Developing Leadership Qualities

Most people will tell you that there is a difference between leadership and managers.

However if you ask them what that difference is, they are a little less sure.

Some people say that leaders have an intangible quality....that special something that you either have or don't have.

Time management guru Peter Drucker aptly describes the difference:

"Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things."

To use the metaphor of a ladder.

Management is about using resources to climb a ladder as quickly as possible, while leaders ensure that the ladder is leaning against the right building.

Sometimes, managers can get so busy with managing that they can miss what the true mission of the company is, and as a result may spent much time striving for the wrong objectives.

When we think about a leader, we usually think of them as providing a vision, getting results through people or challenging the status quo.

But this only describes what they might do...it does not tell us how to become one.

Developing these qualities, that special something, is not as intangible as most people think.

However what you need is to have convictions which are clearly defined and you also have to have the courage to see these transform into reality.

Regardless of what group, whether employees, co-workers or a team on the field, what the members of the group are looking for is someone they can place their trust in.

Someone who is not simply working for themselves but for the welfare and the greater good of the group.

The group is looking for someone they want to follow.

When you have people who want to follow, and they have placed their trust in you, only then do you move into a leader role.

How to develop leadership qualities

One of the first steps is to understand what your values and convictions are?

In essence what do you believe in? What is important to you?

Time Management at Work Activity

Good time management at work is about staying focused on your high value activities.

How much are distractions costing you and your business?

Download time keeping software and find out.

If you can spend 5% more time on your high impact activities you will notice an increase in productivity.

Once you have identified what is important to you ask yourself: "How am I putting those beliefs into practice every day?"

Are these beliefs that I have synchronized with the team or organization that I work for?

Does the organization support my values and beliefs?

Are there areas where they are not well matched?

What resources do my employees need to create a personal and organizational success?

This questioning process occurs regularly. As you make changes to yourself and the immediate organization and also, over time, the larger context, these questions will need to be revisited.

At the same time, as your convictions align with your behaviors, it is important to foster a collaborative environment within your immediate organization/team.

Seek input from employees.

What do they need?

What are their goals and dreams for the job they have in your organization? This aids in your effective delegation.

Talk to your customers. What are their needs and what more can the organization do to enable their success?

Analyze the trends in the workplace.

Communicate with people, and most importantly listen to what they say.

Are there possibilities and untapped potential that you can realize?

Leaders are made, not born. It is a choice; it is a commitment to your values and the conviction to put those values into practice.

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