April 23, 2009

How to Be a Leader

The below points are from a book that I recently read called "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie. It is available in the library and I recomend everyone to read it. Library Ref. No. QZ 820.C2 

Be a Leader

1.    Begin with praise and honest appreciation

2.    Call attention to other people’s mistakes indirectly

3.    Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person

4.    Ask questions instead of giving direct orders

5.    Let the other person safe face

6.    Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.

7.    Give the other person a fine reputation to leave up to.

8.    Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.

9.    Make the person happy about doing the thing you suggest

Dale Carnegie states that applying the above principles will help one to be a more effective leader.

I was chosen to be a leader by my team for the second assignment and I beleive that we made a good progress today. We achieved the following today:

  • Identified a vision for Waverider company that is in line with our chosen strategy. We do realise that it is supposed to be the other way round
  • Broken down the strategy into department specific goals
  • Agreed on preliminary presentation structure
  • Assigned responsibilities to each team member, including the leader, which must be completed prior to the next meeting

I beleive that the above progress was achieved because our team is dedicated, innovative and motivated to succeed. We all learned from our past in-module experiences, on what is required to be both an effective leader and team member.

As a leader, my job was to facilitate the idea creation process and play to team member's strengths.

For example, Jeries - IT skills, Pepie  - Resourcefulness, and Konstantina - Innovativeness.

From the above list of principles, I applied the principles 1, 4 and 8 (minus the mistake part). In addition to this I also did the following:

  • Write everything on the board to ensure that everyone could visualise and clearly see each other ideas
  • Encouraged everyone to contibute and ensure that all ideas were heard
  • Kept track of time to ensure that all work would be done by agreed deadline
  • Resolved any doubts and issues which lead to better decision

- 4 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Sherzod, the work you did was really good. i enjoyed presentation of your group. I think that, as you noticed ‘our team is dedicated, innovative and motivated to succeed’ . This fact plays signifiacnt role for leaders. But what if the leader has “opposite” character of group. What if the in the formula (Leadership=f(Leader, GroupMembers, Situation) ), the second variable (GroupMembers) makes negative impact on overall process? Which points of D.Carnegie’s list would be the most effective? Or other suggestiondo you have?

    01 May 2009, 17:58

  2. Thanks for an interesting comment. The above mentioned principles specifically relate to leadership which is why I mentioned them. Dale Carnegie in his book mentions also principles on how to win people to your way of thinking, which are:

    1. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it
    2. Show respect for other person’s opinion. Never say – ‘You are wrong’
    3. If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically
    The above three are self explanatory.

    4. Begin in a friendly way
    This involves doing simple things like smiling, using a person name and making other person feel special

    5. Get the other person saying ‘yes, yes’ immediately
    In the beginning, when trying to convince an individual ask them questions to which they can sincerely answer with a ‘Yes’. Once you get them on a roll of saying ‘Yes’, it makes it harder for them to say ‘No’

    6. Let the other person do a great deal of the talking
    This refers to being a good listener. It much easier to deal with “opposite” member of the group if you know the exact reasons for their opposition.

    7. Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers
    Even if it is your idea, give credit to someone who elaborates on it and as result engages the rest of the group. It should be more important for leader to motivate the group rather than waste time on ascertaining who came up with which idea.

    8. Try honestly to see things from another person’s point of view
    I believe this is in line with above point 6 about active and open listening, being prepared to honestly and openly listen to other person’s view.

    9. Be sympathetic with other people’s ideas and desires
    We, as leader, must learn to deal with people’s desires and ideas in a way that it enables them to contribute actively and feel engaged. So if someone comes up with an idea that does not really fit the issue, than we need to explain sympathetically why the idea is not relevant to the problem at hand, but at the same time thank them sincerely for their contribution.

    10. Appeal to nobler motives
    Another way of winning someone to your way of thinking is by creating a great image for someone to live up to. For example, lets imagine a member of the team is not comfortable with using a piece of software. One way a leader can overcome this hurdle is find a way to explain to that person of how learning and then using that software package is going to make him become or feel like a better person. One way of achieving that is linking it with the person’s interests.

    11. Dramatise your ideas
    I will explain this point using what happened during the leadership challenge which we completed last friday. During the task, our leader – Barbara was very task focused which might have been perceived as cold by people who did not know her. However, when we completed the task and manage to achieve 1800 out of 2000, we all were overwhelmed by the level of our success. At the beginning of our task, our leader could have described how we would feel if we managed to get a good score and use that as a way to support her/team’s ideas.

    12. Throw down a challenge
    I believe that we all enjoy a bit of a challenge which is why a leader should create little challenges, even personalize them for each team member if possible.

    The above principle are simple and affective but one must continuously practice them in order to be effective in using them.

    03 May 2009, 12:13

  3. It looks like working, as psychological techniques are used to persuade and influence on team members. For me, it seems that by continously practicing them, leader can create hormony in team. And this is results in more benefits that just winning people to way leader thinks.
    Thank you.

    03 May 2009, 16:48

  4. Amrita

    Wow! Excellent points.
    I will definitely remember these points for the rest of my life.

    With Regards

    18 Jul 2009, 13:50

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