this is a piece still being worked on about leadership
Ever since man could walk upright on his own two legs, we have always followed leaders. There has always been a need from someone to direct us in our daily lives, it is in our nature. Even going back to time of the cavemen, we always struggled to follow the best and strongest leaders we could find. And we are truly loyal to one leader or another, as long as there goals, and ideals, match up with what we want, or what we believe in. However, if they prove to be not meeting those needs, or if someone better comes along, all bets are off.
There are certain things we, as humans, look for in leaders and will, at times, blindly follow those people anywhere and do anything for them. Did you ever think about why that is? Or what even causes us to blindly follow this leader or that one, or even what makes us change the direction we are going, which might lead us to another type or kid of leader?
Have you ever known a leader who stands out from the rest? Maybe in a good way? Or Maybe in a not so good way? I know I have known them. Truth be told, I’m pretty sure that most people, at some time in their life, knew someone on both sides, good and bad. And I’m sure most were on both sides at one time, depending on the issue. I know I have. But did you ever question what makes that person a good or bad leader? Does this person inspire you? Or demean you, for their own satisfaction, or their own advancement? Or maybe simply because they can? How does this person interact with others?
How do you know what a good leader even is? Are you a good leader? Can you be a better leader? More importantly, what makes a good leader? Or a bad one? Do you know, or do you think you know?
Personally, I believe leadership is a nebulous term, meaning that it has various definitions depending on the need. History is replete with good leaders, and a few bad ones. There are a lot of them, but no one really looks for the bad or the good, usually that kind of information comes out on its own.
Names like George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, George Macarthur to name just a few good ones. What about Barak Obama? Robert E. Lee? Malcom X? Were they good leaders? I think so, for the most part. But for no other reason than that they had what was needed at that time. The question is that was it really what it takes to be a leader in the world.
General C.B. Cates, 19th commandant of the Marine corps, says that leadership is something that is difficult to measure, and harder, yet, to describe. He believes, as many do, that leaders are made, not born. In other words, terms like 'a natural born leader' does not really ever apply to people, because it is not what is in you that makes you a good leader, it is, however, what you use what you learn that does.
I, personally, do understand this thinking intimately. not because, like General Cates, I am a U.S. Marine, but because I have learned what being a good leader means. And honestly, sometimes I fid it very hard to be that good leader that each and everyone wants to have, or maybe even to be themselves.
Maybe you do know a good leader, or maybe you know a bad one. What makes him such a good or a bad leader? What traits does he have that make him that way? Think about that for a few minutes, think of someone that you know that is a good leader, and maybe someone, you know personally, that isn’t such a good leader.
As Marines, we are taught how to be leaders, every one of us are taught how to be leaders in the Corps. It is drilled into us from the first day of boot camp, to the last day you serve as an active duty Marine. From the newest Infantryman to the CMC, that stands for the title of The Commandant of the Marine Corps, the highest-ranking U.S. Marine, are taught to be not only leaders but also how to be a symbol for what good leaders should be.
Remember that leadership has nothing to do with titles. That’s what I said, titles do not make you a leader. What this means is this, if you are at work, and you get promoted to a manager position. And you accept it and start right away. That does not make you a leader in any sense of the word. It might in the eyes of the company you work for, but without the knowledge of how to be a leader, it means nothing.
I think it’s important to mention this here that leaders lead people, Managers manage people. Notice that I said manage people. That, in my opinion is the god’s truth. In fact, I believe it to be stone cold truth that the only definition of a leader is someone who leads people. Simple isn’t it? Sounds like it is, and truthfully, it is easier to think that way, but it really isn’t. the author of this thought is thinking of this in terms that are just simply too simple.
Bill Gates thinks that leaders will be those that empower others. What are your thoughts on this? Do you believe it, or is there something else you believe in? I ask stuff like this for a simple reason. To make you think for yourself.
The lesson here is that this in and of itself is a good idea but there is still something missing from this Mr. Gates’ idea. Can you figure out what it is that is missing? If you can’t, don’t worry many can’t. what is missing in this definition is parts stating about goals or vision. These are relatively important concepts for leaders to grasp.
So, then the question must be asked, what is the definition of leadership? The definition is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of goal.
Let’s look at this definition a second or two, shall we? Well the first thing that jumps out at me, with this definition is this thought. That the leadership comes out of social influence. It doesn’t mean you have power or authority and that it requires others that want to be one the team as it were. But in that you might want to make note that the others are not “subordinate to anyone, the term for that is ‘direct reports. Nor does it include a title, or personal attributes or anything like that. It also mentions a goal but it does not mention any influence on intended outcomes.
What makes my definition different than what you were probably thinking? Well what I found makes this definition different is that there is a “maximation of efforts”. Engaging employees is important in this area as this does cause employees to be giving “discretionary effort”, but effort nonetheless.
So does this definition of leadership work for you as it does for me? I hope so. Think about the key elements I have talked about so far; do they work for you? They should.
How did I learn this? Remember I told you I am a U.S. Marine? And how it was drilled into us at boot camp? What techniques did they use to plant it firmly with in our minds to be one of them? As one would expect, we were taught to recognize leadership traits within us by use of the acronym “JJDIDTIEBUCKLE”.
Got to love the military acronyms, they seem to have one for everything, and this is no exception. I believe this to be the most important lesson taught in boot camp, and the reason for this paper being written. The acronym stands for these traits:
There are 14 leadership traits taught by the Marines. That in and of itself, if you aren’t sure what a trait is, should bring a simple question to mind. What is trait? That is the simple answer, simply put, A trait is a distinguishing characteristic or quality, especially of one's personal nature.
Each one of these has a meaning. The ideals they refer to make one a better leader, or even to make a leader out of someone who currently is not one. These 14 leadership traits are very important to have but can be a bit much to remember. The acronym helps, but I find understanding what is meant by each one is a bit easier to remember it when needed.
Let’s look at each one of the traits and see how to use them. Maybe, just maybe, you, the reader will take something away from this with something new to be a better leader.
Let's go ahead and start at the beginning, shall we? Justice is at the top of the list. So, what is the definition of justice? What does it mean to have justice? How do you apply it? Think about these answers before you read on, look it up in the dictionary, if it pleases you.
According to Dictionary.com the definition of Justice is the ability to give reward and punishment according to the merits of the case in question. But not to limit it to anything, which would diminish its usefulness, I feel. So, it must be done with absolute impartially and consistently for it to be effective.
This is extremely important trait to have knowledge of and use of. Based on the definition it seems to be a good base for the beginnings of learning to become a good leader, as well. A lot of people have known this trait, and have it, but may not recognize it in this way; So, to make it easier to understand, the word could also be changed to Integrity, it is essentially the same thing.
I could simplify this, even further by saying that it is the trait of doing what is right, but it only works if it is all done out in the open for all to see. If this is done in secret, it loses all its power. This is one of the primary traits of a leader because once this trait is damaged in someone’s eyes, then it changes their respect from workers goes with it as well, and the leader will have a lot of issues trying to lead.
According to Forbes magazine website, in an article published on February 8, 2018, It is believed that once their leaders are seen to lack integrity that it cannot be recovered from, and that will lead to a lack of, or a loss of, trust.* I believe it is also true that you really only have one chance to do the right thing, as a leader. After that, to either back pedal, or to change justice for another person, effects every decision that must be made from that point on. And will thusly destroy the use of it for everyone in the group.
If done right, however, this trait will inspire your people and get them to push themselves to levels they never knew before. It is also imperative for one to have fairness and impartiality in order to gain trust and respect of subordinates. And it is that respect that brings discipline especially when you are building a repertoire with a team.
To sum this trait up, it could be said if you do the right thing it'll pay off in the end. However, to know the definition of this trait is a great start, but how to apply it is something completely different that must be mastered just as well. It will take a lot to learn it, but it can be learned.
You see, the trait of justice, is the quality of displaying fairness and impartiality, and is important for gaining trust and respect from your team. But it doesn’t end there, Oh no! You must, as a leader, continually refine it and use it, because even though one incident comes and then passes, your respect can be won or lost in a second. Once that is lost it is difficult, if not impossible to replace.
Judgement is the next one in line. The next section is called Judgement. The second one on the list. The definition of it, is the ability to weigh facts and possible courses of action in order to make sound decisions. The reason I think it is funny because, by definition, judgement and justice go hand-in -hand with each other, or at least it seems like it.
According to the definition of this term it gives the ability to judge, make a desiscion, or form an opion objectively, authoritatively, and wisely especially in matters affecting action, good sence and descretion. Basically, it is the trait one must use to weigh the pros and cons of a situation before coming to a descision. In otherwords for one to make a descision, one must have all the facts about it, one way and the other. If one does go without fair counsil one tends to slam into walls along the way, or at the very least make a bad descision, or even an unfair one, thus losing trust.
Those leadersshould be endowed with the abilty to make descsions, due to their postion. They must make descisions; however, they must also be willing to take risks on those decisions, and if wrong, to hold them selves accountable for them first and foremost. This is being decisive, and leaders who are not, are really poor leaders. In todays workplace, leaders are often ineffective because they refuse to make the descisions due to fear of failure. Some try to use a consensus to make the decision, however this can cause problems.
Others, often turn or ask for each and every descision be made by a hire up than themselves, which relieves them of the consequences for said descisions, thus allowing them to be seen as weak, or ineffective leaders. Often times poor, or ineffective leaders often allow the debate, or letting majority rule run things, and this process really satisfies no one and gets the group no where, and then no progress is made. This usually leads to a failure of the project and no responsibility being put or accepted.
As Marines we are taught this by being taught the principle of 'leadership from the front'. This principle simply is that the leaders are the first to go through it, before the others. If they refuse to do that, by this principle, are deemed weak leaders or ineffective leaders. Logically it is better to show your people what to do, than to explain it and expect them to do it correctly. And if done right, that will create more trust than anything else will.
On the other hand,' leadership from behind' can work as well as from the front. The part I have a problem with this is, what I call, the “I'm not gonna do it, you do it.” thinking, which has some searious pitfalls to it, but if utilized properly, it can cause real growth, by leaders choosing to step out of the way and let his people shine, and in turn build a better team and a better leader.
Let us never forget that sometimes we have to make people under us feel uncomfortable, in order to make them shine. But when doing this, one must be very careful, as there is a fine line between making people feel uncomfortable to make them better, or scaring them away. But a good leader knows this.
This trait is pretty easy to understand, but could be and surely is one of the important ones. To put it bluntly, dependability is the certainty of proper preformace of duties with integrity. In simpler terms it means being reliable.
To me a dependable leader is one who isn't detered by obsticles placed in his path. He/she always finds was to adapt and overcome any obsticle. This is not to say that the dependable leader also takes pride in being reliable, accountable, and zealously protects the trust earned each and everytime he does something, consistantly, without fail.
To learn this trait there are a few things you can do to develop this trait:
simply accomplish the tasks given.(dont be dissuaded by obsticles in your path, find solutions, even when none exsist, make them)
Dont offer excuses or blame others(always accept blame when necessary, this world is filled with people who assign blame or fault that should be going to them. Don't be one of them)
Simply keep the commitments you make( if you say you will do something, then do it.)
show up on time every time.(being late shows a lack of discipline and respect for others time)
Always keep in mind that others are couting on you(when you became a leader, others were entrusted to your care, and theywill look to you for guidance and feedback. They need to count o you. Remember that.)
Dependability is a trait the every leader should possess. It is extremely essential for the leader to have it, without it, a leader doesn't really get the respect they need to do the job effectively. It is also the trait that can't be shown over a short period of time, it is one that takes time to show it.No one can show up and say they are dependable without proof, and that will take time to achieve. However it is also one of the simplest ones to do, simply do what you say you will do, it is just that simple. I'm not kidding. While also keeping in mind that you need to promise only things you know you can accomplish, it takes a good balance for you to learn this.
The next trait is initiative. By definition this trait is the ability to assess and initiate things independantly, or simply put taking action in the absence of others. This is a really good trait to learn right, because this one could actually help you a lot, or get you in a lot of trouble. The key here is to have solutions to real problems, and not solution percieved problems.
This one can keep you on the cutting edge of issues, or can have the issues cut you, which is why you need to temper this trait with good jusdgement. Why? So glad you asked.
The tech field is a good exple of this trait, because they are always creating gadgets or things that there is no market for now, but there will be, or may be sometime in the future.
That is not to say that you will never cross that line, once in a while, but learn from ,it and how to correct it.
The Marine Corps thought this trait was so important, that they teach it to each and every marine through out the corps, but it is also an integril part of there warfighting philosophy, So while it is one you must carefully use, and possess, you must learn to use it effectivly and correctly for it to be effective.
This next trait is a highly important one. This is Decisiveness. What is this? Why, simply put The definition of it is the ability to make appropriate descisions in a timely manner. The 'so-called' experts say that this is a great, if not the best trait, to have to be a leader. While at the same time it is one of the most dangerous one to have as well. Why? This one also relies on your past expierences to be effective. This is one of the best indicators as to how effective of a leader you will be.
While making descisions, One does not want to be too hasty in making descions, nor do you want to be paralyzed by fear and make no descisions, either. This is the major down fall for this trait as one can be a major failure as a leader if not done right, thus rendering them ineffective and useless as leaders. There is hope however as it is rather impossible that one is not able to make irrational descisions at certain times and be calm and collected at others, you are normally one way or the other, and not both.
It cannot be stressed enough that a leaders ability to make a high percentage of good descisions is fundimental to the effectiveness of the indiviual and the success of the organization. With the rapid pace of business and increasing pressure of time constraints of todays business world will mean that dealing with the complexity and speed of things is a constant battle, thus making descisions harder and harder to make. This brings up a good question. How does one make good descisions? Well, I am glad you asked. Alot of the most sucessful executives know that making descisions is a process, that is how effective they maximize their average when it comes to descisions. There are also inherent dangers in taking too long to make descisions, or making descisions too hasty.
I realize that todys leaders must, at times, make descisions, both big and small, without knowing all the information. But by acknowledging that a descision is not treated as a discrete choice made at a split secind in time, but rather a process that unfolds as it should within the organization , the leader will greatly improve his odds of making a right descision, and running it the way it should be run.
That brings us back to the most importnt question one could ask in this section, how does one make a descision? The process actually differes from person to person, business to business. My research has shown me that some, if not most, of the most sucessfulldescision makers involves a few things:
1.Gather information from a wide base or sourses
2.foster constructive conflict
3.Honestly consider the alternatives
4. dont dominate the process
5. test assumptions
6. make a clear yes/no descision. And explain it.
7. Stay involved with the execution
Within this trait there is an unwritten theory that a lot of people do use. It is called the “Law of proportional descision making”, and I feel this is an important trinket of knowledge to get from this section. This theory states that the amount of time one uses to make descisions should be directly proprtional to the outcomes it has. So to make it more simpler, or dumb it down, for other people like me, that means that the big descisions need more time to be made, where as small or little descisions dont.
I would go so far as to say that the most critical descisions one can make are people descisions. So it is here that I can't stress enough how important it is to have the right talent around you, simply doing this will increase your correct descisions, and push you forward with your team by your side, beliving in you as never before.
Tact, the next leadership trait, is the easiest concept to grasp. It is quite simply, knowing what to say, when to say it, and how to say it without causing offence to anybody. This one goes back to my, and most people's childhood, as I remember, my mom telling me to treat others as you would like to be treated. It really is that simple. Its pretty cut and dry.
In today's world , how does one use tact? well it starts before a converstion ever begins, as one needs to put them selves in the other persons shoes, how would one like to be treated? Or even talked to? Following that simple rule could gain you mastwry of this conept.
Remember that basic communication is universal, so if you keep asking yourself if you , yourself, would be offended by saying something then you would be doing something right, if not, change it.. This will take some practice, but with enough of it, it will become so much easier. Actually it will get to the point where you dont have to ever think about it like that, you just do it.
I think this is the point where something does need to be said. If, for what ever reason, the discussion gets heated or goes terribly wrong for either side it then becomes imperative to give some time to pass for things to cool down. This will also allow you to get your thoughts together and decide how best to deliever them.
You may have already guessed this but this is a key part of being tactful, as I said earlier, knowing when to say what needs to be said. Hoonestly t is far better to wait and say something with tact than to react and say something with malice, any time. By doing this, this could make a rough situation, better for all involved. It also always helps to be corteous and cheerful at all times, that is something I do need to learn more of doing.
I would think this trait is one that really needs no introduction, but I will not assume anything at any time.
What is integrity? Well, according to the dictionary it is the adherence to moral or ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty. Well that was pretty straightforward, right? I thought so.
What you may not know, is that this trait is the most important thing a leader needs to be a leader. Can you be a leader without it? No, not really. I mean you can have the title of manager, supervisor, team leader, or whatever the title is,but without this you will not really have anybody to led as no one will trust you. No one can or will follow someone they dont trust, I know I wouldn't.
But this is one that you will have to display constantly, and be constantly proving that you have this all the time. Unfortunately, you cannot just say that you have integrity, without proof, and expect everyone, or really anybody, to believe you. It requires constant proof. The more we have of it, the more people will believe it and trust, the converse is just as true.
I feel it is important to say that one slip, one insigificant slip of your integrity will effectivly wipe away decades of built up integrity. It is a fact, which is why it must be protected at all costs, without fail. There is no second chances for this, your people will never give it to you.
Are there any bad examples of this trait to be shown? Well of course there are. We only need look to the sports entertainment industry for eamples of the lack of intergrity, it is repleate with them.
Think about it, how many people, once thought of as heros, are reduced to villans, or 'zeros' as the popular phase goes, almost over night. One bad thing , in their case can end a carreer and destory the image of a hero to us.
Outside of the leadership trait the idea of integrity is also a moral responcibility, as well as a virtue. Keep in mind that the concept of intergity implies a wholeness, a comperhensive core belief which could be thought of as a worldview as well.
How does employers find out if people have integrity? Simply by use of “integrity tests” or “ honesty tests”. It is assumed that people of “low “ integrity report more dishonest behavior, try to find reasons for such behavior, think others are more likely to commit crimes, exhibit impulsive behavior, wile at the same time, they think society should severely punish such behavior.
It is believed that “fake” answers can be found, plays a pivitol role in detecting people of low integrity. In fact Niave people who really believe this, have a tendancy to have higher scores for this,as they fear that this test will reveal their own low Integrity.
But make no mistake that integrity is a choice to be made. A personal choice whether to hold ones self to the values of integrity, and that descision is constantly being made in each persons mind with every descision they make, every time. While it is acceptable to makee a bad choice, if the information you were given is erroneous, but not if one knows the information to be true and correct and the descision is still made to act without integrity.
Do you ever have enthusiasm about a certain subject? Do you have a passion for this subject? If you do then that is enthusiasm. This trait is one of those traits that need to be tempered in order for it to be of any use. This is defined as a sincere interest and exhuberance in the preformance of your duties. To simplify this definition, it means that you are entusiastic, you are optimistic and cheerful, and willing to accept challenges.
It cannot be stressed enough that you need to be genuine in displaying Enthusiasm.
Now this trait does have a bad side to it, that can be just as bad as any other ba side of a trait could be. It is bad when true Enthusiasm turns into obnioxious or over zealous behavior. If it does it can be as destructive as acid poured on something. So how does one know how much enthusiasm to put in to a project and to keep it from sounding or being perceived as false? How much enthusism is really needed? Quite simply, your team will tell you, if you listen.
I believe that is one of the biggest keys to being a leader, listen to your people. They will tell you what they need of you.
You will know if you are displaying enough because enthusiasm is contageous, and will snowball down the hill. It will spread and grow along the way. It actually can become unstoppable by the time it hits the bottom. However, it needs to be real and not faked. Your team will know, and when they do it will send the wrong message to them. The message that the project, or whatever your doing, doesn't mean that much, or that it is not worth doing and your trying to put a good face on it. This will only lead to poor preformance, at best, or undermine your integrity and weaken your leadership.
To avoid this pitfall is simple, just talk to your team, talk honestly about it. Tell them of the value and importance of it. Be clear and honest with them, they will know when you arent. If you are, you will get more preformance, and, most probably, get it at a better preformance level than before.
Remember, a British-American author, and motivational speaker once stated that People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it. I believe this whole heartedly.
We have talked about how important communication is to being a leader. This trait is actually part of that. Its called bearing. It is all about how you carry and conduct yourself. Bearing is a huge part of communication because it is all about body language, and voice tone and inflection. And we all know how important to communication is to leadership, or you should by now.
Look at some of the most sucessful leaders in the world. Let's use Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs, or maybe one you can think of at this moment. Picture them in your head. They didn't shine up nice, meaning they didn't put on expensive suits or anything like that, yet they were believed to be great leaders. Why was that? They carried themselves well, in a confidant and authoritative manner. If they didn't where would their respective companies be today? I venture to say they wouldnot be around. But they also learned that this takes practice, it doesn't just happen, nor does it happen over night.
It is important to remember, from your peoples point of view, you are what you project yourself to be. But how do you learn this? Simple, look at sother sucessful leaders and model them. Dont copy, because no one want a simple copy or a leader they want a rel live honest-to-goodness leader. Then take that and personlize it to make it yours. If you try to copy them, it wont sound, look, or even feel right and from your peoples point of view it could damage your integrity because you will sound, look and feel fake, thus loose their faith and trust in you.
Humans are hard wired to follow those who are confidant and positive. Look back through our history, all the way back to the cavemen, and you'll see it. Those types of people always rallied people to their cause easier than others did, just because they were confidant and positive. If they could, then you could, it hard wired in each of us.
How can you one learn this? Pull up a mirror. Stand infront of it. Be honest with your self, if you are you'll do better in the long run. Dont be afraid to make adjustments to ensure you are pojecting the right image. Read your subject to someone, a wife, friend or family member. Ask them if you projected properly. Look at body language, posture, facial expressions and voice tone. Everything.
A good way of working on it is what I call the “as if...” principle. Because the best way to becaome something is to act as if you are already it. For example, if you wish to be a writer... then write. Or a musician, break out the instruments and play. It sounds simple, and it is, but if you do it long enough, it will become second nature and you wont need to even think about it you eill just do it.
If you are truly interested in that, then never settle for minimums, always reach for the stars. I can tell you from expirience that just barely doing the minimums will never get you to the point you want to be. In fact, some people may see that as being ingenuous and you will loose integrity over it. It really isn't work it.
Can you remember any leaders from your past? Think of them for a moment, what do you remember about them? What did they do right? Or wrong?
Did you know that humans are naturally compelled to follow leaders who look out for their teammates. I think its part of our nature, or maybe our DNA. Well where ever it is lodged, there is one thing that is for sure, is that this trait is an essential element in building a great team. It also inspires and promotes unity in said team. If you aren't willing to participat in an activity, you are not gonna be an effective leader, its that simple.
Of course, the definition of this is, simply,not selfish; generous. Its very simple and straightfoward, not much grey area in that, is there?
So knowing the definition, let me ask you a few more questions like these.Have you ever met someone who, no matter how much or little they contributed, took all of the credit? Or even worse spread the blame? When you saw this, how did it make you feel?
Or did you ever meet someone who is truly vested in achieving the best results possible so they pitched in and maybe put someone else in charge? And when the work had been done, ensured that the teeam got the credit for it. Or even if things didn't go exactly right, did they accept the responcibility for it, and never blamed the employees for it. Now how did this person make you feel? I'm willing to bet pretty darn good.
Remember that good leaders will lead most of the time; However, great leaders may step backfrom time to time and let others take the spotlight away from them and shine. This trait isn't all about helping out, there is a bit of recognition within it as well, and this really is the important part.
Thinking about this trait, I came across this saying, Arnold Glasow, an American thinker who died in 1998, said that a good leader takes a little more than his sharrre of the blame, and a little less than his share of the credit. In this description a leader is shown to be unselfish in his needs.
Just remember and be considerate of others, do others as you wish to be done, and you will master this trait quickly.
Do you know any courtrageous people? Did you know any that were afraid of everything? Yes it take courage to be a leader, and one must know what it is and how to use it, for it to work.
Honestly, this may be the most misunderstood trait in the whole lot. Why? Before I answer that let me ask you, what is courage? What answer did you give? If you said that courage is the absence of fear, you would be wrong. But dont worry, a lot of good leaders would have answered that question the same way, but it is completely inaccurate. A complete lack of fear is closer to ignorance than courage.
Feeling fear does not mean you arent courageous, not at all. In fact facing fear is what courageous people do regularly. They just dont back down from fear, nor let it bother them, much. But rest assured, courageous do feel fear they deal with it without letting it get the better of them, but rest assued they are fearful at times.
Actually, having a lack of fear could be, and actually is, dangerous. I think it is better to be a coward than to be completely fearless. Having fear inside you is not a bad thing, a certain level of fear is good and healthy. It can keep you from doing things that could hurt, or even kill you. But being fearless removes the inhibitions to do things that ordinarily you would not do.
But how much fear should a leader actually have? That is a very good question, one which really has no right answer. I think a happy spot somewhere in between would be best. There must a balance in there somewhere.
Being a true leader, one must always keep in mind that your actions will and do affect others. Being fearless and if you fail you could destroy lives, and on the opposite side of that coin being cowardly you would no be doing yourself or your team anyfavors, in fact youd be letting them down.
The key part is that moderation is the one and only key you should remember. But it is not the only thing to remember, the biggest part is learning how to control fear by practicing self-discpline and calmness. Can't say that by doing this fear wont run rampant, but if you control it, you can curb those tendancies, and in the end make you a better leader for it.
The next trait we are going to look at is the trait of knowledge. This one really sounds simple, doesn't it? In actuality it is quite simple; However, this trait is one that is the second most misunderstood. Most of the time, when we consider this trait we think of formal education, and while that is VERY important, it is only a small part of it, in fact. I believe that this trait isn't really just one trait. there are a few things that are contained within this trait. Expirience, formal educucation, whatyou learn for your self are all a part of the educational part of this.
Real world expirience is the best and fastest way of gaining the knowledge you need, however real world expierience isn't something that comes over night. This particualr part of this is earned ver a very long time. It is important to remember here that this is the primary focus when accessing the level of ones knowledge. And one cannot replace actually knowing how to do something with actually doing it.
A degree doesn't really mean that you are an expert in real world expirience, in fact the truth is that by the time you earn your degree, it is most likely already outdated in the field. So while a degree can hekp in this part, it is not the only way to obtain it. That is the formal education part. The hard earned college degree, that most likely, you sat through courses you were wondering how they applied to your chosen degree.
The final part is what you learn on your own. This really doesn't care whether you have a degree, are in classes to earn one, or whether you aren't even trying to get one. A good way to learn this part is to read as much as you can about this subject, from anywhere you can get it.
One may try several thing to gain more knowledge. Write a book, start a group, or even a blog. This actually makes me think of the easiest way to get what you are looking for, that is simply find a mentor to help you. I dare you to even take this a step further, once you are ready to, then you can in turn mentor someone to pass on the kinowledge you have gained in the subject and help someone eklse learn, just like you did. I call it simply paying it forward.
As we have discussed before that if courage and knowledge are the most misunderstood, then loyality is most the dangerous and definatly not one to be played with. In my opion, this one is the one that needs to be repsected as it does contain the most power to it. Why is it so dangerous? Because unlike the others, this one that can be easily given to the wrong person or abused. Both of which could be very dangerous for someone trying to be a good leader. This is one of the situation which could lead to corperate greed trying to take over, or even on a larger scale this could lead t dictators ruling nations as well.
On the other hand, properly placed loyalty can build hope, inspires inivative and innovation. It can also unlock valuable potential in your people, that even they didn;t know was there before. This is the way most business to prosper for everyone.
According to a poll taken, it seems that about 46% of new hires left their company in the first year. But that does beg the question” Is loyalty truly dead?” This is a valifd question, especially nowadays. Especially with the younger generations being less willing to work under a leader they have no respect for, rather than try to earn it. This puts an extra strain on people to be more authentic at all times. As such, it is so very important that leader do as they say, as well as do what they say, this can build loyalty.
One of the key things leaders who wish to have loyalty given to them, is that they need to see their roles as motivating and improving the work life of those they lead. It is just as important part of having loyalty is that the leaders need to develop their people,both in and out of work. Without this movtivtion, workers are more likely to leave their present postion . How ccan you combat this? Challenge your people. Push them out of their comfort zones but also support them every step of the way. Fear should not take a foot hold in anything inside the leader except for the stagnation of your peoples skills, not even the fear that they may loose theiremployee to another company should really have a foot hold in the leaders heart or mind.
Leaders should never be open and transarent with everything to their employees, and should regularly share their ideas with their people. And in turn, they should never haveto guess where their leader is coming from with anything, so beign crystal clear is a relativly important point for leaders. The point should not be missd that the goal is to have a regular and meaningful diaogues with employees, but not to just win arguments.
It cant be stressed enough that leaders that inspire loyalty, usually take time to know their employees in work and out. Not just their past work preformance but also about families, hobbies, and interests outside of work.
It is important for leaders to know their employees as people, not just numbers or employees at work. It does go along way to cultivating loyalty. I think this goes a long way to ensuring that the employees will be there when you, as leader, and the company needs them. It also goes a long way to decreasing the percentage of people who leave the company, as well as building a base of long term employees.
We have finally arrived at the last leadership trait. And that trait is endurance. This trait, if any of them will, will be the one that separates thise who are leaders, from those who want to be leaders. Its obvious those that have this trait can endure rough times, and always come out of tip of most situations.
No one ever said being a leader is difficult to do, but it isn't really easy either, and requires some work to get it right. Endurance comes in to play with in leaders because it takes a strong commitment to being a good leader, and constant work to get it done and those that dont have the endurance to stick to it through thick and thin isn't really a good leader.
Endurance, basically, needs to be built up and doesnt come naturally. But how does one build endurance in leadership? Well, mental, emotional endurance gets built the same way physical endurance is, through repartition. The mind and spirit needs to do this separately, nor does the physical part as well. But how does one build it?
Understand why you are enduring this issue, committ yourself, and strt with a clear plan are the basicsteps to building your endurance of all kinds within you.
Understanding why you are enduring this porject, should be the primary place to start with, shouldn't it? I mean if you know the importnce of the project you are starting, and its place in your plan, the less likely you are just put it down and walk away. Kind of makes sence, doesn't it? It does to me.
Then comes committing yourself to the project. I have always know that if you mae a commitment to your self, either in writing or orally, your chances of completing it will increse significantly.
Remember that truthfully, that we are the only ones standing our own way with anything we do. Not only is that the God's honest truth, but the other truth, that goes with that, is the fact that we have to stand by any and all consequences for our descisions.
I know for me, it wouldn't sit well with me, if I knew I could have completed something, but instead of working at it, I gave up easily, especially with work I had already put into it.
What a lot of people dont know is that even if you give up on something, there is usually one thing that brings us back to complete it... its guilt. And this guilt usually gives us the second wind we require to complete the project.
In some ways it sort of is an unwritten insurance policy that says that you will complete this project, or what ever, no matter what. However a big emphasis should be placed on, and cant be stressed enough, to complete your project after you give your word that you will. Remember others see what you do, even if you dont think they do.
So, we have now talked about the 14 leadership traits that each and every leader should have within his/ her personality. If you dont, and you still desire to be a leader the opportunity to learn them, and engrain them within your psyche is still possible. As one never really stops or quits learning, do they?
I have enjoyed this little journey we have been on with this piece. I hope you have learned something that will improve your ability as a leader. To me its really important, especially for the younger ones, that they learn these trait as early as possible. In thinking about it, it could also help the young ones in dating, personal relationships, and other things that young people need for a better life for the future.
There are also 11 leadership principles aswell. These principles are just as important for the leader as the traits are. They are:
1. Know yourself and seek self-improvement
2. be techniclly and tactically proficient
3. Know your people and look out for their well being
4. keep your people informed
5. set the example
6. Ensure the task is understood, supervised, and accomplished
7. train your people as a team
8. make sound and timely descisions
9. develop a sence of responcibility among your people
10. employ your command within its capabilities
11. seek responsibilties and take responsibilty