Executive management, in particular, involves good leadership style. Years ago, leadership might have been thought to involve nothing more than being the most visible and the most powerful. The traditional thinking is that this in itself is sufficient to warrant leadership – that is, the right visibility and power is a good reason for leading other people.
Nowadays, however, the concept of leadership has grown with the times. Being powerful and visible is simply not enough to ensure good leadership.
Nowadays, people ask a lot of questions, as they rightly should. Hence, “Is this a good goal of the company?” “Are we sure that the policies implemented are appropriate and workable?” “Is this really a good strategy?” “Are the defined goals attainable?”
Being a good leader, you are not expected to say “We do this because I said so, and I'm the leader.” Nothing will work to lose you converts faster. People have different kinds of leadership styles, and while one style might work for some, it might not work for everyone.
The common thread in all of them, however, is the leader's ability to address questions and criticisms. And the best way to do this is by having a solid rational footing to begin with. This means that the basic trait people appreciate in a good leader is the ability to make rational and intelligent decisions.
Good social skills
Because leadership mainly involves the “ability to lead or to direct people” towards a predetermined goal, much of the skills expected of a good leader or manager is their ability to navigate social relationships successfully.
This can involve a host of many different skill sets. For example, can you persuade people to your point of view without resorting to threatening or aggressive behaviour? Can you issue commands or instructions and reasonably expect them to be followed – without having to resort to making unhealthy demands? Are you sufficiently clear in your communication with people? You'd be surprised at how much potential conflict and disagreements are actually the result of poor communication and misunderstandings.
After all, the main focus of leadership and being a good leader is people. Hence, effective leadership involves effectively dealing with people.
Good management is effective leadership
The ability to properly manage a group or organization is equivalent to being an effective leader. Why? Because managing groups and organizations mainly involve being able to direct the efforts a particular group of individuals.
You might think that being a manager, your main concern is really the welfare of the company or the organization as a whole, and your sole purpose is achieving goals, without regard to the welfare of people. After all, you pay them sufficiently for the work they provide. Thus they have no sufficient cause for complaints otherwise.
There is no way of getting around the fact that good management and leadership involves dealing with people. And all of us being humans, unique personalities and sensibilities are involved. This means that you would have to deal with a host of variable factors that have to be balanced, managed and directed in order to ensure optimum performance.
Leadership And Management Similarities
Queen Elizabeth knew of no other manner in which to lead than to emulate her family's behavior and rulings for generations. When her son's former wife died, she was faced with a new conundrum. Should she follow the only leadership style that she knew or should she betray her ancestral dictates in acceding to what her constituents desired?
Tony Blair observed the queen's archaic leadership style, steeped with tradition yet seemingly not in touch with today's issues. He and his wife joked about the various rituals that made little sense to them. While he respected the queen's position, Blair showed little initial respect for her choices. What did his leadership style say about him?
In "The Wizard of Oz," we learned of two distinct yet opposing leadership styles. Oz ruled with force. His was the giant voice that scared his constituents into behaving in the manner of his choice. He could not be seen, only feared. Odd as it seems, we still have leaders behaving in this manner today. They might think that this gruff, fearful leadership style works, but if you look at the loyalty of their staff, it's a thin as Oz's veil.
With Dorothy, her leadership still was somewhat different. She had a goal to get back to Kansas. She knew she didn't have the skills, knowledge or tools to get there, so she sought out the individuals who could take her there. She never took her eye off the goal while leading all the time from a place of compassion, wisdom, and from being genuine within herself.
What happened in the end for these four leaders and what is there for us to learn?
The Queen: Learned to live in today's world, listening to what her constituents demanded from her, putting herself in their shoes, and making strong choices accordingly.
The Prime Minister: Closely observed the queen's tough choices, lessoned his criticism, and in doing so, saw the individual (not position) with which he was dealing. The result was a stronger bond between them, more open communication and support of each other.
The Oz: As with most leaders who hide behind a façade and are afraid to show their true colors, he was 'found out' and lost his power.
Dorothy: Satisfied her goals and formed wonderfully strong friendships as she progressed. Each of the individuals she interfaced with felt validated, listened to, and gained a better understanding of who each one way and how they contributed to the others. In short, they were better off having had an association with her than they were on their own.
May we all learn from the leaders around and before us. I hope that every day each one of us learns a thing or two about being filled with life, compassion and dynamism about our role as leaders. Enjoy your discoveries.
Both Benedict Smythe & Ann Golden Egle are contributors for EditorialToday. The above articles have been edited for relevancy and timeliness. All write-ups, reviews, tips and guides published by EditorialToday.com and its partners or affiliates are for informational purposes only. They should not be used for any legal or any other type of advice. We do not endorse any author, contributor, writer or article posted by our team.