All 13 entries tagged Leadership

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May 21, 2011

how to become an effective leader

I was thinking about leadership styles and how to choose one's own style. One of the criteria that comes to my mind is to choose something that we will believe in and something that goes in pair with our inner self. This would mean that based on our past experience and beliefs we can choose what's easiest for us to adapt and practice.

In this way if one finds the style one is closest to then good results should come as well (at least relatively easily). Then I could say that everyone is capable of being a leader, depending on the situation - if it goes in line with the style one practices it should work.

However what determines effective leaders? Referring to the above thoughts, to be an effective leader would require being efficient despite situation. This would require being able to master as many styles as possible. However this number will be limited by ourselves as we would have to be able to adopt different styles holding views we hold. This might be a place for continuous improvement and personal growth/development then.

May 10, 2011

leaders and suppliers

More of a question rather than a blog:

How does the leader lead suppliers?


* the manager has earned leadership status among his team in his department

* supplier is miles away and little time is spent between leader and supplier

* supplier has a different culture.

I noticed it today during one of the meetings. Our boss was trying to convince our supplier to sign off the list. Although he was trying in every single way the supplier didn't see him as neither his leader nor manager and he was doing everything not to sign the list.

How can you lead someone who does not know you? There will be no engagement, no common goal, no trust. How do you do that....

May 07, 2011

leadership theories

Despite the abundance of leadership theories, none seems to be perfect. How come is that? What I came up with (and then found evidence in Yukl, 2002, p. 429) was that different theories are focused on one aspect, neglecting other i.e. if a theory was built based on trait approach, behavioural aspects will most likely be skipped.

I'm not sure about this but I think it might be that researcher can't link them becasue some of them think that leaders are born, others think that leaders are developed and everything can be learned. If we assume that all theories have beginnings from those two approaches, no wonder that there won't be an agreement, ever. So I think that until some fundamental outlines are created and agreed upon, the ambiguity won't let us develop an universal leadership theory.

Yukl, G. (2002). Leadership in organizations: International edition. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall International.

May 06, 2011

re–assessing laissez–faire style

Today I read one line about laissez-faire style which completely changed my mind about it.

At first, after our exercise in the class, I thought the style was quite OK as we had some good results and our cooperation seems to be good.

However, today I read that leaders in this style let people ignore problems. This made me condemn this approach. Imagine a company that has losses (i.e. waste, rework etc) and no one works on that!!!! That's just insane. Without mentioning that there will be no kaizen it's easy to see that such company will go out of business in no time!

May 03, 2011

'NO' to leader

Follow-up to resistance to leadership from Marcin's blog

A follow-up: in the last entry the key question was: is the leader necessary or is democratic style enough to perform the task (as we normally do in the class).

I came across an interesting opinion: theories and research are considering leaders as individuals, whereas there should be more focus on leadership as a process/activity shared by more than one leader at a time (Yukl, 2002, p. 432). As the author continues, a single leader is usualy not able to deal with everything him/herself since no one has all skills, traits etc to be successful in every single case. Help is needed and a group of leaders is able to cover each others deficiencies; functions can be delegated and decisions taken in turn.

Maybe this is what we usualy tried to do and most of the time it really worked :) Seems to be a nice idea for a theory.

Yukl, G. (2002). Leadership in organizations: International edition. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall International.

May 02, 2011

leadership or not?

Follow-up to leadership dillema from Marcin's blog

A follow-up for my entry - I asked if leading friends when we were childern was really leadership.

I came across a view that 'leadership is a relationship' and it's defined as a cooperation based on communication between leaders and followers in a specific situation (Northouse, 2009, p. 3). In this case leaders are not formally assigned and the authority and influence are shared. This seems very like what I remember from my childhood - just having a good time with some friends. And it was noticed by the author that this kind of leadership is available to everyone.

Northouse, P. G. (2009). Introduction to leadership: Concepts and practice. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.

May 01, 2011

EFQM and leadership

After having seen so many leadership theories, hundreds of books and thuosands of views on leadership I started wondering:

How EFQM in its brochure managed to 'define' leadership in few sentences and 5 points???? How am I supposed to excel in this area based on that, when the literature despite thousands of hours of research can find the agreement?

I heard that some of you wrote about it in your PMAs, will you be so kind to enlight me how does the excellence model work in this area or what it says, and is it capable of achieving at least sound results in comparison with leadership theories?

I hope I described my thoughts clear enough, but I'm just shocked and the above might not make sense - if not just shout! :)

April 24, 2011

leadership dillema

I read one article which was related to leadership and I found one thing which was interesting. The authors mentioned at least 3 times a question:

why are there so few leaders?

the first thing that came to my mind was when Paul said that all of us are leaders as we lead others (i.e. friends, siblings etc) in our lifes. Going back to it, I must say I'm not sure if it was leadership or not. Well yes, we did it voluntary, we had a goal and led others to achieve it. But then, let's say 10 years ago, even if I was in charge I'm sure I had no proper strategy (or even a plan) to achieve the 'vision'. I'm sure it all happedned just because we had some will to act. However, if this was leadership, why was it so simple back then and now it's not that easy to lead friends anymore?

Referring to the article again they noticed something else. In a company, if we have one CEO who is our leader, he gets money for doing it. How can we check if s/he is doing it voluntarily or not? Does 'voluntary' bit matter or not as much as it is described in theory?

April 16, 2011

'from rags to riches'??

This entry is about emerging leaders.

As we know, one of the leader's task is to create a common goal and lead towards it. After our leadership and followship experience in KBAM, I noticed one thing:

is it possible that an urban terrorist ends as an emerged leader??

If we have a look at it, it might happen that the terrorist holds a different view and creates a vision. And then, suddenly followers buy it and the group starts having a common goal, as opposed to minority with the initial approach. Now it wouldn't take much to sit down, re-think things and regroup - with the terrorist being a leader! (what a come back - from rags to riches ;). Interesting.

resistance to leadership

As we have already noticed, in most of the cases if we were expected to work in groups we enjoyed democratic working environment. Paul keeps challenging us by asking if the leadership does not add value in our work then?

After that session I can agree that leadership can add value by i.e. voicing the vision/goal or can take urgent decisions if necessary etc. 

But on the other hand, the problem for me, is to lead friends, I guess. It is disappointing to for followers to be let down (which might be the reason for stepping back and staying with democaracy) and what's even more disappointing is to let down ourself (that we let down others). If I work on my own and do not deliver it is going to be only my fault which is OK as this disappointment is bearable so as soon as the group is concerned I will wait and see what happenes.

This attitude will change, but according to a quote (that used to appear on blogs the other day) we have to first manage/lead ourselves to then lead others. This is the focus at the moment.

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