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OTHER ITA SITES:
How To Be An Effective Leader In The Workplace - Part One
This article is the first of a series on what true leadership is at the core, and will focus on effective leadership in the workplace.
Leaders in the workplace are generally looked up to, to lead, to motivate, to provide mission and vision. That's a given. At every level of leadership, from managers to CEO, leaders' responsibilities go beyond setting work direction and financial goals.
I have discovered , after 20 years of working in the corporate advertising industry, and having worked with many leaders, that the key to true leadership is in the art of influence and that begins with the heart of a leader. It becomes even more critical when you get to the top, you need to exercise a great deal of skills to manage your team leaders. If you demonstrate a lack of integrity or honesty, this will have an effect down the line.
According to the author of The One Minute Manager, Ken Blanchard, the best way to achieve high performance and remarkable results is with a caring "business heart" and that influence is an art.
What this means is, a true leader has the ability and courage to change and help people reach their potential, through encouragement and inspiration.
In one MNC agency that I used to work in, there was a CEO who had problems managing his anger. He would lose it every now and then, and when that happened, the entire agency would hear it. Imagine if there was a major problem with a client and the shits had hit the fan, you'd better run. He was not the most brilliant leader or strategist. He did not have the greatest management skills. But you know, while there were many people who left the agency, there were even more who had stayed with him for a long time. Why?
Because the man had a heart of gold. He was admired despite it all. He had many things going as a leader - like his business and personal integrity. He would admit to his staffs of his problem managing his anger and he was seeking help. His passion for the business and clients was the reason for his outbursts, when staff underdelivered or did not do what they were supposed to do. It is not a crime when the boss lost it only because he had that much passion for the survival of his company that which in turn saved people's jobs. What people on the outside would not know was his sense of compassion for fellow human being.
He would not hesitate to give personal loan to the delivery guy in need of cash; he took the time to ask the office cleaner how her kids were doing in school; he rewarded the staff well when they delivered the goods. This in turn motivated people to work harder and stayed. I suppose fundamentally his heart was in the right place. At the core he was a humble man who was aware of his weaknesses but had the courage to admit it and he focussed on building on his strengths. I am inspired by the book he gave me and that is, "The Heart Of A Leader" by Ken Blanchard. He himself was inspired by it. He knew how to motivate himself as well as his people.
There is a saying by Ichek Adizes, "Managing only for profit is like playing tennis with your eye on the scoreboard and not on the ball". This means for an organization to be successful, the focus should not just be on financial success but also on customers and employees. Without them, your financial success will eventually decline.
Another powerful saying by Ken Blanchard and Normal Vincent Peale, " People with humility don't think less of themselves, they just think of themselves less". If you think more about your people, and they will think more of themselves.
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