If we think about what principles of leadership serve to do- they align employees’ legitimate requirements with the equally legitimate demands of their task. The successful leader is recognised by doing this better than anyone else.
FIRST PRINCIPLE OF LEADERSHIP: ASK MORE OF YOURSELF THAN OTHERS EXPECT!
How do I put this principle into practice?
Through the right attitude and my willpower!
We become a recognised leader personality going full steam ahead as key players and integrator on one hand and by lending a hand if needed to the other. Having the will and strength to conquer oneself are victories over oneself.
Willpower is the trait in the boss that impresses the team members and awakens the desire to do even better. The great thing is to put this first principle of leadership into practice.
The right attitude and willpower means:
- Acting with an eye to the future (Initialise changes)
- Courage to take action (Acting consciously upwards and outwards, supporting the team members)
- Developing creativity and entrepreneurship
What will I achieve by this? Employees who can be proud of their leader.
SECOND PRINCIPLE OF LEADERSHIP: ASK MORE OF YOUR TEAM MEMBERS THAN ANYONE ELSE WOULD!
How do I put this principle into practice?
By showing my team members their strong points; by helping my team members to become “champions” in their field. I want to strengthen their strengths, not improve their weaknesses only!
I can achieve this by taking notice of every improvement and recognising and appreciating even the smallest success:
- “I like your keenness!”
- “You think of everything!”
- “You always have new and original ideas!”
- “You are the creative genius in the department!”
- “You are our expert on…!”
- “I’m glad that you’re dealing with this!”
It is important that a company secures the individuals not only by a good salary and a safe workplace but also by respecting their dignity.
Have you had any doubt about the validity of this? Do you really believe that most people work just for money? Certainly, there are people who work for money only. You will find them in positions where the manager doesn’t know how to ask more of team members than anyone else. The leader who asks a lot of the employees sets them a goal they will consider worthy of a real effort, because it gives them a chance to distinguish themselves, to be a hero.
The worst thing we can do to our team members is to insult them by not making use of their full potential! Let’s give them the feeling that we are totally dependent upon their special services.We can do this by asking and expecting more of them than anyone else and more than they ask of themselves. We give them a great deal, too! We give them the opportunity to conquer their weaker self! This is how a group is made into a team, a vivid, self-motivating organism.
Only reasonable objectives can motivate the employee. Balanced assessment of goals is an important factor in effective and successful leadership.
What will I achieve by this? Team members who can be proud not only of their manager, but especially of themselves!
THIRD PRINCIPLE OF LEADERSHIP: TAKE A GREATER PERSONAL INTEREST IN YOUR TEAM MEMBERS AND THEIR SUCCESS THAN ANYONE ELSE WOULD!
How do I put this principle into practice? By having confidence in them!
- By showing my people that I want to help them and also learn from them.
- By looking for the traits I can respect, admire and like.
- By sharing with them both ups and downs.
- By living through what they go through and what they experience.
What will I achieve by this? Personally involved staff who will not disappoint me.
FOURTH PRINCIPLE OF LEADERSHIP: TAKE AWAY FEAR FROM YOUR TEAM MEMBERS!
How do I put this principle into practice? By giving my team members a feeling of security.
- By being their coach.
- By pointing out alternatives.
- By following a clear line.
- By being behind them in case of mistakes and complaints.
What will I achieve by this? Team members who concentrate their whole energy on their task instead of wasting it on defending their position.
What do we see in practice here in the Middle East region? There are some great Leaders around, though there are also managers who are far from being an example to their people. Do they really show honest interest in their people? Why they are still concentrating on weaknesses instead of building upon the strengths? Do they delegate demanding tasks according to interests of their people and their hidden capabilities, to let them become “champions”? Are they able to deploy full potential of their teams?
Very common behaviour shows managers who think they know everything better than others, who loves ruling from position of power or fear and who believe that raising their voice and strong language will land them respect by their people. They know better than calling people ‘colleagues’ or ‘co-workers’, but rather refer to them as ‘staff’ or ‘subordinates’. You’ll find them constantly using ‘I’ or ‘me’, but seldom ‘we’ or ‘us’. The world for some managers still turns around because of themselves, as for them what counts is “me-myself-and-I” only.
Can such a behaviour be changed, are such managers able to grow into Leaders? It all starts with ourselves providing we’re sincere enough to allow the change to happen for the good of the people we’ve been trusted to lead and finally for the success of the business we run.