Concepts of Leadership
I used to think that running an organization was equivalent to conducting a symphony orchestra. But I don’t think that’s quite it; it’s more like jazz. There is more improvisation. — Warren Bennis
Good leaders are made not born. If you have the desire and willpower, you can become an effective leader. Good leaders develop through a never ending process of self-study, education, training, and experience (Jago, 1982). QuantumLead concepts will help leaders develop the skills they need.
To inspire your workers into higher levels of teamwork, there are certain things you must be, know, and, do. These do not necessarily come naturally, but are acquired through continual work and study. Great leaders are continually working and studying to improve their leadership skills; they are NOT resting on their past laurels.
While leadership is learned, the skills and knowledge processed by the leader can be influenced by his or hers attributes or traits, such as beliefs, values, ethics, and character. Knowledge and skills contribute directly to the process of leadership, while the other attributes give the leader certain characteristics that make him or her unique.
Skills, knowledge, and attributes make the Leader, which is one of the:
There are four primary factors of leadership (U.S. Army, 1983):
You must have an honest understanding of who you are, what you know, and what you can do. Also, note that it is the followers, not the leader or someone else who determines if the leader is successful. If they do not trust or lack confidence in their leader, then they will be uninspired. To be successful you have to convince your followers, not yourself or your superiors, that you are worthy of being followed.
Different people require different styles of leadership. For example, a new hire requires more supervision than an experienced employee does. A person who lacks motivation requires a different approach than one with a high degree of motivation. You must know your people! The fundamental starting point is having a good understanding of human nature, such as needs, emotions, and motivation. You must come to know your employees’ be, know, and do attributes. Do you have EQ?
You lead through two-way communication. Much of it is nonverbal. For instance, when you “set the example,” that communicates to your people that you would not ask them to perform anything that you would not be willing to do. What and how you communicate either builds or harms the relationship between you and your employees.
All situations are different. What you do in one situation will not always work in another. You must use your judgment to decide the best course of action and the leadership style needed for each situation. For example, you may need to confront an employee for inappropriate behavior, but if the confrontation is too late or too early, too harsh or too weak, then the results may prove ineffective.
Also note that the situation normally has a greater effect on a leader’s action than his or her traits. This is because while traits may have an impressive stability over a period of time, they have little consistency across situations (Mischel, 1968). This is why a number of leadership scholars think the Process Theory of Leadership is a more accurate than the Trait Theory of Leadership.
Various forces will affect these four factors. Examples of forces are:
- your relationship with your seniors
- the skill of your followers
- the informal leaders within your organization
- how your organization is organized
What makes it Quantum Leadership?