February 28, 2014

Engage the "know–it–all" followers

I believe sometimes it is hard to trust our followers because we think we are better than them or more competent than them, or maybe sometimes we try not let ourselves out so we dont get dissapoint..maybe like playing safe.

But really, what if we were leading a team of people who were experts in what they do. I would argue that we would trust them even before we saw them. LoL. We might on the other hand even feel incompetent and lose trust and confidence in ourselves to deliver as leaders. This was almost my case in today's task. I knew nothing about map reading...I mean I have the interest, finds it intriguing but I am completely a novis when it comes to that. But somehow I believed my team could help afterall we were 6 minds which is offcourse better than one.

I learnt first hand that the leader must not know everything about the task to be able to lead the people so I support the argument that says we do not necesasrily have to be technically competent to lead. But nevertheless, we will need to grow and get familiarized with the terms and concepts and with the way the business runs. The most important thing is how to effectively manage the people's heart and brain to achieve this task.

Things I learnt after today's task and reflections

Firstly, It is important for the leader to develop speed in gathering information at least to some level as this help him/her in creating the path for the followers to follow.

Secondly, Information is the key driver in any organisation and if the people carrying out the task are starved of the information, always depending on the leader for the next information then they will be limited in their contribution.

Thirdly, A leader must trust his/her followers to deliver the task whether they are competent or not! I mean if not competent then train...business must continue!

Fourthly, It is important for a leader to be sensitive at alllll times...so that he/she can sense whether the approach he/she is using is working in that situation or not. and when he/she finds out that the style he/she is using to lead isn't working he/she switches immediately to a more effective style for that situation. For example, when a leader discovers the pressure is much on the people from him/her and there's tension too, which might limit creativity He/she can make a way to create a more conducive working environment to aid creativity and innovation. Giving the followers freedom but still with a sense of purpose.

Lastly, see your team members as fellow humans who deserve more than your orders but also listening ears.

In conclusion, As a future leader, never feel you must know it all before you can lead. In reality out there, offcourse there would be some "know-it-all" followers who might try to intimidate you or make to you feel uncomfortable because they think they are more competent than you are, but stay calmed and never try to lead the team without a VISION, objectives and strategies. Identify the "know-it-all" followers (who might in some instances try to make you feel uncomfortable or become urban terriorist if not well managed) early enough and place them in a responsible position, give them engaging tasks, maximise their skills, they can be resourceful.


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  1. Anne the truth is no leader is an island on its own. The pillars that support any leader are his followers without their help he is just going to crumble like dominos. A leader is meant to guide and support his team and make sure they are all in the right state of mind to complete the task and ensure no one is left behind. Not all leaders that tell their armies to go to war can even aim a gun and hit a target.

    01 Mar 2014, 09:10


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