I remember being young and relating leadership with the militia. I didn’t grow up as an “army kid” I just envisioned a sergeant giving orders and the soldiers completing whatever task he shouted and the story ended in success- Boy did I have it wrong. Although the Commanding leadership style was very common and still widespread, it rarely involved praise and frequently uses criticism and though it can be very effective in a crisis it undercuts morale and job satisfaction. Even the modern military has come to recognize its limited usefulness.
What is True Leadership?
According to the Wall Street Journal “Guide to Management”- by Allan Murray
Leadership is less about your needs, and more about the needs of the people and the organization you are leading and should be adapt to the particular demands of the situation, particular requirements of the people and the challenges facing the organization.
Quick tips on how to be a strong leader
Have a positive attitude. Don’t be negative. Your actions can create a positive morale amongst the team. This will be contagious and you will get more out of your team. Try to make your staff believe things are better than they seem, even when the pressure is on.
Be passionate about the objectives and organization. When you become passionate about a task, project, or departmental goal, your team will alsobecome passionate. Channel your passion to be the best to your employees. Passion is the key ingredient between being good and being great.
Have a mental toughness. You need to be able to deal with disappointments and adversity. Be cool under pressure, and don’t waste time worrying about what could have been. Learn from it and move on to the next project.
Never talk negatively about customers or other departments. It is so easy to complain and criticize. People are always finding faults with customers or other departments. For example, customer service will complain that the sales department makes promises they cannot keep. Even when the complaint is justified, you do not want to add fuel to the fire. You might have a lighthearted thing to say like, “Sales sure seems to pass the buck.” Just make sure to follow it up with something like, “We need sales to sell or else they will not bring income into the company.”
Dress the part. You will build subconscious respect as a leader amongst your team when you look and dress in a professional manner. If you are uncomfortable dressing professionally, or feel embarrassed because everyone knows you as a “jean” type of person, you need to change your attitude and dress the part. You never know when there might be an upper management meeting, surprise visit by the CEO, or a visit from an important customer. You need to always be ready to represent your department, both in appearance and knowledge.
What’s the Secret?
There is no simple formula to follow on how to be the best leader, but we can agree that it does require a special blend of leadership styles, characteristics and the passion to develop another.
“Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions”-Harold S. Geenen