Webster says that leadership is “the position or function of a leader; the ability to lead; an act or instance of leading, guidance, direction.” Do you enjoy leading, guiding or directing? Do you look forward to making decisions that impact the lives of others? Would you rather give the responsibility for making choices to someone else? Most of us have been in a position of authority and all of us have met someone who possesses the qualities of an effective leader.
Being a leader is a difficult task especially if you are given responsibilities that you are not familiar with. If you accept this position, you are going to be scrutinized by how you act, the way you look and the way you talk. It is important to be conscious of your actions because the goal is to project an image of influence. Good leaders possess certain characteristics that can help them gain the respect and recognition of others, these are know as leadership qualities – and the good news is they can be learned and applied to help you become a successful and authentic leader.
Be A Good Example. The first concept is to lead by example. You need to work harder than those who surround you in order to gain their respect. Demonstrate your dedication by being early and staying late. Distinguish yourself through character and integrity when situations are difficult or they are not going your way. Go the extra mile for those who are in your circle of influence.
Be A Good Listener. The second quality of an effective leader is the ability to listen more and talk less. It is more important to listen to the issues that are being raised instead of expressing your opinion about them. Some individuals have the misconception that a good leader talks as much as possible. Effective leaders realize that listening provides them with a deeper understanding of the needs of those that surround them. It also gives them a greater insight into the issues that must be addressed.
Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself. All excellent leaders regularly invest in themselves – they realise that the payoff will always be positive in the long run. Leaders have often sought out useful leadership books and learning material that will help them along the path to happiness and leadership. Leaders also invest in their own leadership training programmes or leadership coaching.
Be Concerned. The third concept for effective leadership is the ability to ask the appropriate questions. Analyzing information provides the opportunity to probe the concerns and issues that confront those around you. Express sincerity and as you examine the regards of others. Asking penetrating questions provides the possibility to discover the root causes of problems so that they can be addressed.
Be Decisive. The fourth quality of an effective leader is the ability to make decisions. Make a choice and stick to the plan. A conscientious leader will have options if the original solution is not working. With leadership comes the responsibility for making selections that affect the lives of others. If one has taken the input of those who surround them before making a decision, other considerations can be developed. It is important to examine all of the options thoroughly to avoid unnecessary mistakes and failures.
Not everyone wants to lead. If you are the owner of your home business, the head of your family or the director of a social group you are wearing the hat of a leader. Effective leadership is not necessarily an inherent quality. It can be learned and applied to the different areas of your life. Consider these four qualities as a foundation for developing your leadership skills.
“People never improve unless they look to some standard or example higher and better than themselves.”
John Fortner lives in Oregon and works from his home through his online pursuits. He is the owner of Best-Income Opportunities which offers free information and proven opportunities for creating work at home businesses. To learn more about this topic please visit his website at: http://www.best-incomeopportunities.com
Last week brought the sad news of the collapse of Kodak as it fails to keep up with the times. The company which pioneered photography bringing us the very first pictures from the moon and making photography into both an industry and a past-time for millions of people worldwide, filed for bankruptcy protection.
Founded in 1880 by inventor George Eastman, the company led the birth of amateur photography focusing on portability and affordability, producing the Kodak Box Brownie Camera in 1900 selling for only $1, using film costing 15 cents. George Eastman (1854-1932) was one of the world first entrepreneurs who began his ‘career’ having dropped out of school in New York at the age of 14 following the death of his father. For 10 years he worked as an office clerk until a defining moment took place in his life. At the age of 24 he decided to plan a ‘once in a lifetime’ holiday to Dominican Republic and save up to buy a camera to record the adventure. When he got it, it was as big as a microwave and required a heavy tripod, plus a tent to spread the pictures on glass plates before exposing them. With chemicals, glass tanks, a heavy plate folder and water canister, Eastman described the kit as a ‘pack horse load’. He never made it on holiday. Instead he grew obsessed with the idea of making photography simpler.
The Kodak Box Brownie was a huge success and the company grew under Eastman’s visionary leadership. In 1929, Eastman worked with Thomas Edison to invent the first motion picture film, leading the way into sound motion pictures, where Kodak still lead the way today, with 80 movies that have won Best Picture Oscars having been shot on Kodak film. Eastman also developed a high performance; high value culture within Kodak, paying out results based rewards to staff. He became one of the US’s biggest philanthropists, giving away more than $100 million to charities, universities and medical clinics. Sadly, on 14th March 1932, after two years of suffering from a degenerative spinal disorder, Eastman committed suicide with a single gunshot to the heart. He left a note which read: “To my friends, my work is done. Why wait?”
Since then, however, successive CEO’s kept alive Eastman’s vision, innovating and progressing cutting edge photography solutions in order to make photography accessible and pleasurable to everyone. In 1963, the company launched the Kodak Instamatic Camera featuring cartridge loaded film that recorded, developed and printed images from a slot in the front of the camera, capturing people’s memories in an instant. Kodak became a household name globally with over 50 million Instamatic Cameras sold within 4 years, earning the rightful place of market leader. By 1981 sales surpassed the $10 Billion mark.
The lesson for all entrepreneurs and business leaders:
The company wanted to remain at the forefront of advancements in camera technology and in 1975, at the same time Steve Jobs invented the first Apple (Apple II) Kodak invented the world’s first digital camera. However, bosses shelved the project as they saw it as a threat to the film making business.
Kodak’s success then became its biggest burden. Fear started to creep in. Fear of failure and in particular fear of letting go of the company’s core product and acknowledging that the ‘cash cow’ was fast becoming the ‘old dog’. In other words the company spent the last 2 decades failing to keep up with the digital revolution that has killed off Kodak’s main market of film based photography. Its demise under the leadership of Chairman and Chief Executive Antonio Perez is sure to become a text book case for future business students, of a company which could not keep up with the times. Having led the market, the board of directors became immersed in a fear of the new digital advancement, hanging on to and protecting ‘the old ways’; and forgetting its original journey to success was led by innovation, vision and heavy investment in Research and Development and marketing. Instead they spent far too much time watching the market like a hawk and the moment companies like Samsung, Fujifilm and Apple launched new products Kodak filed law suit after law suit over patent infringements. Successive management teams failed to deal with the growing crisis of being in a dramatically shifting marketplace. Where one-time rival Fujifilm moved into LCD screen technology and even adapting its chemicals for the pharmaceuticals industry, Kodak continued to keep film at the heart of its business in the mistaken belief that it should continue to base itself around its business heritage.
During my career I spent four years in the debt recovery division of a major financial services institution. In my experience, businesses fail for two main reasons – poor leadership and/or poor sales systems. In this case, the cause of the failure of one of the world’s greatest companies must be placed squarely at the door of poor leadership. The following two areas should be considered:
Autocratic leadership: It is never really a good sign that the Chairman and CEO is one and the same person. This smacks of hierarchical, self-indulgent and autocratic leadership. This can create a culture where the talent within the organisation is no longer listened to and ultimately the best people leave, leaving behind a tired and old fashioned board of directors who fail make well informed decisions.
Collaboration: Where companies fail to collaborate, they risk being excluded from developments in the marketplace and kept at arm’s length by their competitors. There’s a great saying by Sun-tzu the Chinese military strategist (circa 400 BC), that is so true in the world of today’s global economy. ‘Keep your friends close and your enemies closer’. Kodak became so fiercely protective of its patents that it completely took the eye off the ball that the world was moving on at such a pace.
My hope is that every CEO and leader is a position of responsibility will have the foresight, vision and courage to question the strategy they have for their company. Have you or your organisation become a little ‘stuck in your ways’? When was the last time you gathered your teams together and really listened to their views on the direction of the business? How close are you to your competitors? Do you know what they are up to? What is your ‘Hedgehog’?.
If you would like help asking some really challenging questions and leading your company to win and maintain a market leading position in 2012, contact me and I will happily help you to avoid the mistakes that Kodak have made.
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People often ask me “what does it take to be a leader in today’s complex world?” Granted, we are seeing unprecedented change in the business world in which we all operate. We are traversing choppy waters and it will take more skills than ever before for leaders to navigate their teams, organisations and themselves through these difficult times.
This is such a massive issue that everyone that’s anyone is either writing about or seeking information about leadership. The voices of those people immersed in leadership and management positions, and those who aspire to become successful and accomplished leaders, are asking the same questions… How do I become a successful leader? How do I inspire my team? How do I build a winning team?
There are hundreds of tools at your disposal and over the course of 2012 I will share with you some amazing techniques you can employ to stand out from the crowd and become a respected, winning leader in your chosen field. But, just like an Olympic Athlete, you will need to train hard. Focus. Subscribe to Leadership-Expert™ (its free!) and visit this site every week to pick up, learn and apply the latest tips and techniques which are guaranteed to give you a winning edge.
Becoming a winner doesn’t happen overnight. You have to train regularly. It takes commitment and dedication. We often can’t do it on our own. We are so much more powerful with these three things:
- A system we can use.
- A coach by our side.
- A group of people cheering us on.
I am so passionate about helping people to develop leadership capability. Hopefully you can see that by how much free or very low cost material is available to you on this site.
So lets start with you. First I want you to shake off the erroneous notion that leaders are born and not made.
Come on me with this journey. I will be your coach and guide. My journey began 20 years ago with my first junior management promotion in the corporate world. Since then I have enjoyed an incredible career reaching the dizzy heights of executive directorship and in recent years an entrepreneur, building and developing my own business and my own winning team of dedicated, inspired individuals. I have become the Leadership-Expert through passion, dedication and connecting with many great leaders and leadership authorities around the world. They helped me publish The Ultimate Leadership Guide – Secrets to Success at Work and In Business (which only Leadership-Expert readers can REDEEM with a 25% Discount using code LE001).
So, I hope you can see I have had to work hard at learning how to become a strong leader in both the corporate environment and in business. I was not born a leader. I became one, through reading, learning, training, having my own coach and through application of some tried and tested principles, which I will share with you now. I have the credentials to enable you to be just as successful. Leadership success starts with you.
You need to do three things:
- Allocate specific time for self-development
- Use trusted sources and systems and people to help you
- Apply what you learn, reflect and then revise your approach where appropriate
There are two ways of doing this:
- The free way
- The low cost way
The free way – action plan:
- Save this website to your bookmark and subscribe to get all our free information and top tips to enable you to become an accomplished leader.
- Like us on Facebook to keep up to date that way, or follow updates on Twitter.
- Allocate up to 1 hour per week (your quietest time) to read the latest articles posted, make notes and apply the principles contained within.
- Write specific goals for your work each week. What does a good week look like? Who do you need to inspire and motivate this week? What’s the best approach?
- Apply these goals.
- Take time to reflect on the success (or otherwise) of your actions. What did you learn? What do you need to do to continually improve?
- Following this process relentlessly every week you will start to feel and see a difference in your performance and that of your team.
The low cost way – action plan:
Every great leader invests both time and money in self-improvement, training and learning. They follow a system that prompts thinking; action and results. Here is a system I would strongly recommend to anyone looking to become the best in their field. It is a proven system that I use to create the results I want. Although it’s not my system, I have used it for over 10 years and it fascinates me how my progress has always exceeded my expectations. It is based on 5 principles of personal transformation:
- First, take time out to appreciate your success to date.
- Learn your lessons (what winning ingredients do you already use?)
- Shift your limiting beliefs – you can be whatever you want to be.
- Live your values – what are your personal values?
- Set and focus on your top 10 goals
I invite you to join me and a growing community of people world-wide who use this system to reach their full potential (and give them a winning edge). To learn more click here.
In summary, becoming an accomplished and respected leader starts with self-development. This leads to increased self-awareness about the impact you have on people around you. Leaders set the tone. Learning new techniques and applying them will give you greater confidence in how you manage and lead your team. With a greater repertoire of leadership tools at your disposal you will be amazed at the response. The most exciting thing of all is that you will realise you have the power to change. Change yourself and change the people around you, so that everyone starts to realise their full potential.
I have described above the process some of the world’s greatest athletes are currently going through as they prepare for the Olympic Games of 2012. To be a winner as a leader, you too must adopt the same techniques and you will be amazed at what you can achieve. As Mo Farah recently said “Don’t dream of winning…. Train for it.”
Welcome to Leadership Expert’s page on Leadership Training.
What is leadership training about? Is leadership training effective? If my company isn’t presently investing in any leadership training for me – what can I do about it? These will be the questions I will be investigating, evaluating and more importantly – solving for you.
Whether you are a top performing CEO or someone who is considering (or being considered) for their first junior management or supervisory role; providing you with the right tools to do the job effectively is essential. After all, you wouldn’t want someone who knows nothing, or very little about plumbing to come and install a new bathroom, complete with energy efficient boiler, power shower, expensive tiles etc into your home would you? Unfortunately, however, this is exactly what most organisations do. They take a good employee and then throw them into the deep end of management under the auspices of ‘career development’.
Pro-active, innovative and forward thinking organisations do have whole suites of tried and tested, highly effective management induction and learning programmes. Over the course of the next few months I will be researching and interviewing some of these organisations HR Directors and Staff Development managers to see exactly what they do and how they do it. If you currently work somewhere you feel is amazing at leadership training and support I would love to hear from you.
Many of you are telling me that, sadly, you were either thrown in at the deep end, or that you feel your training has been inadequate. The fact is that most of the greatest leaders I have ever come across embarked on a relentless drive for their own self-development, regardless of what their companies offered. It is in this respect that I also plan to investigate the most cost effective and life changing learning programmes that are available to you.
I am currently researching leadership training courses in the following subjects:
- Transformational leadership
- Situational leadership
- Global leadership
- Leadership verses management
- The accomplished executive
- Leadership training for new managers
I will be investigating up to 10 different leadership training companies to see what they provide and how effective their training has been. The list is not exhaustive so let me know what king of leadership training you currently need and I will guide you accordingly. Just so you know, most good leadership courses cost up to £3,000.
One leadership course I would definitely recommend you should take a look at is called Best Year Yet®. What is so good about this programme is that it is goal orientated and behavioral. It is also value based and blended with on-line tracking, audio programmes, webinars, and for those who want it, one-to-one coaching. It is also one of the cheapest and yet most effective (life changing) programmes I have ever come across. To take a closer look – see my full review.
One of the most effective ways to learn to become a leader is through coaching. Coaching can add so much more value compared to attending a course, because it is more personal, in-depth and can unlock peoples hidden potential in amazing ways.
There is currently an explosion in leadership coaching, because people want to be able to find their own path to success, independently to what their company offers them, or at least, with the ability to discuss real issues with someone from outside the company. This can have major benefits for both the individual and the organisation. External coaches are being accepted in greater numbers into organisations and as part of peoples continuing professional development planning.
For details of the three different types of coaching programme available directly through Leadership-expert™ – click here.
From visiting organisations, I’ve found that the happiest employees and managers regularly invest in themselves and their personal leadership training. People have often sought out useful leadership books and learning material that will help them along the path to happiness and success in leadership. These days, many e-courses tend to be rather disappointing, and although we can all learn from material which is available on-line, finding the right learning programme for you can be a real challenge.
So, if you are looking for access to straight-forward, useful leadership training materials, top tips and tools to help you to become a more effective leader in your organisation, join our community and I will let you know every week when I have been able to update the website with some incredibly useful, cutting-edge leadership thinking and techniques – all for free.
Bespoke Leadership Training:
If you have specific leadership and management training needs and don’t want to spend hours trawling the internet, employ Leadership-Expert™ to find the right solution for you.
If you are looking for very specific leadership training which doesn’t fall into any of the above categories, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will compile an initial assessment of your development needs and learning style, undertake the appropriate research and recommend the most relevant leadership training solution to meet your and your organisations needs. The cost of this service is minimal compared to the overall training outlay and could save you £thousands if you attend a programme that is ultimately not right for you.
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 modern manager understands the benefits that can be gained from team diversity, but managing a truly multicultural team is not a simple task. While many developed and developing countries are packed with organisation featuring a wide range of ethnicities, often these employees have all lived in the same country for many years and as such are not truly multicultural, as they share much of the same heritage and background.
Globalisation and the international consolidation of industry has led to large, international groups of companies becoming the norm, and with this – comes the really significant changes like language barriers, cultural differences and a plethora of new perspectives, as well as working styles. Whether you’re leading a cross-global project team, or work with internationally seconded employees, you’ll be familiar with the new challenges that these changes bring.
A Uniform Approach or a Tailored Style?
One of the first decisions you have to make as a leader or manager, is whether to use a consistent leadership style in your interactions with all people, or to effectively treat each culture differently. The latter method is simpler, and leaves your mind freer to deal with day to day tasks, however increases the risk of alienating individuals or committing a faux pas.
I believe the answer to this question lies in how many cultures you deal with on a day to day basis. Do you interact closely with a select few cultures, or are you engaged with a far wider number at a further distance?
An example of the latter would be a university lecturer who must teach a class with more nationalities than one could name. In this case, a universal approach to leadership styles seems reasonable. This is for two key reasons: The first is that ensuring one observes the often subtle manners and traditions of a particular culture requires a significant amount of effort, and attempting to do so for a class of 20 students would require more attention than in acceptable. Secondly, a relationship between lecturer and student is more distant, meaning the lecturer would often have to make a ‘best guess’ at the cultural background of the student before tailoring a response – a strategy that again would distract a lecturer from their teaching, and could result in offensive mistakes.
The opposite applies for intimate business relationships with different cultures, for example perhaps you are engaged in a consultancy project with a Japanese client, which means you have work closely with Japanese employees to produce your deliverables. In this case, developing a style of interaction suited for Japanese people is probably the most efficient and effective leadership method.
How to Develop a Uniform Leadership Style
A leadership style that ‘works’ across all cultures is one that is polite, respectful and sincere, as this will always be appreciated. Becoming a multicultural manager is about stripping back some of the traits that are actually culturally relevant to your home country, but not transferable to others.
Generally speaking, for British managers, this would involve:
- Refraining from using sarcasm, displaying cynicism,
- Not using ‘edgy’ banter that may be taken the wrong way.
- Avoiding the use of colloquialisms unless you plan to put this in context for the listener. “As we would say in England, ‘The early bird catches the worm’.“‘
- Maintaining good body language, as this is more keenly observed by some cultures than others.
Developing a Tailored Leadership Style
In the case of the Japanese Consultancy Project, it would be worthwhile to research how westerners (or visitors from other countries) can best adapt to the often unforgiving Japanese traditions. (This site would be a good place to start). There are two levels of development of your behaviour to suit their culture; The first level is concerned with minimising faux pas, or social mistakes, which may instantly ruin the good rapport you have built up with them. The second level is about truly understanding how the other culture ‘works’, in order to sculpt your behaviour to go beyond the norm, to impress and inspire your multicultural teams.
The first level can be obtained by researching online or in books, guides written to help businessmen and travelers fit in with foreign cultures. The second level requires more forethought, and will be attained after you have built up a host of experiences with the culture in question.
How do you set out in dealing with people from different cultures that you have never worked with before? How do you not only ‘get on’ with them, but lead them effectively? Leave your comments below!
When dealing with any aspect of business, setting objectives can be incredibly important. When setting objectives, whether it’s to do with leadership or any other aspect of business, I think it’s important to follow a certain structure and criteria. Whether you have a business the size of Money Supermarket or McDonalds, I’m sure they all have their own set of objectives that prove vital to their ambitions.
When it’s time for me to set objectives, I’ve found that setting small aims that then lead to an overall objective can help to keep you motivated and on the right path when it’s easy to become distracted. When setting your leadership objectives, remember to keep them SMART.
SMART Leadership Objectives
When you are setting leadership objectives for yourself, follow this criteria and keep them SMART. SMART is short-form for what your leadership objectives should be, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-constraint. I have seen other variations of what SMART should stand for but they all follow the same basic principles. So you might now be thinking, how do I set up SMART objectives now that I know what SMART stands for? Here’s the acronym in a bit more detail:-
• Specific – A specific objective specifies exactly what it wants to achieve. If you know exactly what you want to aim towards, then this helps you to keep your eyes on the prize, there’s no point having an objective that could have variable outcomes
• Measurable – An objective should always be measurable, otherwise how would you know when you have achieved what you want to achieve? Keeping your objective measurable helps to keep you motivated as you can measure how close you are to achieving your desired goal
• Achievable – There’s no point setting yourself an objective that isn’t achievable with the resources available to you, so make sure that the objective is attainable based on your personal circumstances
• Realistic – Your objectives should always be realistic, but being realistic can cover a lot of variables, from achieving what you want to achieve in a certain time scale, to not trying to aim for something that is completely beyond what you require
• Time Constraint – Always set yourself a time limit when setting your objectives, you don’t want to let your aims go on forever because you may never see the end point. Set yourself some little aims with short timescales that lead to an overall goal that may be some 6 months in the future.
Examples of Leadership SMART Objectives
Here are some examples of how you can make your Leadership objectives SMART:
• To increase website visitors by 10% over the next 3 months
• To develop your leadership skill set by going on a specific course next year
• To identify your leadership style by conducting a leadership questionnaire before the new year
• To improve website revenue by 20% over the next 12 months
Set yourself some SMART leadership objectives for 2011 and see how you get on.
Or you could take our leadership styles questionnaire to help you identify your dominant leadership styles, when planning your career objectives.
“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.
“Fun” Workplaces are one of the biggest magnets for graduates looking for a bright place to launch their career. Early twenty-somethings, also known as Generation Y, aren’t just interested in a generous salary or promotion potential – they want to apply to companies that have a lively culture and accept that professionalism doesn’t necessarily mean boredom.
So how can you, as a manager, go about injecting a bit of fun into the daily working routine of your employees? Read on for our 6 favourite methods that have emerged in the past few years.
Everyone enjoys a good laugh, and provided the victim gets to keep a fraction of their dignity – they will too. Having a atmosphere of quirky pranks will gel your team together as a more cohesive bunch. The more stories they can tell about each other, the more they’ll enjoy spending time together. Some suggested pranks:
- Computer Malfunction. This one is a classic prank, which is very annoying for the victim. First take a screen shot of the victim’s desktop. Now set this screen shot as the background and make it a point to hide all the icons and the task bar and lock them. Now if the victim tries to click anything nothing will work. They will think their computer is frozen and will try to reboot and do any and everything to get their computer to work.
- Post-it Prank. You will have to stay back late after your victim leaves the office or come to the office well in advance to play this prank. All you have to do is cover your co-workers desk and the entire cubicle with post-its. In case you want to make it seem more annoying, put funny messages on each of the post-it notes.
- Telephone Mania. You will need an accomplice for this one. All you need to do is get a co-workers phone, and your own phone and dial the phone numbers of two other co-workers you wish to harass. When the phones ring, switch on the speaker phones of both the phones and hold the phones together so that the two victims can hear each other. Once they start talking, just listen to the confused conversation and have the last laugh!
Find more fun prank ideas here. (External website)
2. Special Lunches/Trips
Once, every month – take your team out for a cinema trip and lunch combination. Being together outside of work will really help new teams to bond, and provide a fresh distraction for veteran employees. I have visited over 20 work places in the past 6 months, and when talking to the staff during their day to day business – they sound the proudest when discussing various perks or activities that management arrange on a weekly or monthly basis.
“Every Tuesday, they pop over the road and buy us all Fish & Chips!” they proudly exclaim. My jealousy only makes their smile widen.
Buy sweets spontaneously and leave them in the office or workplace. Never underestimate the power of sweets to lift up moods and turn the harshest boss back into a school child as their face lights up.
4. Humourous Awards
Whether at the Christmas party – or better – every month or quarter, dish out humourous awards to your staff for various funny qualities or achievements. Here are some examples:
- “Change of Address” - For the staff member who never leaves.
- “The Lochness Award” – Staff member least likely to be found.
- “The Torvill and Dean Award” – For skating round the issues
- “The Selective Hearing Impairment Award” – For only hearing what you want to hear
- “The Clock Watcher” – For being out never later than a minute past 5!
- “The Professional Surfer” – For most time spent on the internet.
- “The Bermuda Triangle Award” – For the desk where things go in and never come out!
5. Allow fun!
The most important element of this list is that in order for your employees to have a good time – you have to really let them! Show leadership in playing pranks yourself and having fun everyday. Officially tweaking company policy to incoporate ‘fun’ into the culture will have as much effect as including it in the small print of their contract – unless you show them that you’re truely commited to them having a good time, and that you won’t frown upon workers for trying to do so.
I hope you enjoyed this guide on how to have a more fun office environment. Fun is the greater motivator, so go out and create some!
Author – Simon Oates – leadership-expert.co.uk
When you were working yourself up the ladder undoubtedly there were days when you had to drag yourself to work. It wasn’t because of the job or your team mates; it was because the managers said the same thing day in and day out. Motivation was low and the word fun was non-existent
The shoe is on the other foot now and you can make a difference if you think about those rough days in the past. Typically there was one manager with charisma and motivation that gave you energy and motivation causing you to look forward to the day ahead. If you were smart, you realized this and stored it in your memory bank for the future. I am not suggesting that you emulate them totally but remember the experiences gained to develop your own leadership style.
Let me share an experience, when I was a young man I worked with a leader that was incredibly demanding. He daily challenged me, I would learn something new and the next day was proud and wanting to show him I knew my stuff. He without fail would ask me something entirely new and different. It took me quiet a while to fully respect and understand what he was doing for me, developing me into a leader. I thought I hated him but in time I realized he was the greatest mentor of my life. That was his leadership style and it worked, on me anyway.
Several years later I was fortunate to have another mentor that was a walking motivational machine. He was the most inspirational person I had ever met and fortunately for me I was the one he selected to groom. He made work a thrill teaching and sharing his wealth of knowledge.
I soon realized that one leader can make the difference in countless ways. I took a lot from both of these men as both had the same goal but different styles of accomplishing it. The first leader made me excited about coming to work to exhibit my talents while the second one honed my skills motivating me how to expand my knowledge and experiences. I didn’t emulate either one totally but admired and respected each equally and learned how to make a job enjoyable.
This is an article from a guest author – Ron Kirby. You can learn more about him on his profile page at http://www.egsebastian.com/RonK.