Leadership

Leadership free pdf ebook was written by Mike King on February 13, 2009 consist of 23 page(s). The pdf file is provided by learnthis.ca and available on pdfpedia since September 09, 2011.

006 leadership author: mike king http://learnthis.ca resource: 006 introduction this is the outline for the leadership..what it is leadership is something that can easily be explained,..to understand what it is and the various things that...

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Leadership pdf




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Leadership - page 1
006 Leadership Author: Mike King http://LearnThis.ca Resource: 006
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Leadership - page 2
Introduction This is the outline for the leadership series. Here, each section is briefly introduced to give you an idea what you can expect in this series of articles. Understanding What It Is Leadership is something that can easily be explained, but it is very difficult to put into practice. It’s important to understand what it is and the various things that make up leadership. Know Yourself and Your Capabilities In order to put the areas of leadership into practice once you do have an understanding of it, you need to look at yourself and your own capabilities so that you know what areas to develop, use and avoid in your leadership style. The characteristics of your own personality will also great impact your leadership and you should know how. Skill Development Any leader is going to realize that they cannot be everything they want to be without a lot of development of their skills. No matter where you are in your leadership abilities, there are always skills to learn, new ones to develop and refining to do on the ones you have. Remember, It’s About People Human nature is important to know, understand and handle as a leader. Every step you take as a leader will need to be done with one important fact in mind, it’s all about people. Willingness to Take Risks Leaders drive change and they inspire others to follow them by challenging new things and persisting through it to a point of success. That willingness to take risks is a critical aspect of leadership to explore. http://LearnThis.ca Page 2 of 23 /Introduction
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Accepting Mistakes Leaders are not better at things than others, they are not smarter, they are not lucky and they are not born that way either. They are however able to learn and accept their mistakes without mistakes holding them back from continued leadership. Give Direction Leaders can only lead if they give some direction or example for others to follow, otherwise it’s not leading. Humility Finally, my final area to cover of leadership is doing all this while staying humble. Great leaders are humble in their work, lives and leadership and it enables them to be lasting leaders well beyond their time and direct role of influence. Understanding What It Is In order to understand leadership it is important to realize that leadership is not about a specific set of traits or characteristics. It is about trust, relationships and guidance between someone leading and others following. Many studies have been done and none have led to any definitive list of attributes that one must have to be a good leader. However, leadership does have a series of actions and behaviors which is what I hope to focus on in this series. Qualities Of Leadership While there are not specific characteristics that define a leader, there are a number of qualities of leadership that can be seen valuable in leaders. These include integrity, honesty, humility, courage, commitment, sincerity, passion, confidence, positivity, wisdom, determination, compassion, sensitivity, and a degree of personal charisma. These are not things that make a leader, but they tend to be some of the qualities of a leader and are often shown by their actions. http://LearnThis.ca Page 3 of 23 /Understanding What It Is
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Leadership Style Leadership doesn’t require or expect you to behave in a specific way or have a pre-defined set of leadership qualities either. It has many styles and the only really important thing about leadership styles that is important to know is that you must practice your own style. You cannot copy someone else’s or learn a specific style, it must be something that comes natural for you. There is no right or wrong style and so you must embrace a style that works for you as a leader and one that you can value. Some of the styles are based similarly to personality styles or behavior based styles, such as the Meyers Briggs (take a free test here ) or DiSC (more info here ) profiling models, respectively. There seems to be three main styles of leadership: Authoritarian / autocratic Participative / democratic Delegative / free-reign Good leaders will use all three styles depending on every situation with only a minor bias to their natural style. Poor leaders will generally stick with one style and not adjust for different situations limiting their influence greatly. Regardless of the style applied, a leader’s approach can be one with a focus on rewards that are positive to motivate or they may use penalties to frighten (which is also a motivator) action. Lead By Ideas While leadership is largely about behavior, that behavior will never be different from others’ without the ability to act on new ideas. A leader’s ideas direct their actions, decisions and new behaviors. Ideas are the only way to challenge things we currently do and belief and a great leader is able to shift and motivate people from a static life to one of great transformation changing views, beliefs and values. All these changes ultimately lead to new actions which is what leadership is driving to change! Ideas are what enables a leader, as its ideas that are forceful to others and its ideas that will engage others to see from new perspectives and take on new possibilities. These ideas are how a leader finds its followers and how they find a new path to follow. Leadership So, to me leadership is about inspiring and motivating others either deliberately or passively by your own way of doing things. It is about steering not only your own path towards something, but also the path of any number of followers that value something about you enough to follow. The variations here are endless but all leadership requires this at some level. http://LearnThis.ca Page 4 of 23 /Understanding What It Is
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Know Yourself and Your Capabilities This next topic about leadership takes what you know from the last article (Leadership - Understanding What It Is ) and looks at how those areas of leadership can be utilized within the boundaries of your own personality and capabilities. Don’t Fake Who You Are, Just Be You The last thing you should do to be a leader is to pretend you are something you are not. You should never fake or display a specific personality in order to be seen as a leader. A lot of people do this thinking that leadership is automatic if you have a specific set of personal characteristics but that is simply not true. The individual person and unique personality makes more of the leader than any specific qualities or character traits. Leadership is something that has to come from the person you truly are. Now that can be changed over time which I’ll cover more in a later article but you can’t fake it without a genuine change in your core values and beliefs. So of course bringing up values and beliefs is an important part of knowing yourself and that extends deeply into a leader’s character. One trait that I’ve learned that is common of great leaders is that they hold true their values and beliefs. This is only possible if you actually know those values, display them and let other people see them revealed by your actions. Many traits are related to this core principle and that is why I believe you cannot pinpoint specific characteristics. These 4 are the ones that stand out the most for me in someone who holds true their values: Integrity Honest Courage Confidence "No man is fit to command another that cannot command himself." (William Penn) http://LearnThis.ca Page 5 of 23 /Know Yourself and Your Capabilities
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Know Your Limits Not only is it important to know some of the principles your character is built upon, it’s also important to know your limitations and what you are not. Leadership has many stereotyped expectations and there is little to gain by trying to fit some area that just doesn’t suit you. The different styles of leaders need to fit your personality and you shouldn’t force yourself to portray characteristics you simply don’t have. Yet. The limits you have now are certainly something that can change with time but leadership is hard enough in areas you are good at, let alone attempting to falsely mold yourself into areas you know are beyond your limits and capabilities. Be Open About Your Capabilities There is nothing wrong with being open and honest about where your leadership skills fall short. Honesty in addressing your capabilities are a sure way to gain a trusting and respectful eye from others and helps to stay far away from the perception that you have a big ego (a leader’s natural arch-nemesis). A leader will not only recognize their own limits and inabilities, they will look to find new ways to fill those gaps. A mindset to support continuous improvement and admittance of needing help with that is important as it allows a leader to accept imperfections in themselves and in people with their own shortcomings. Self-Analysis Tools Whether you think you know yourself well or not, it’s very helpful to use various techniques and resources to self assess where you are at as a leader, what style you have and what skills or capabilities you need to put priority attention to for improvement. Personality tools can be helpful here but since I believe that powerful leadership can occur from any personality type, they tend not to look enough at action and influence with others, which is where leadership really counts. I have found these techniques to work best for getting an accurate self assessment when it comes to leadership. Talk to Close Friends and Family You can always trust your closest friends or family to be brutally honest with you but keep in mind they might not ever tell you anything bad thing about you, until you ask. So, ask! Be specific to ask about leadership traits and how they see you leading. If you have little experience ask how they feel you would lead best if given the opportunity. Does it match your own ideas? Colleagues Ask your peers, your boss and any mentors or role models you may have for them to give you an honest opinion about how you express your values and what leadership characteristics they see and don’t see you demonstrating. Remember it’s not the knowledge, it’s the practice of what you can demonstrate. Use the same specific questions as with close friends or family here. Ask http://LearnThis.ca Page 6 of 23 /Know Yourself and Your Capabilities
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specifically about leadership. You might want to look at leadership in a specific role for your workplace or future role. Surveys There are hundreds of surveys available online, in books, at seminars or in courses that you can take to help evaluate yourself. Here is one simple but very useful survey I found online to help evaluate what your natural leadership style is . From the same site, here is a survey to assess how you are doing as a leader now. There are many more online if you do some searching, these are only a quick starting place. I’d love to hear about any other tools, resources and methods you have used or can suggest to evaluate yourself and your leadership skills. Skill Development This is one part of a whole series on leadership. Check the leadership introduction here for all articles in the series. Skill development is crucial to advancing your leadership ability and a strong focus on specific leadership skills can not only shore up any shortcomings but can also massively boost your abilities as a leader. Not a lot of people take their own initiative to develop their skills but this is one area that is very easy to do for a leader. You’ve probably all heard the saying that leaders are made, not born and it’s all to do with developing the right skills to become a leader. Anyone can do it and then apply those skills in a style that suits them. Whether leadership is all new to you or you have years of experience, there are always areas to improve your skills and so putting some attention to the development of those is important. http://LearnThis.ca Page 7 of 23 Skill Development
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Reading I cannot promote this one enough and unfortunately it is a task that few people actually make common in their lives. A sad fact that reoccurs in North American surveys is that nearly 60% of all adults never read another book after high school and more than 80% did not read a single book in the past year. Reference: http://www.readfaster.com/education_stats.asp Reference: http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/Database/stats/readingstats.html I was one of those statistics until about 3-4 years ago when I found and tackled reading a couple of leadership books. I had never realized how much there was to learn in books as I had always read the wrong books. They just didn’t interest me and I was typically bored before I could finish a few pages. With finding books that actually helped to train and development my skills, I was able to experience a new love for books and I’ve ramped up my reading to where I’ve read over 30 books this year alone! I now consider books to be one of the best resources for new knowledge that exists. And yes, I still rank them far higher than the internet, so if you read my blog but you don’t read books, then please find a book of interest from my many book reviews and don’t come back until you finish it! Skill Development Photo Credit: trazmumbalde @ flickr Reading is a fantastic way to develop new skills and master the ones you already have. It gives you access to learn from experts in any subject and it is a cheap and quick way to experience and take in a lot of knowledge that would be very time consuming and costly to learn the hard way by trial and error. Of course reading expert books can’t replace personal experience, especially with something as personal as leadership, but it can easily give you ideas, a foundation of knowledge and a massive jump start into an area that is so huge, a lifetime can easily be spent developing it. That area is of course leadership. Continuous Learning Considering the scale of leadership and simply how much there is to learn, it isn’t something you just learn once and then be done with it. It requires you to be learning and developing your skills further and further. A leader will never stay a leader if they are not able to progress themselves and so continuous learning is an excellent way to not only stay ahead of a group of followers but http://LearnThis.ca Page 8 of 23 Skill Development
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it is also useful to spark innovation, creativity and changes in a leader’s style or approach that makes them more effective. Adapting and Changing Refining your skills inevitably leads to realizing that there is room for change. Room to adapt and adjust your methods to fit new people, situations or simply because of a change in leadership knowledge. The ability of a leader to change is easily detected by followers and quick adaptations can be very inspiring. Not only the adaptation itself, but also in the results those changes can bring about. Aside from the inspiration or motivation that change can feed to others, it is also necessary in a competitive world. Adapting to the rapid changes is a best way to stay ahead and for a leader this is not only with external factors in their area of influence but also the areas within it. Adopting an acceptance of change so that new areas are looked at as opportunities instead of problems or roadblocks allows a leader to carry things through any transitions. As these changes occur, the skills required to stay effective as a leader will also change. A good leader accepts this and not only looks to get through the change, but to also lead the change itself. Since the change is inevitable for survival, why not continue to develop your skills and take the change on, head on as a leader. Remember, It’s About People It’s impossible to cover the topic of leadership without focusing on people. You can learn about leadership , understand yourself , develop your leadership skills and have all the right things in place to be a leader, but it’s all for nothing without remembering that leadership is all about people. It’s about having influence with others and about the relationships and connections you build as a leader. These skills are the people skills needed for leadership and there are five major areas I’ve learned that make up those people skills. http://LearnThis.ca Page 9 of 23 /Remember, It’s About People
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1. Awareness Wake up! You need to be aware of things around you as a leader. You need to be more alert to opportunities, to easily see change and to recognizing solutions easier than the next guy. These will enable you to be thinking and discovering just ahead of your likely followers and gives others that perception of being first. Little things here can make a big difference. Just putting more attention to things can easily bring the small percentage increase on a consistent basis that will help you deliver more and more ideas and content before others. Presenting your thoughts first, offering to take on new challenges and noticing change before others will not only have you demonstrating your willingness to lead but it will give you opportunities that others miss out on that you can further develop and prove your skills with. Not only is being aware of opportunities important but also the interactions with others. Being aware of when others need help, are struggling or feeling left behind is the best time to show leadership by helping, waiting or encouraging them to continue. This capacity to see what is going on with the people around you demonstrates great leadership. Look for times you can give decision or choices to others or even hold your own ideas to ensure those presented by others feel more important. Often a few simple steps here can gain long term followers as they begin to respect you Leadership is About People without seeing you in their way. You can still lead people without slowing them down and by being aware of these signals with others ensures you do not step outside the boundaries of good leadership. 2. Impactful This can be the most difficult people skill to develop as a leader as it is often counter to what is first believed. I’m suggesting here that you need to have impact with others without authority, without position power and without necessarily having the respect or experience to immediately convince someone. Impact is about earning respect but doing it in a way that you demonstrate your values and leadership characteristics. Some of those techniques are: Trusting others You must build trust as a leader. Do this with honesty and sincerity with others. Offer trust before it is deserved whenever possible as this will gain favor in return that far outweighs the negative impacts from not trusting others as a leader. Look for places to trust others, tell them http://LearnThis.ca Page 10 of 23 /Remember, It’s About People
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