5 Leadership Lessons: Measure of a Leader
Aubrey and James Daniels wrote a comprehensive and thoughtful book on leadership entitled, Measure of a Leader. It is a book that deserves far more attention. The premise is a new model of leadership that focuses on the behavior of followers. By becoming a better observer of human behavior we can become better leaders. They say that “most leadership writers limit their premises to the success of the leader at his or her particular venture.” There’s more to it than that. How you accomplish something is as important (if not more important) than what you accomplish. Here are a few lessons from their book:
In any undertaking that requires leadership, loyalty to the individual may be how the venture starts, but it is not how that venture thrives. If the leader cannot transfer personal loyalty to his vision, he has failed one of the critical tests of effective leadership.
When change exposes individuals to failure and punishment, they resist. When change increases the person’s access to reinforcement, they seek it out. Since one f the leader’s key functions is to lead change, he must view resistance as a signal that something is wrong with the process being used to achieve desired change rather than simply passing off the resistance to change as a normal characteristic of human behavior. Contrary to common opinion, it is not normal!
Learning to lead is a function of deliberate practice. You refine your techniques and skills by observing the followers’ responses. While you may pick up some pointers from the stories of others, you cannot simply imitate what they do. This intentional search for the impact of your actions will set you apart from those who try to replicate the actions of other leaders.
Managers need to learn the following rule: you don’t lead by results; you lead to results; and only behavior will get you there. It is important to differentiate between behavior and non-behavior. Of course, attitudes are not behaviors; competencies are not behaviors; values are not behaviors; employee involvement and commitment are not behaviors. Asking someone to smile more often may be infinitely more helpful than telling him to change his attitude.
Learning leadership is fundamentally a self-management task. But this task is made immensely more difficult if you think of it in terms of changing your personality, such as becoming more charismatic. Since leadership is defined in terms of the behavior of the followers, the task is to ask, “What do I want my followers to do?” and then “What must I do to produce that behavior?”
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Copyright ©1998-2012 LeadershipNow / M2 Communications All Rights Reserved
All materials contained in http://www.LeadershipNow.com are protected by copyright and trademark laws and may not be used for any purpose whatsoever other than private, noncommercial viewing purposes. Derivative works and other unauthorized copying or use of stills, video footage, text or graphics is expressly prohibited. LeadershipNow is a trademark of M2 Communications.