The goal of leadership is to have people follow and support you. It is not to force obedience, although some days with some people, that appears to be the only option.
The power of ‘positive influence’ is a much more valued attribute than the ability to simply ‘boss people around’. The development of people skills will always enhance your power of positive influence.
It’s hard to respect a lazy or arrogant leader, so develop a desirable ‘presence’ and to be admired for something in your working life. One way to develop that is to be very good at something. In that skill area at least, you can be regarded as an expert and be seen to be leading from the front.
As a leader, you must have confidence in yourself and it helps to be happy with who you are. You should always have what is known in Aikido terms as a ‘beginner’s mind’, which means having a mind that is always open to learning and new ideas. As soon as you think you know everything, your mind becomes closed to productive communication, knowledge and opportunity.
A good leader seeks to include people and their opinions rather than exclude them. Information is to be shared, not an instrument of power to be withheld. At times, confidential information must be kept secret and sensitivities respected however, telling some people and not others, based solely on favoritism, creates unhealthy division.
Employer – employee relationships should be based on mutual respect. However, you are never going to please everyone all of the time so just be true to yourself.
Being true to your self usually means being straight forward, honest and ethical with staff. People need to know where they stand with you, and it is not unreasonable to expect the same in return from your staff in exchange for a reasonable salary. However, this does not mean that you must be everybody’s friend.
Until next time!