse information conveyed in confidence.
- Inability to control ambition.
- Inability to delegate assignments or promote teamwork.
- Inability to staff effectively.
- Inability to think strategically.
So how can those who lead maintain the difficult balance of managing the affairs of the company while maintaining the loyalty of their employees? What truly sets apart the mediocre, overbearing boss from a highly respected and effective leader? The answer is leaders lead people.
A leader represents one whom others consistently follow. Thus it stands to reason that people follow because they have a belief in the direction, integrity, and competence of the one leading.
As Kenneth "Thane" Walker once said, "A manager remains a leader only as long as he keeps proving that he is the superior man with the best method." Speaking of methods, here are five sure-fire checkpoints to help today's leaders avoid becoming yesterday's news:
- Sometimes leadership is merely letting people do their jobs. Willie Shoemaker, one of the best jockeys of all time, said that he kept the lightest touch on the horse's reins: "The horse never knows I'm there until he needs me." Or as management consultant Garry Jenkins puts it more bluntly, "The leader's role is to create a vision, not kick somebody in the ass."
- Leader's cannot be aloof; they must constantly show that they care. People leave or love their jobs for a number of reasons. Ask yourself the following questions. How important are your employees in their work? What have you as a leader done to show your employees how important they are? When was the last time you made it possible for people to proud of their achievements? How often do you celebrate successes? Chances are your answers to these few simple questions will closely reflect your employee retention rate.
- A good leader keeps the entire team tuned to the fundamentals of success. Frank Leahy, the legendary Notre Dame football coach, always stressed fundamentals. After an especially bad game, he sat his team down in the locker room, picked up an object and said to his players, "All right men, let's return to the fundamentals. This is a football." To which one of his lineman taking notes in the back of the room replied, "Wait a minute, Coach. Not so fast."
- Leadership is getting your employees to compromise for the good of all. When Columbus was searching for the New World, his crew became discouraged and demanded that he turn back. So Columbus obliged to compromise with them, promising that if they would be patient and faithful just three days longer, he would abandon the enterprise, unless land should be discovered. Before the three days expired, land appeared and the rest is history.
- Leaders must learn to sacrifice for others. Take the example of Alexander The Great, who over 300 years ago led his troops across a hot and desolate plain. After eleven days out, he and all his soldiers we're nearly dead from thirst. Alexander pressed on. At midday, two scouts brought him what little water they had which barely filled his cup. Alexander's troops stood back and watched as he poured the water into the hot sand proclaiming, "It's no use for one to drink when many thirst." Being a leader, Alexander gave his followers the only thing he had: inspiration. Remember, the influences of a leader last long after their gone or as Walter Lippmann said, "The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on."
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~ Joel Garfinkle
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Quotes of the week
"There are no bad soldiers, only bad officers."
"Leaders aren't born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that's the price we'll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal."
~ Vince Lombardi
"The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority."
~ Kenneth Blanchard
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