Leadership traits are the characteristics that leaders possess that enable them to lead effectively. I’m going to run down 20 of the traits I believe are most important, it’ll be interesting to see how many you feel you already have, and which ones you’re still working on. Leave a comment below to let me know.
The Top Leadership Traits
20. Patience – A good leader needs to show their employees that they’re willing to give them as much time as necessary to see them perform. A manager who roughly attaches arbitary deadlines onto tasks and aggressively chases employees up will only antognise and stress their workforce. Good leadership management is about waiting as well as acting.
19. Continuous Development – Smart people have always sought out useful leadership books and learning material that will help them along the path to happiness and leadership. Most these days tend to be rather disappointing, but one brilliant idea that has recently captured my attention is The Ultimate Leadership Guide which contains all the core teachings of 30 top leadership books, which is simply an essential ‘crash course’ in the principles you need to know to further your career and even find happiness in other areas of your life!
18. Graft – A brilliant leadership trait is the trait of grafting. There’s a simple rule that most good leaders follow – always do the nastiest job yourself. While being able to delegate dire tasks to others is one of the perks of management, t is important that employees never actually question your dedication to work hard. By simply doing the famously nasty job yourself each year, your staff will never have a doubt over whether it’s fair you have the ability to delegate menial work.
17. Fairness/Equity - Fairness is one of the key criteria by which employees measure their superiors.Quite simply, if you don’t behave in an equitable manner at all times, you will lead no more than a rabble of reluctant workers, and will never gain their respect. Fairness is one of Herzberg’s ‘hygeine’ factors from his popular leadership theory. This means that if you are fair, employees will not be inherently motivated, but merely content. If however you act unfairly and break the rules, employees will be demotivated. Very little upside if you possess this trait but large potential negative effects on motivation if you lack it. Its a tough world, but the message is clear.
16. Modesty - An important note to remember is that in every team you lead, some will be envious of your job or position. These people are also often the most active, amibitious and productive members of the group, so it’s extremely important that you keep them onside. By being modest and humble, you minimise the potential for jealousy within the team, and inspire warmth and affection instead.
15. Appreciates Quality - Simple put, a good leader recognises that quality is the most important gauge of the work done. Always. A culture that cares little for quality will demotivate employees and reduce job satisfaction. Staff must be able to feel good about their work and their skills.
14. Sense of Humour - A practical reality for most leaders is that you’ll spend an awful lot of time in meetings or speaking in public. A good sense of humour helps to put across the message you want to convey more effectively and help smooth over awkward or tense moments in board meetings etc.
13. Wide Outlook – A good leadership trait is to be able to take a step back and take a look at the big picture. This is really one the main purpose of a leader, but so many managers instead choose to get bogged down in small decisions that should really be taken care of by someone else. While everyone is cleaning the deck and preparing the sails, somebody has to be looking where the ship is going.
12. Adaptability and Flexibility - A clear fact in life is that many things you enjoy will change, and many things you despise will quickly improve. As a leader, you must be able to cope with negative change, and also be able to quickly grab opportunities as soon as they appear. Less hesitation, and more asking the question “Ok, so how can I make the best of this situation”.
11. Human Understanding – A leader that can understand their employees and really be able to emphasis with the workforce or team as a whole will ultimately be a far more effective leader. Only by being able to put yourself in the shoes of your employees will you be able to make decisions that will enthuse and motivate your staff.
10. Clarity - Job roles and positions within companies can sometimes be at best – a complete mess. Business leadership is about separately and clearly identifying those roles and responsibilities and ensure that everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing.
9. Charisma – The skill of oratory has been perfectly demonstrated recently by Barrack Obama’s surge in popularity en route to the white house, and his continued popularity now that he has gained office. The ability to speak confidently and with meaning is a rare one, and carries much merit for those few who posess it. Increased influence and persuasion is just one of the positive benefits of being a leader with charisma.
8. Ability to Delegate – As I mentioned earlier, delegation is one of the perks of being promoted to a leadership position. Why is it then that so many leaders fail to delegate enough? Why do they continue to ‘meddle’ in small, trivial matters, and refuse to give subordinates the real responsibility and confidence to be able to make their own decisions? The answer is because it’s alot harder than you’d think to be able to properly delegate control to someone else. Especially the control over a job you’ve been doing yourself for many years. By undermining your subordinate’s ability to make decisions independently, you’re being a poor leader. That’s why the ability to delegate is one of my top 20 traits.
7. Calmness – Calmness is a leadership trait that again we could do with learning from President Obama. One of the most common pieces of praise I hear from President Obama is how he has stayed so calm under pressure. With the recession, middle east conflict and recent fiascos such as Swine Flu, Piracy and torture memos – it has sincerely impressed many that this man has been able to keep his composure and present a solid front. Any leader that can achieve this will instantly earn respect.
6. Ability to Listen – The fantastic leaders thorough history were also good listeners. Drawing upon the expertise and ideas of all those around you will improve your decision making. It follows that leaders who listen well simply make better decisions.
5. Confidence – Confidence flows through a team just like cheerfulness or a hardworking attitude. If the leader shows hesistation, self-doubt, or a lack of amibition, it will infect the rest of the team. Enthusiastically following an unconfident will really test employees attitude, and this is something you don’t want to be doing. You want to make it as easy as possible for people to enthusiastically follow your lead.
4. Consistency – This is a similar point to fairness. If you fail to be consistent with your attitude, decisions or behaviour, you will be causing unrest in your team.
3. Approachability & Friendliness – While many managers dream of being a superior and ‘feared’ leader, the most effective type of leader is an approachable one. A leader who an any employee can feel like they could have a conversation with will be able to hear about what the quiet dissenters have to say, or what the ‘real’ results of their latest intiative was.
2. Passion and Motivation – It goes without saying that a leadership trait that will be admired is your passion for what you do. Whatever your role, people will respect the fact that you take pride in your work, you enjoy it, and that you will therefore try your hardest to succeed.Passion and motivation will always trump formal leadership training or leadership coaching.
1. Trustworthiness -Ethics and trust has to come right at the top of the most important leadership traits for one simple reason. Nobody will obey, follow, or be inspired by someone they distrust. A good reputation, likeability and respect will be absolutely impossible if you’re labelled as a liar. Regardless of their own mal-practises, people will never be able to associate with an untrustworthy character.
‘The Fast Subject’ is a concept that many managers struggle to really get their head round. Chosen as one of the best in class, I’m proud to publish this fine example of a leadership essay from one of the top universities in the UK.
How the concept ‘fast subject’ (Thrift, 2000) embodies the idealised cultural image of success for management in the 21st century.
Thrift’s (2000) paper portrays a very distinct idea of the modern Western world; both as a whole and the world of work. It is key to remember that management feeds from the wider cultural environment – the world; it is not standing alone by itself. We need to know what is going on in the world to see what is going on in management, for example, assessment centres could be seen as the ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ of the world of work. Thrift also describes the ‘fast subject’, i.e. the manager that is capable of functioning effectively in this world; the author uses language such as “knowledge”, “creativity”, “innovation” and “younger” in relation to the fast subject and “faster”, “uncertain”, “performance” to describe the habitat of this modern subject. When discussing the fast subject, it is important not to overlook the environment in which the subject lives/works; it had been argued that managers are “the products of (increasingly engineered) circumstance” (Thrift, 2000 p. 677).
The ideal of the ‘fast subject’ embodies success in modern Western culture, according to Thrift’s (2000 p.678) paper, “the fast subject is a ‘style’ that many managers often want to attain”; advertisements for graduate careers and jobs have specific ideals so people aspire to meet the criteria. These job adverts are made by people like us for us; fast subject to fast subject. The advertisements speak to us, these people that companies are looking for are management’s idea of success, so this is what we strive for, this is the reason we go to university and get part time jobs and internships – it’s the ideal of work (and life) in the future.
The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers guide is the perfect collection of evidence of the idealised cultural image of success for management in the 21st century; the companies and jobs are portrayed using the language of the fast subject, they give the idea of mobility, youth, being trendy and modern. The three following examples have been taken from this guide.
The first example, taken from The Times guide is Lidl’s (p. 30) Graduate Management Programme advertisement. This advertisement uses all the language and buzz words of the ‘fast subject’ and 21st century culture, such as “star qualities”, “lead and inspire” and “world-class”. Thrift (2000 p. 680) makes the point that management events are “making the ‘invisible visible’” i.e. trying to measure and teach these intangible “star qualities” such as leadership and creativity. This gives the idea that these personality traits that make up a successful person can be taken on by a company, measured and nurtured, and will enable continued or increased success. This is attractive to the ‘fast subject’ because of the intangibility; other people in the world do not possess these qualities, only the elite ideal that management has created has the potential to have these traits inside of them. The fact they cannot be defined, taught of learned as well as simple things such as how to work a piece of machinery makes them special and anything that sets you above others in our culture is something we have been brought up to strive towards.
It is clear that quite a significant amount of thought goes into graduate recruitment, as management want to get the best people into their company and at the moment, the ‘fast subject’ is that person, and they respond to specific known language and images. Graduates are the future of management and at the minute the people coming out of universities are educated to be the way management wants them to be, i.e. Thrift’s subject. They have the most current and up-to-date knowledge and education on what management wants and are either taught the skills or are taught how to perform as though they possess them. It is probably that Lidl know that culturally, young and modern members of generation Y will not have them as their first choice employer, it will be somewhere trendy like Apple therefore they have to offer the chance to develop the skills that management as a whole wants, i.e. ‘fast subject’ skills.
The word “star” suggests that Lidl are looking for someone special, in modern day society we are obsessed with stars and celebrities; this advertisement says that you can be the “star” of the business world and gain all the associated benefits such as money to fund the lifestyle of this creature, but also the social benefits such as respect and interest from others.
Cadbury’s (p. 91) graduate jobs advertisement in the guide shows a reminder of the popular gorilla television advert for the firm’s products. This image links to our culture, what is cool and modern, again showing the link between the world of management and society overall. It is also recent, showing that it is aimed at young professionals who can do it all; they can gain a good degree whilst also being aware of what is going on socially around them. Along with using the expected language, the text includes the word “brand” which attracts prospective employees because they want to work for this company so when they tell people where they work, the people will know where it is and be interested.
At the bottom of this advertisement, it says “we love what we do. We think you will too”; this is typical of the view that the ‘fast subject’ holds of work, it is no longer simply a job, it is something you want to do when you get up in the morning. The job will not necessarily be as good as it sounds, but the words and pictures used appeal to the ‘fast subject’. Even those graduates with no interest in the world of management would find this appealing as the language used spills out into the rest of our culture as the language of a successful subject.
In modern society, there is increasing focus on the self; the improvement of the self, with models such as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and reaching self-actualisation. We want to succeed at work, but to also have time to have a social life and spend the money we earn – this is one measure of success; we want to have time to have everything. Cadbury promises a graduate scheme that is “individual” and “personalised” therefore that must mean the ‘fast subject’ can not only thrive at work but they can also go out into the world and show it how successful they are, with their cars, homes and technologies. The text itself actually says “you’ll succeed”, which implies Cadbury (like the rest of the world) knows the measure of success and that it is applicable to all ‘fast subjects’.
The final point to make is that there is a disclaimer at the top of the page, stating “no gorillas were harmed in the making of this advert” which is an obvious point, so why make it? This goes back to the cool and trendy culture that we live in where we appreciate humour and making things that little bit less serious. This says, Cadbury is cool and who would not want to work there, if everyone wants to work there then those that do are successful; the successful ones are the ones that speak the language – the ‘fast subject’.
The final example has few, but still significant, words. Sky (p. 209) wants graduates to “discover your ideal habitat” which is a word frequently used when it comes to the ‘fast subject’. This new, mysterious creature needs a habitat in which to work, so Sky is saying they can offer this; it is not an office, it is not a workplace – the language draws the audience in; it is why the ‘fast subject’ finds it appealing. As management initiated the creation of this so-called ‘fast subject’ and the necessary traits and attributes it should only be right that management provides the perfect place for this new being to prosper.
The page gives no description of what Sky are looking for; it is implicit with the word “habitat”, this signals that they are looking for something different and unique, else they would have simply used the world workplace as essentially, that is what this so-called “habitat” is. Sky are looking for management’s creation of a successful human type that is so intelligent and culturally aware that they will know Sky wants them, so there is no need to explicitly state what is required. It gives the impression that Sky is superior, as it does not have to list what it wants from its applicants therefore the people that apply will know the appropriate language to use if they are a ‘fast subject’ so these are the people to consider as they will be suited to the “habitat”.
The phrase “make great leaps” obviously goes with the picture of the frog but to the ‘fast subject’ says Sky will allow you to become even more successful in your work life by quickly progressing, possibly onto promotions; showing that you are successful. As a culture we value language like this as it is a little bit different, not as mundane and ordinary as saying ‘you could get better and get promoted’.
The image itself gives the impression of being High Definition as it is very colourful and detailed; something a ‘fast subject’ comes to expect as they are successful in life therefore can afford such luxuries as HD televisions. The colours catch peoples’ attention, which is necessary to catch the interest of the ‘fast subject’ as they have so much potential inside of them, they want to be wanted as they could work in any of these fast paced environments. Regardless of where we begin in life, we all want to be successful and happy; no one grows up aspiring to live in poverty while watching how the ‘other half’ of society lives their lives. Sky understands what the ‘fast subject’ wants from life and work and therefore offers it in a way that would appeal to them, as management has created them this way.
The ‘fast subject’ links to the performance society we live in, these images, amongst others show us what the ideal model of success is and even if we do not fit this model, we can create a part of ourselves; a performance that does meet this given criteria. For example, we believe working for Lidl will make us successful, Lidl wants us to be “self-confident individuals” so that is what we are to them. This is the reason that we have come to the stage in society that we have; management knows what it wants and puts that out to the world, there are very few people out there that actually fulfil all the conditions so people pretend to be that; they perform. Eventually, with this happening so much, many more people aspire to this ideal which seems to be so good, however it is probably so impressive as it is all an act – it is like striving for perfection, even though we know we will never reach it.
These examples were chosen from the same book and are of the same media, so it is possible to compare them. They are all different, but possibly equally effective at attracting a ‘fast subject’ and potentially allowing them to reach a successful level in life. As a whole, the advertisement produced by Lidl is quite simple but it is straight to the point; it is ‘fast’ and the language is very important. Language however, is more important in the Cadbury advertisement, as there is more of if; therefore there are more of the buzz words and promises, however it would take longer to read than the other two. Finally, Sky are obviously aware of the language that society views as the language of successful management and use it. The image is clean and simple in the Lidl piece, whereas Cadbury’s is busy and the one from Sky is quite striking.
It does not matter what the design of the advertisement is like; the point is how or why they take off and are deemed as the image of success within western twenty first century society, culture and management. One thing that all these illustrations have in common is that they are all about “you” (the subject) not “us” (the business); they want to help you develop and become successful and in modern culture that is what we want, we think constantly about the self and could possibly overlook what we are expected to do for them. But this does not matter; success is about working for that well known company, taking on responsibilities and being where you feel you should be.
The idea of the ‘fast subject’ is merely a concept put forward by Thrift to explain what has happened within business and management this century. Brooks on the other hand, questions and mocks the myths of management with a sarcastic tone; it could be argued his viewpoint of the creature within the world of management is of the complete opposite of Thrift’s.
Brooks (2004) gives his opinion on what Thrift would call the ‘fast subject’ using very similar vocabulary, but a very different tone. “They are obsessed, they are passionate, they are driven, and they are totally nuts” (p. 216) and that “what matters is energy, discipline and focus” (p. 218). Brooks then goes on to tell a story about a modern businessman’s attachment to his mobile telephone (pp. 234-5) which is much less glamorous than the picture Thrift paints.
In a previous book, Bobos in Paradise (2000 p.104) Brooks describes “Latte Towns” which is where the ‘fast subject’ (or as Brooks describes them, “new upscale culture”) would live. The descriptions, such as “magnificent natural settings” makes the place sound very appealing and is where we as a culture would want to live if we could afford to do so, i.e. if we were a ‘fast subject’ and therefore successful. Although this is said with a negative tone, it is Brooks’ description of the ideals in the twenty first century world.
Overall, the idea of success within management has made its way out into the wider cultural context of the 21st century; what management views as a successful person is now what we in society believe to be a successful person. The vocabulary and images such as the high flier with the modern gadgets and the cool career in a well known popular branded business are no longer simply within the world of management.
Management has, over time, created the image of the ideal person to work in the increasingly fast paced business environment; they created this being so they know what it wants. Profits are the most important thing to most companies therefore if they can find a group of individuals who are motivated, dedicated etc. they have gained knowledge and the potential to increase profits. Management puts out this ideal, which Thrift calls the ‘fast subject’, to the world so the world begins to see this ideal and believe that is what successful looks like. In modern society, right now, the ‘fast subject’ is what we aim to be; it is the embodiment of success in the world of management. It has to be considered though, when we will move on and when the era of the ‘fast subject’ will end and whether it will end well. Thrift (2000 p.675) does not ignore the fact that ‘fast subjects’ “may well turn out to be fragile subjects, held together only at a cost”; all that is left is for the rest of the world to realise. Management created this subject; it is entirely possible that management will destroy it or the image too.
Word count: 2,616
Brooks, D. (2000) Bobos in Paradise , New York: Touchstone
Brooks, D. (2004) On Paradise Drive, New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks
The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers 2009-2010 (2009) High Fliers Publications
Thrift, N. (2000) ‘Performing Cultures in the New Economy’ in DuGay P. and Pryke M. Cultural Economy, London: Sage
Leadership public speaking is seen as one of the great traits of the modern leader. While the great leaders of the past are known for their leadership public speaking ability, current leaders such as Barrack Obama in the USA, and Nick Clegg in the UK have shown that oratory is still as powerful as it ever has been.
When you open your mouth to speak, do others truly listen?
In recognising that public speaking can be an effective leadership skill, an aspiring leader will realise that they’re in luck – public speaking is a skill that can be steadily improved in response to a good public speaking course. Speaking skills can be technically learnt either from a book, or from a coach, but they will only be used to upgrade your ability when put into varied and frequent practice.
Taking Every Opportunity – Where To Practice Leadership Public Speaking
I find it is always best to practice public speaking in a ‘safe’ environment. A safe environment is one in which a mistake during speaking won’t run risk of damaging your career prospects. Practically all adventurous speaking opportunities outside of your workplace are perfect for this personal development. Here are some speaking ideas:
- In church
- In a school-room or college lecture hall
- To a club, group or society
- At a conference,
- Giving a presentation (such as on behalf of a charity)
- Even at family occasions.
Most people agree, that as long as you are speaking to more than 5 people, in a non-casual setting, this will bring all the challenges of public speaking, although with greater crowds or a more important audience will come a greater test.
Building Your Oratory Skills
I can provide a brief overview of tips you may wish to take on board to improve your leadership public speaking and presentation skills beyond what they currently are; all leaders could build further upon at least one of these areas.
1. Deliver an interesting tone of voice. Allow your voice to eb and flow as you would speak normally. Let your tone drift up at the end of questions, or remain mono tone over short, sharp point.
2. Use pauses effectively. Leadership public speaking is often as much about silence as it is about speaking, as leaving dramatic and characteristic pauses at the right moments really highlights a speakers skill. A short pause allows the listener to ponder a little more about what you’ve just said, and demonstrates that you are comfortable with the audience, and supremely confident in what you are saying.
3. Maintain eye contact with the audience. You may sometimes need to refer to your presentation for key statistics or cues, however the rest of the time, your eyes should be on the audience, and moving round the room.
4. Don’t forget to smile! People are listening, but they’re also watching your body language and they’re probably watching your face all the time, so make sure that what they see is a happy, enthusiastic and bright individual. Smiling while talking does not come naturally, especially when one feels under the stress and pressure that public speaking can bring, however with practice you will realise that the more you smile – the better you will feel.
5. From Commenter Mitch: Be aware of your body motions. Many speakers make the mistake of unknowingly moving in repetitive motions or in somewhat unnatural ways while presenting and speaking. Be aware of what your body is doing and keep any movement of arms and hands to be in line with the overall presentation. It is expected and can be quite comfortable to make generalized moves and to indicate specific important points with body emphasis. Practice in a mirror or video tape yourself giving a practice presentation to see if you develop any “movement habits” that need to be avoided during your presentation. Also, we aware of what signals you may send during the presentation to indicate your own views of the information presented. Crossing your arms may come across as disinterested in the topic you are speaking on. Also be aware of any unusual twitches that can develop in your face during presentations that can become distracting to your audience.
6. Also from Mitch: Breathe. Pure and simple, some presenters get very caught up in their speeches and can run out of breath mid-sentence. This can result in ill timed pauses mid-thought and can have the audience paying more attention to your breathing rhythm than to your topic. Keep breathing natural and relaxed so that your audience stays the same.
If you keep these leadership public speaking tips in mind while practicing, I can promise that your presentation and oratory skills will improve dramatically. While learning however, it is best to focus on improving one aspect of speaking at a time, and gradually these tips will become natural habits, and public speaking will no longer cause the same dread it once did!
How To Gain The Most Comprehensive Knowledge On Public Speaking
As mentioned in the latest Leadership Expert e-Magazine, we have discovered a brilliant resource on public speaking for approximately £25. It’s delivered in digital format, which means you could be absorbing knowledge from it in just 3 minutes if you decide that you want to take a proactive step in building your presentation skills, public speaking skills or overall charisma. The resource is called Public Speaking Extraordinaire, and costs the price of a restaurant meal, for an in-depth course delivered by video, audio and text! We heavily recommend that you try it for yourself.
Please leave comments below if you would like to add more tips and tricks to this list, and I will work them into the article and credit them to you!
3. What is the difference between a leadership course from University vs a College?
4. How much does an online leadership course cost?
5. Do online leadership courses require practical hands-on experience?
6. Which leadership courses online does Leadership Expert Recommend?
Before I begin this article, let me highlight that I have no connections (affiliate or other) with any of the online leadership course providers referenced in this article, and I am providing impartial advice. This applies in reverse too, as I cannot be held accountable for information held on external websites linked to in this article for which I have no control or responsibility over whatsoever.
1. When are online leadership courses the best option?
Online leadership courses are often taken because other leadership training options, such as leadership classes, leadership coaching, or leadership development programmes are too expensive or not flexible enough for the users needs. You should probably look online if you wish to spend under £1,000 for a leadership course, or if you are working full time and are not able to attend night classes in the local area.
2. How to tell which online courses are real, and which are scams
Being able to tell which online leadership courses are legitimate and reputable qualifications, as apposed to false websites created by fraudsters is becoming increasingly difficult. However as a seasoned web veteran, I’m able to pass on a few tips that will help you discover whether the dream course is in fact a worthless piece of paper.
Tip 1: Check the Google PageRank of the website. Google pagerank is Google’s measure of how important a page is on the web. A score of 0-2 suggests a page is not linked to by very many other important websites, however a score of 6-10 ensures that the site is extremely reputable. Navigate to the home page of the online course provider you seek to purchase a course from. Then enter the web address of that homepage into the field in this pagerank checker site. If the pagerank of their homepage is 2 or less, there is a very high chance that the college has little real presence on the internet. If the pagerank is 3-10, then this test is less conclusive.
Tip 2: Check the Alexa ranking of the website. Alexa ranking (A service run ultimately by Amazon.com) is an estimator of the number of visits a website has. So again, copy the homepage address of the course provider, and paste now into the sitesearch function of Alexa. This should display the worldwide Alexa traffic rank of the website. If this figure is more than #300,000 then the website probably receives no more than 2,000 visitors per day. If the website is ranked in the top 100,000 then this suggests the site receives a high volume of traffic (5,000+ per day) which suggests authenticity.
Tip 3: Verifiy accreditation with the accreditation authority. If a course provider claims to be accredited by an state-run national body, then be sure to give them a call and check. If the accreditation organisation is not government-linked, then evaluate the authenticity of that website using the same tips here, as often criminals create entire accreditation networks just to lend the aura of authenticity to their empty words.
Tip 4: Take a close look at the price. Does it appear to be suspiciously low? Keep in mind that even £500 for a course that contains several hours of one-to-one phonecalls with a tutor is a bargain. If the site promises hundreds of hours of learning, with a price tag of less than £200, you should be wary. ‘Colleges’ that price themselves like this aren’t necessarily misleading or scamming people, but their leadership degrees will often carry no real recognition.
Tip 5: Look out for warning bells in the wording. Does the course seem obsessed about the idea of certificates and being able to provide proof to anyone who calls? Does the wording highlight that “The certificate will not contain the words ‘Online’”. These are both warning flags that suggest the product itself is simply a decent-looking fake certificate rather than a real qualification that will develop your leadership skills. People who obtain these are merely looking to artificially pad their CV in order to land a job, and are harming the community of leaders who devote time to developing their leadership qualities.
Tip 6: Scan for spelling mistakes, this is an instant hint that the website has not had much time spent on it.
Tip 7: Look for contact details, addresses and phone numbers. If the site only contains a form to fill in, be worried. If the website only contains one phone number, this is also a warning flag – and suggests that the course provider is only built to make sales and not to handle participant queries.
These 7 tips should enable even a web newbie to come to a reasonable assessment of a course provider’s validity. If you are still completely unsure, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me (via my contact page) and I may be able to give a second opinion by either vouching for the site, or warning you to stay away. There may still be websites I cannot confidently conclude upon however.
3. What is the difference between a leadership course from University vs a College?
The key difference is recognition and employability. If you are interested in gaining a leadership qualification to aid you in performing your job correctly, there is no reason for you to discriminate between the two. However if you’re looking for a reputable course that will show a solid career development mark on your CV, then sticking with a large or medium sized university will ensure your qualification has some bite behind it, and won’t be met with cynisism.
4. How much does an online leadership course cost?
Leadership course prices range widely, from £39.99 for a 3 hours introduction to leadership theory from LearnDirect (here), to £2,000 a year for part time leadership-related bachelors or masters. It heavily depends on what level of knowledge you wish to gain from a course, and over what period of time you are prepared to study.
5. Do online leadership courses require practical hands-on experience?
Generally speaking, online courses such as diplomas make no such requirements. All work is graded based on knowledge-based learning such as essays and exams. Only courses with a physical grounding at a campus or local college will likely ask you to engage in real case studies and feedback the results. The benefit of this type of learning out-weighs knowledge alone, and this demonstrates the trade off between the conevience of online courses, and educational merits of fulltime courses.
6. Which leadership courses online does Leadership Expert Recommend?
We are currently researching the different online leadership courses available to UK and International participants, and will update this article is due course.
“Leadership Pathways offers senior school leaders practical access to the latest in leadership thinking and school practice, which will benefit their schools as well as them as individuals.
The programme seeks to build on experience that participants have developed in middle leadership and via National College programmes such as Leading from the Middle and Teaching Leaders. It can also help support those aspiring to take part in the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH).”
Who is Leadership Pathways For?
This course is designed for senior leaders who intend to move up into a Head Teacher or very senior role within the next 1-2 years. This is a fairly specific leadership development course aimed at a specific level of staff. Applicants must also have previously been involved in successful change management, and have an opportunity to undertake a school-wide change project in the near future.
The course lies somewhere in between ‘Leading from the middle‘ and NPQH (National Professional Qualification for Headship). Many refer to Leadership Pathways as a stepping stone to the NPQH qualification.
What is the Role of the In-School ‘Coach’?
Each Leadership Pathways applicant will need another member of staff to apply as a mentor for the participant. This leadership coach will also be assessed as part of the application process, and should have a decent skill set which will enable them to guide the participant through the course and become a vital link in the communication chain between the participant and the headteacher.
What will I Gain From Leadership Pathways?
The website loosely describes the benefits as being ‘increased performance’ of individuals who show a proactive attitude and take responsibility. I think that on balance – the benefits will match the enthuasiasm you bring to the course, and intelligence with which you set personal course objectives. Ironically, those with the best leadership traits will probably draw the most benefit from this leadership course.
How Much Does the Leadership Pathways Course Cost?
The cost of the course to a standard school with over 100 pupils is £550, which is a surprisingly low price for a leadership course. This low cost will no doubt be due to the fact that the course is a “self-directed learning programme”, which hints that direct tutoring from the college will be minimal. This reinforces the fact that participants must be very organised and pro-active, as the success of this programme will depend on how rigorously they choose to follow it.
Companies need to have a number of strong leaders within their organization, in order to run efficiently and productively. In some cases, there are quieter, more reserved employees who would make wonderful leaders, if their leadership qualities were properly developed. Here are some tips for developing leadership attributes in employees who don’t always stand out in the crowd as born leaders.
Give quieter employees tasks that require them to speak up. Those who hide behind a desk all day are often overlooked for leadership roles, simply because they don’t show initiative as a leader. Having a task that requires them to step outside their normal box can give them a chance to shine. Add additional responsibilities until you feel they are ready to move on to the next level.
Allow them to shadow you. Many quiet people are the type who learn by watching, rather than the type who just jump in and take the reigns. Show them the behaviors and actions that you would like to see from them and if they have leadership potential, they will begin to emulate those leadership qualities. It might take some time for them to get over any initial shyness about working in an authoritative role, but as they build their confidence by watching you and working alongside you, the actions will become more natural for them.
Put them in a position where they must make decisions as a leader, without them knowing that they are expected to take control. When there is a problem at hand, leave them in a position where they simply must deal with it. Any hidden leadership characteristics they might have will naturally come to the surface, and it may inspire them to strive for more within their career path.
Developing leadership qualities is something that takes time, so don’t think that a couple of additional tasks or “incidental” scenarios will bring out someone’s full potential overnight. Let your less outgoing employees wander into a leadership role and test the waters. Once they find their footing, you may find that you have a powerful and dynamic leader where a meek and mild employee once stood.
Adapted from an article written by Jason Wilton from http://www.leadershipmadesimple.com.
History has presented us with plenty of examples of poor leadership. Some notable recent examples of poor leadership:
2. Sir Allen Stanford – Showed a blatant disregard for integrity and commited fraud on a vast scale via his corporation Standford Financial Group. The SEC has recently described the scandal as a ‘Ponzi Scheme’
3. Rick Wagoner – Displayed a lack of strategic oversight while CEO at General Motors. The period of time he was at the helm – GM’s stock price plummeted by 90%. His strategies were simply not forward looking – and GM fell behind competition vastly in terms of cost cutting and product innovation. Rick was forced to stand down as CEO in return for receiving government aid in 2009.
Examples Of Poor Leadership Traits
Impatience. Leaders who don’t fully appreciate that good strategy takes time to implement, and that iniatives need room to develop and mature, invariably will frustrate and increase the stress of those beneath them. Constantly unrealistic demands will demoralise and sap away loyalty.
Aggression. There is no place for fear in the boardroom, and yet it still persists in badly led companies across the world. Women as well as men are perfectly capable of being aggressive torwards their collegues, and let me assure you that there is little else you could do that would cause a such a rapid loss of respect.
Insincerity. Insincerity is the underminer of all policy, all intiative, all strategy and all success in leadership. A word you speak without conviction might as well have not been spoken at all and may even cause damage. A leader might be able to bluff for a few months, but once they’re found out – the stack of cards will fall and your ‘greatest asset’ will be grabbing their pitck forks before you can say ‘lynch’.
Incompetence. Using the steel magnate Andrew Carnegie as an example – you do not have to be expert in your companies field to be able to lead a company brilliantly. Andrew famously praised his management team as knowing more about steel than he did – and this honest admission not only motivated his team, but reflected his own culture of respect.
At contrast to this however, is pretending to be an industry expert when you still have much to learn from the ‘Dumbies Guide to your industry’. Your secret will likely be discovered at the companies most critical time, and your employment prospects won’t look too peachy thereafter.
Simon Oates – Leadership Expert
We all face leadership challenges at some point of our lives. If you’re searching for leadership challenges then you’ve come to the right place. You could be looking for one of two interpretations of this phrase.
1. Leadership challenge to mean, an attempt to overthrow your authority. “What can I do to protect myself against somebody overuling my leadership?“. For the answers to these kinds of questions, I suggest you reflect upon your own leadership skills rather than those of your ‘competition’. Are your leadership skills up to scratch? If you want to improve them, click here.
2. Leadership challenges to mean difficult and rewarding leadership experiences. “How can I deal with this situation and come out of it a stronger person?“. This is the topic this article deals with.
In most organisations – you will encounter challenges as a leader many times a year, possibly even many times a week, depending on how much pressure is placed on your role. The key to dealing with these is to quickly picture in your head a clear image of the benefits you would receiving from successfully accomplishing this task. Reduced stress? Increased respect? Improved promotion prospects?
Almost every scenario you will encounter – glorious benefits will await you on the other side. The thought of these will help motivate you, and that is why I ask that you picture them immediately.
Next, you need to look inwards and decide whether you have the appropriate leadership skills and experience to be able to overcome the current difficulty. Don’t worry if you look at your skill set and admit ‘I’m not experienced at this area’, because you can certainly compensate for lack of experience by good preparation.
To hone up your leadership skills I’d recommend buying a quick and effective leadership course such as ‘Apply Leadership‘, which is the product I talk about most to those who ask me which leadership e-course I would recommend. (You can follow the link to read my review).
Once you have the benefits clearly in mind, and a good preparation, it’s time to tackle the leadership challenge head on. This will probably involve implementing a strategy of leading that you are perhaps not 100% comfortable with. Perhaps you read a leadership book that suggested a certain leadership style, but you don’t feel that it’s working. Don’t worry! A subtle change of direction can go unnoticed by the workforce if you display confidence in your actions.
Follow these tips and you will be able to weather any leadership challenge, and emerge from the other side as a success leader with an extra notch on your belt!
Such programmes are designed to provide trainees with an overview of an organization’s operations. This is achieved by a rotational training of all the departments, and it provides exposure to all the important activities and operations of the business.
This way, trainees get first hand experience of the functioning of the organization, from the very top to the bottom of the management ladder. This in turn helps them become more effective and efficient managers and leaders.
Alternatively, smart people have often sought out useful leadership books and learning material that will help them along the path to happiness and leadership. These days, most tend to be rather disappointing, but one e-course that is still respected by leadership professionals such as the industry leader: ‘The Ultimate Leadership Guide‘ which I consider an essential ‘crash course’ in the principles you need to know to further your career or leadership skills and even find happiness in other areas of your life.
Leadership programs vary widely on any number of different things. The specific structure depends upon the type of industry, work, services and operations. They also have some very basic elements in common.
At the beginning, trainees are usually rotated through various departments to become familiar with work. In addition, they are also “earmarked” as potential candidates for top positions in the future.
The Value of Leadership Programs
All the top leaders in various industries acknowledge the importance of such programs. At Hilton Hotels, the trainees are rotated through about a dozen different hotel departments during a period of 6 to 8 months. It has been proven that these employees, who as trainees undergo all the operations of all departments in the hotel, make better managers.
Staples also runs such a program. In their program, trainees are rotated to give them the experience of working at retail store and the head office. It is observed that these programs give a better understanding of the overall working of the organization and the operations involved inside the organization.
At Staples, trainees go through seminars, training sessions on all aspects of the processes for which they are being trained. Therefore, they get to know about everything – how to quote prices for products or services according to company practice, how to negotiate, supply chain management, logistics and much more.
Sometimes, trainees work with managers that act as their mentors or ‘leadership coaches‘.
Experience Pays Off
In a program run in an industry such as retail, trainees are initially rotated at the store level. They get the experience of working at the counter in the first phase of the training.
Once they join the office and assume other responsibilities, they understand the value of their training. Such trainees who join the company speak about their being able to understand the routine work, “right from day 1″.
At Hilton Hotels for example, under housekeeping rotation, trainees are required to make beds and clean rooms. However, all this experience pays off, as they go on to become not only managers, but also future business leaders as well.
This very experience of performing quite ground-level duties of everyday chores makes not only managers but also potential top leaders of the organization. Hilton has many directors and even VPs who were trained in leadership programmes.
Of course, getting it right from the basics is the key to success, isn’t it?
Charismatic leadership is all about a superhero act. In an article titled “What exactly is charisma?” published in Fortune on January 15, 1996, Patricia Sellers says, “Charisma is a tricky thing. Jack Kennedy oozed it – but so did Hitler and Charles Manson. Con artists, charlatans, and megalomaniacs can make it their instrument as effectively as the best CEO’s, entertainers, and Presidents. Used wisely, it’s a blessing; indulged, it can be a curse. Charismatic visionaries lead people ahead, and sometimes astray.”
Practitioners of charismatic leadership have a firm belief that they can lead followers by unleashing their personal charm and grace. You can recognize one by the way he or she interacts with others – making each person feel like the most special on the planet!
While charismatic leadership is most often employed in the political arena where a large number of people have to be influenced within a short time, using little or no personal contact, it can be applied equally in a business situation. The leader seeks a “fan following”, and a devotion among followers which is usually absent from other forms of leadership. You can think of at least a couple of U.S. Presidents who had an almost hypnotic effect.
Charismatic leadership involves a great deal of theatrical behavior. A charismatic leader is a persuasive speaker, and a master of body language. Charismatic leaders are great at reading the occasion, and will tailor their behavior to suit the mood. At the same time, they are willing to take personal risk and make sacrifices in order to build their own credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of their followers. Once their leadership is established, they will try to carve a distinct identity for their group of followers, and build an image of superiority for it. At the same time, these leaders identify themselves so strongly with the group that the group and the leader become nearly synonymous.
Academics have identified the following four stages of charismatic leadership:
Creating a new vision: Charismatic leaders are able to assess unfulfilled needs and opportunities in their environment and project their vision for a future without any shortcomings.
Articulating the vision: The leader will be able to communicate his belief in the vision to his followers and convince them of its viability.
Building trust: The next phase of charismatic leadership involves engendering trust among group members and securing their commitment.
Achieving the vision: The leader will set a personal example and empower others in order to sustain motivation so that the vision can be realized.
It may sound strange, but charismatic leadership is not necessarily an inborn trait. It can be learned and perfected, usually by watching the actions of other charismatic leader role models and modifying behavior in certain ways.
It is important to note that charismatic leadership can be a double edged sword. It all boils down to the motives of the leader. Charismatic leaders can be a bit insincere, more concerned about themselves than their followers. Such a tendency towards narcissism can do a great deal of damage to organizations. On the other hand, if their heart is in the right place, charismatic leaders can work magic like no other.