Working on a Dream




Thursday, October 7, 2010

What are the 4 roles of a great leader?

#1 Be a model for the people you lead:
The first aspect of leadership according to Robert Greenleaf is to lead by example.  A helpful visual image to help illustrate this point is an anchor. Remember that you are personally anchored to your principles.  Which raises a pretty good question for you to answer ... what are your principles?  If you are going to lead others, you must be crystal clear about what anchors your life!  This is who you are and what you are all about.  Remember, in the end, people do not follow a position they follow a person.  

# 2 Be a Pathfinder:
Find what you are trying to accomplish, have a mission and a vision.  Remember to get others involved (‘buy-in’) in the organization.  You are not a maverick, you are a leader and remember this, if you think you are leading and then turn around to see no one standing behind you, then you are merely out for a walk. A good visual image for this is a map.  Keep in mind that you are a leader and many times you will have a "feel" for the direction of the organization.  You are like a captain behind the wheel of a ship; on the ship there are many mates who are on board with you so be sure to include everyone so that you get to the desired destination!

# 3 Get Alignment:
Make sure everything in your organization reflects the mission/vision. Peter Drucker thinks that great leaders have one simple, yet complex assignment...REMOVE OBSTACLES OUT OF THE WAY OF THE WORKER(S).  How true.  A great boss anticipates problems and sees roadblocks that hinder the performance of their people.  Having a great mission/vision not only steers you in the right direction, it also allows you to avoid unnecessary routes that take up time and slow you down.  As a leader, your job is to get the obstacles out of your people’s way!   Whether it is a church or a business, take a look at where you are spending your money and what types of programs you are running.  Are they wasting time, energy, and resources?  Start clearing out the clutter and only do the things that align to your mission/vision. The visual image for this is a Steering Wheel.  Which ever direction the wheel is turned, the entire ship goes that way!

Role 4 Empowerment:
John Lennon sang, "Power to the People!" and he wasn't kidding.  Unleash the power of the people you lead! This is the where the fruit of the 3 three comes in.  If you are in a leadership position today, you just might be leading the most talented, adequately equipped, and knowledgeable workforce in the history of the world. There are more college grads working at your local McDonald's today because of our economy.  Take advantage (in the good way of course) of the talent you have right in your own workplace.  Gone are the days of hierarchies and only a few men in charge of large organizations.  Pull from the people, work together, include others, involve others in decisions, have weekly meetings,  just get everyone in a room, buy pizza, and talk! The visual for this is men and women.  Build a enthusiastic team, lite a fire, and get out of their way. 

"Where there is no vision, the people perish" 
-Proverbs 29:18

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