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Vision, Authority, Influence - Leadership

Leadership, we seem to hear that word thrown around a lot these days. But, what are leaders without followers? And what is the difference between a leader and manager – and does that even matter?
Both leadership and followership are topics of interest for me. I have spent a bunch of time researching the relationship between these and how that relationship impacts teamwork.
Leadership is so much more than authority or influence – we need to really consider how we act as leaders, and followers, in our all relations.
Part of understanding leadership means learning about the different leadership styles, the smart and power skills necessary for effective communication and engagement, and more. And leadership requires a great deal of humility, emotional intelligence, and the desire to continually learn.

Leadership Posts

Worth the Pain

I was asked by my Casualty Officer, Noa, if I would be willing to give another talk to some officers. This time it would be

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The Politics of Leadership

We engage politics and power in most of our relationships. Unfortunately, most of us view politics and power in a negative light. But a big part of leadership means engaging in politics and using power effectively…

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Spillover Happens

How will you respond? Let’s discuss spillover for a moment. You’ve heard about work-life balance, right? Well, part of that concept rests on Spillover theory,

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Consider This

Leadership is a Process.

Some theory and philosophy

A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves. — Lao Tzu

Leadership – A Breakdown

Leadership as process

“Leadership is a process in which one unit adapts and influences other units to adapt, and adopt, action towards a mutually-shared vision, objective, or goal.” – Dr. D.

Leadership Skills

Skills, skills, skills. Are they inborn traits or can they be learned? Effective and ethical leadership demands that leaders constantly improve the skills and other tools in their arsenal. And that they utilize those skills effectively in their relations with each follower and the team as a whole. When we talk about skills we need to deep dive into a slew of different perspectives from personality traits and self-awareness to communication skills, problem solving and decision-making, strategic and tactical thinking, team building, and more…

Leadership builds Trust

Just ask Lencioni. Without trust you will find conflict. Which leads to a lack of commitment and accountability. And results will suffer. But effective leadership, that creates an environment of trust, allows followers to communicate without fear, maintain transparency in goals, and allow team members and leaders to hold each other accountable as they work together towards a mutually defined future. 

Leadership Styles

The list of leadership styles is extensive. Goleman provides us with six: Commanding, Visionary, Democratic, Coaching,  Affiliative, and Pacesetting. But there are others – Transformational, Transactional, Authoritative,  Authoritarian, Paternalistic, and Servant leadership can also be found among the many styles of leadership described in the literature. Each provides a different way of engaging followers and utilizes different mannerisms and skills to improve or influence the relationship.

Followership

And where would leadership be without followers. People who are willing to accept the direction and influence that leadership entails. Followership is a whole realm that seeks to understand the nature of the followers – from the Diehards to the Isolates, the Exemplary Follower to the Alienated. Understanding Followership, and the developmental level of the followers, is just as much a part of successful Leadership as the styles and skills that a leader brings to the relationship. 

Leaderships depends on the Situation

While leadership is often about delineating the path and setting goals, it can also mean letting others decide how best to get to the finish line. All while remaining available to help overcome obstacles and obstructions making the path rough and the goal elusive. 

Leadership is tough.

Leadership is based on a mutual vision and an understanding of strategic, operative, and tactical thinking. It means making tough decisions but being open to the possibility that you are wrong. It calls on those who lead to constantly learn and adapt. It forces those who lead to care about those who follow.  It requires intellect, purpose, and discipline, but it demands empathy, understanding, and character.