Be The Full Jigsaw! How to Solve the Leadership Jigsaw
BE THE FULL JIGSAW! How To Solve the Leadership Puzzle
By Alan Cutler, Leadership Writer, Speaker and Mentor
"There is no such thing as a ideal leader, either in the past or present, in China or elsewhere. If there is one, he is only pretending, like a pig inverting spring onions into his nose in an effort to appear like an elephant". Liu Shao-Chi
It may possibly be true that there is no such thing as the best leader - leaders are human, following all. Nonetheless, that is not to say that men and women who hold leadership positions really should not continually seek to boost their leadership skills.
Some managers hardly set an example for other people to follow. They could have a badge on their workplace door or overall that pronounces them ‘Head of Service' ‘Area Manager' or ‘Unit Supervisor' but do these ‘badge holders' display all the essential qualities to inspire other people to follow them? It is unlikely that people are promoted to senior positions with no any leadership abilities, but they might lack one or more crucial ones.
In order to measure managers' leadership capabilities we require to identify what are the important qualities of an powerful leader. In my view they are six in number:
A Leader is a visionary A Leader sets an example A Leader understands what motivates each team member A Leader builds supportive relationships A Leader empowers others to reach their possible A Leader understands the energy of communications
These are the six components that each and every leader should work challenging at continually and consistently applying and, most importantly, demonstrating in all he or she does. Feel of it as a jigsaw - The Leadership Jigsaw®
Unless all six pieces are in place, the leader will not accomplish his or her potential, nor will those seeking to following their leader. No one aspiring to lead a high-performing team can do so if they are ‘one piece brief of a jigsaw'! Let's consider each and every piece in a small more detail.
VISION. Leadership entails taking men and women on a journey, but if men and women are to follow it need to not be a journey into the unknown. Such destinations may possibly function for Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise but they will not work for contemporary-day leaders with their feet placed firmly on terra-firma! A individual holding a leadership position with no a clear vision, or the ability to communicate one effectively, will be heading into darkness (possibly alone!).
Creating a vision should, by its really nature, be 1 of the foremost roles of a leader - as it sets a positive theme for the future. A leader's vision - which he or she personally associates themselves with - really should appeal to men and women at an emotional level, as nicely as a practical one. It need to be meaningful, relevant and inspirational: encouraging individuals to buy into it willingly. When leaders express their vision in a way that touches their followers, they invite powerful commitment: a common purpose that focuses men and women on a shared, mutually advantageous objective.
"A leader shapes and shares a vision which gives point to the function of other people" Charles Handy
EXAMPLE. 1 of the most crucial and successful qualities leaders can display is consistently and visibly to link the values they stand for with their everyday actions. Indeed, consistency and visibility are the keys. Individuals respect and follow leaders whose behaviour mirrors their words they have no respect for leaders who say one thing and do another. "Do as I say, not as I do" is merely not great enough.
Leaders should, for that reason, look difficult into the mirror and consider what they see. They ought to ask themselves: "Do I lead in such a way that I would willingly follow myself? Do I consistently demonstrate leadership qualities that I would recognise in leaders that I, myself, respect?" You can be positive of 1 thing: you may not be continually assessing your efficiency as a leader, but your followers will be! They will be watching your each move and taking a lead from you.
The leaders acts as though everyone is watching, even when no-one is watching" Brian Tracy
MOTIVATION. Having a vision is one factor: selling it in a way that others want to realise it is very yet another. The leader's role is to focus the energies of followers on shared goals and to encourage them to attain those objectives. But everybody is distinct and responds to diverse stimuli. Truly excellent leaders realize their followers: they comprehend their requirements, their dreams, their fears, their emotions - what ‘makes them tick'. It is an understanding of the impact of differing wants on various people that is vital for successful leadership.
1 of the greatest motivators is to think that you are contributing to your team's success and, hence, to the good results of the overall vision. Folks want to believe that they are playing their component and profitable leaders ensure that they obtain the recognition their efforts deserve. In my expertise of operating with junior managers across the country, a belief that they are not valued for their efforts is one of the most typically located demotivators.
"Leadership is the art of finding someone else to do one thing you want accomplished because he wants to do it" Dwight D Eisenhower
RELATIONSHIP. It is axiomatic that a leader wants followers - a team of people operating together towards a typical aim. To be effective, a team operating across an organisation demands supportive relationships not only in between leader and followers, but between followers themselves. A culture of trust need to exist between all members, at all levels, with the leader providing the shining example for all to follow.
Notwithstanding the basic adjustments forced upon organisations in recent years (down-sizing and delegated budgets for example) some departments are nonetheless led by ‘badge-holders' who busy themselves interfering in the work of their subordinates are unwilling to share details and insist on sanctioning each and every choice. Yet if the modern day leader's challenge is to make optimum use of fewer resources (and it is!) this will only happen if men and women are encouraged to participate in an open, positive atmosphere based upon mutually-supportive relationships. ‘Mushroom management' should be replaced by a culture where every person is prepared to give and obtain trust.
"All your strength is in your union. All your danger is in discord" Henry Longfellow The Song of Hiawatha
EMPOWERMENT. Enlightened leaders realize that most people naturally want to far better themselves and, given the appropriate support and encouragement, will grasp the opportunity to acquire new abilities and expertise. They also realise that the important to obtaining the ideal out of individuals is to give them responsibility for their own actions, rather than producing an atmosphere of control and mistrust.
Such leaders are willing to delegate aspects of their role to their subordinates when the scenario enables and, moreover, are ready to empower them to take decisions themselves, within parameters, without having recourse to higher authority.
Empowerment is based upon the belief that, given the chance, men and women are preordained to think for themselves and will produce suggestions that benefit their workplace, their organisation and, therefore, by extension - themselves. Following orders robotically produces robots allowing invention and inspiration produces suggestions and a pride in individual and team achievements.
"Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you will aid them to turn into what they are capable of being" Goethe
COMMUNICATION. Whilst all those holding the badge of leadership, without having exception, would preach the importance of effective communications, not all practice what they preach. But, yet once more, it is the leader who really should lead the way by his or her example.
Productive communications are built upon understanding in between all parties. A leader who is prepared to get out and ‘walk the talk' will be in a far far better position to each reinforce the vision, and hear how it is getting received, than 1 who remains desk-bound. There are couple of a lot more potent motivating actions a leader can take than to make the effort to speak to front-line workers and to ask "how are items going?", and mean it!
We live in the ‘communication age'. But with the previously unimaginable powers now at our fingertips come inherent dangers. Communications is not only about the ‘what' - just as crucial is the ‘how'. Wise leaders balance the efficiency of technologies with the impact of the human touch. They are nicely aware that they can't shake a hand, pat a back, or even smile by way of e-mail!
"A leader is a person who knows what she wants to obtain and how to communicate it" Margaret Thatcher
THE MESSAGE? The message is that true leaders need to have to be proficient in a wide range of vital abilities that can be represented by The Leadership Jigsaw. Those holding leadership positions need to measure themselves against this model of excellence to make sure that they are not ‘one piece brief of a jigsaw'.
The Leadership Jigsaw is a model of leadership greatest practice produced by Alan Cutler, a leadership writer, motivational speaker and mentor. For more details of how Alan can create the leadership skills of your managers see www.leadershiptalks.com, or get in touch with him on firstname.lastname@example.org. Full details of The Leadership Jigsaw are contained in his book, ‘One Piece Short of a Jigsaw', obtainable from www.leadershiptalks.com