Associate Director - Delivery
. Leadership is the quality that transforms good intentions into positive action. It turns a group of individuals into a cohesive unit. You donít manage people, you manage things.

Leading people is like raising money. Itís easier to get people to give money to your cause if you dig into your own pocket first. In the same way, people tend to follow your lead if you set a good example.

Give as many employees a stake in the business as possible. Those who have a strong financial stake in a business tend to think and act like owners.

Encourage constant, uninhibited, and open two-way communication. I want to know what my people are hearing, reading, and thinking. If they arenít talking to me, Iíll ask them. And they know that I listen to them. Not every conversation leads to a decision.

Lead but also listen. A real leader never leads by fear. I develop a rapport so no one is afraid to question my opinions or decisions. They do it openly but respectfully, and I welcome it. The best way to avoid confusion, misconceptions, and disasters is to have fearless, open discussion.

From India , Mumbai
Very good post, Bala.

I would just like to add a couple of things.

First, you state that we manage things and lead people. I would rather say that we manage people by leading them. Why? Because of the reasons below.

Managers "manage" resources and functions such as finance, machines, production, supply chain, and people. People are just another resource. Each of these resources and functions has particular characteristics which dictate, repeat dictate how they should be "managed". Fail to understand their characteristics and you will fail to make effective use of that resource or function.

People have certain characteristics such as the basic needs to be heard and to be respected. People respond to leadership, good or bad, a characteristic not shared by machines or finances. And because of their upbringing, the vast majority of people are followers and thus need superior leadership to "lead" them to very high performance.

My point is that manager or leader is a false issue and only serves to prevent us from understanding what we need to do. If you are dealing with people, you need to understand what leadership actually is, or what it is that people follow, and how to use it to your advantage.

My second comment is that listening is leadership, actually the manager's tool for superior leadership and for gaining the commitment of employees.

To understand how listening relates to leadership and commitment, please read the article <link updated to site home> and also the article <link updated to site home>

The knowledge in these articles was gained during my 30+ years of managing people. I made all the mistakes one can make, but eventually learned their solutions. In the process, I learned how to unleash the full potential of most employees, their creativity, innovation, productivity, motivation and commitment. That was management nirvana and my people literally blew away all competitors. Besides, they loved to come to work and were very proud of what they had done.

I have posted the article <link updated to site home> before, but if you haven't read it, it will help you to understand what leadership actually is.

Best regards, Ben
Author "Leading People to be Highly Motivated and Committed"

Sorry to have fouled up my post.

The links are

Listening, The Key To Superior Leadership

Listening, A Tool for Leadership and Commitment

Leadership, Good or Bad

Sorry about that, Ben

From United States , Tampa
Hi All,
I do agree that to be a successful leader, we need to develop good rapport with the team members. I think that we should always treat the team members as colleagues and not as sub-ordinates..More importantly, leaders should not exhibit "I Know it all" attitude. We should be able to bring the best out of the team members. Leaders should be assertive and also be able to say "No" in the right way. Manager can become a leader only when he/she builds trust and confidence among the team members.
Good leaders should play the role of teacher, advisor, guide and friend.

From India , Delhi
Hello all, My name is Eustahije from Bosnia. I am presently studying leadership and to give a little recap to myself and to help others if applicable I will summarize leadership on what I know about it:

Leadership has 4 parts which are interconnected.

The first one is a leader himself/herself.

The second one is a task.

The relationship between those two parts is the relationship between leader and challenges facing the organization. This is the crux of the leader's vision what the organization should be doing. In case we don't have this link, the leader has no direction, no strategy, no purpose. In short leader cannot get somewhere if he or she doesn't know where he or she wants to go.

The third part is the followers / others.
The leader must be able to influence followers. No matter how clear the vision is nothing will happen unless the leader is able to influence followers.

The fourth part is the organization.
Connection between the leader and the organization represents the leader's design decisions about how the organization should be structured and operate.

Now the link between Followers and the organization shows the quality of connection between the "Followers" and the "Organization". Here we assess whether there is a deeper attachment of followers towards the organization, or only money is the motive.

Link between "followers" and the "task", represents the followers' take on what they are trying to do. If this link is strong the need for management to supervise begins to melt away. The employees have a clear picture of the strategy and are committed to it.

I will try to summarize all this in one sentence:
Leadership is more than personal traits and habbits. It involves the leader's ability to think strategically, to bond with followers, to design an organization that people believe in and to be strong enough to manage change.

Hope I put it in the words you will understand easily.

Thank you for reading. If you'd like to hear more about leadership let me know. I will be more than happy to write more.

Eustahije Brzic

From United States , Arlington
Where did you learn about leadership and have you proven that any of what you say actually achieves success in the workplace?
The difference between highly motivated and poorly motivated employees is at least 300% and more likely as high as 500% in terms of productivity per person. Using your knowledge, have you been able to achieve such gains?
Best regards, Ben
Leadership skills - Leadership Articles <link updated to site home>

From United States , Tampa
In my experience being a leader I learned that the most important thing is to win my employees hearts. I do that by showing them that i care for them and that they can rely on me any time they need it.
However i still stick to what i wrote. No matter how much my followers are motivated, if i do not have a good strategy and have knowledge and courage to make the change it will not work. I agree with you that the motivation is extremely important in leadership, but i was trying to explain that there are other factors involved in leadership. All those factors are interdependent.
P.S. Read the book Level 3 leadership. That is where i picked it up.

From United States , Arlington
Hi, any one can provide quality write-up on Values:lol:.
In personal & professional life this Value-system plays an imp role.
I'm looking forward for it, even good debate:wacko: on above is welcome.

From India , Calcutta
I agree that they are leadership gurus who have made a lot of money selling books. Unfortunately, they don't really know what leadership is because they have never led people and never proven that what they preach works.
I know only because I managed people for over 30 years, developed my own coherent, comprehensive set of whats, whys and how tos for gaining true excellence from managing people. I proved them in successfully turning around four different management disasters including a 1300 person unionized group in New York City.
To learn more about a superior leadership strategy, please read these Leadership Articles Leadership skills - Leadership Articles <link updated to site home> starting with the article "Leadership, Good or Bad".
Best regards, Ben

From United States , Tampa
Yes, but I don't think he understands what followers follow. Nor does he understand that followers can be converted to non-followers thus allowing 100% of the their brainpower to be applied to their work, versus less than half.
Best regards, Ben

From United States , Tampa
Leaders are situation oriented, no one can be master of all trades.. suppose for a person performing great job at corporate office at some senior level u can;t expect him/her to be as good as in govt. sector ( with special emphasis to India).. Moreover in same orgn. there are different person needed to accomplish the mission as one key cant open all the locks.....
Am i rite?

From India , Jalandhar

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