Matthew 20:26 “But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant.”
Leadership is a fluid practice. It should always be changing to improve the way in which we manage our private and public lives. In order to become better leaders for tomorrow’s challenges, we need to know where we stand today.
Leadership matters; because where there is a lack, despair and mayhem will prosper. Authentic leaders lead with their deepest self, they care enough about the people to expose their feelings. Therefore, leadership that succeeds requires a keen awareness towards people.
Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal. It exert and stimulate others, sometimes even exploits, for neutral benefits.
There Are Seven Primary Leadership Styles.
Autocratic: This leadership style is characterized by individual control over all decisions and little input from group members. Autocratic leaders typically make choices based on their ideas and judgments and rarely accept advice from followers.
Authoritative: A management style where the leaders are in complete control. They set the goals, determine the processes and oversee all steps to reach those goals with little or no input from team members.
Pacesetting: The leader sets high standards for performance. He or she is obsessive about doing things better and faster, and requires the same of others. This style should be used sparingly, because it can undercut morale and make people feel incompetent.
Democratic: This is also known as participative or shared leadership. It is a type of leadership style in which all members take an active role in the decision-making process. This type of leadership can apply to any organization, including private businesses, schools and government.
Coaching: These are leaders who are focused on bringing out the best in their teams by guiding them through goals and obstacles. This style is very much opposite to autocratic and authoritative leadership, which is focused on top-down decision making.
Affiliative: This leadership style puts people first, concentrating on creating a harmonious working environment and building emotional bonds. The affiliative leadership style requires lots of empathy and the ability to build relationships through a range of communication styles.
Laissez-Faire: Leaders who have an attitude of trust and reliance on their employees fall in this group. They don’t micromanage or get too involved, they don’t give too much instruction or guidance. Instead laissez-faire leaders let their employees use their creativity, resources, and experience to help them meet their goals.
What causes derailment of leaders?
Generally, causes of leadership derailment are clustered into three broad categories as described below:
The ‘Moving against’ leader: These individuals tend to be self-assured, impulsive and assertive. Their confidence can inadvertently turn into arrogance. When under pressure, they put up more ideas and want to take charge of others. They tend to try to reduce their anxiety levels by talking more.
The ‘Moving away’ leader: Often, these leaders are insightful but overly skeptical about others. This can make them appear reserved, aloof and risk-averse. Also they have a tendency to withdraw from social settings in an attempt to feel less anxious when under pressure. They sometimes demonstrate emotional volatility with initially enthusiasm but then disappointed or even angry, eventually.
The ‘Moving toward’ leader: These individuals are highly accommodating and work hard to win the approval of others. Under pressure, they can appear overly submissive, unwilling to make decisions and micro-manage. However, when things are going well, they can be perceived as respectful and detail-oriented.
Statistics And Research Findings
Researchers have found that both ‘moving away’ and ‘moving against’ behaviours displayed among employees reported a higher rate of turnover. This is due to so-called deviant behavior. Within these two groups they found many who easily violated company policies.
Another analysis found that the ‘moving against’ managers were rated by colleagues as being less trustworthy. However, they have higher leadership ability. They were associated with both negative and positive effects which gave them the best scores. The ‘moving away’ behaviours, on the other hand, were almost always associated with lower all round ability and performnce.
It was found that private sector employees scored high on ‘moving against’ and low on ‘moving away’. Their counterpart in the public sector was the reverse. Private sector employees are more dynamic, talkative and innovative, while those in the public sector are more cautious and reserved.
Balance Your Style – Get Information
Appreciating the categories of behavior linked to derailment is a good place to start. It is right to examine and critically appraise your leadership style in order to position yourself. Here are two simple steps which will help you to protect yourself from being derailed:
Get honest feedback. Ask several trusted confidants to give you honest feedback about how you lead at work and at home. Be keen to learn the hard truths so that you can improve. To identify your weaknesses, don’t allow people only to compliment you they have to be balanced and honest.
Seek ongoing feedback. If possible, set up a regular written appraisal system that can be confidential, for the general work force to apply. Hearing a piece of criticism once is unlikely to help you over the many years of your career. So ask at least one of your trusted confidants to criticise you on a regular basis. Of course you have to work on your short comings when they are brought to your attention.
Related: Choose Today: Benefit Tomorrow
Start To Do Something
Find a coach or a mentor. Don’t rely solely on your employer to develop you, different employers have different style. Seek someone who can support and challenge you. Support with challenge is more than counselling or therapy.
Identify specific solutions. Know your management style and determine how, where and when to adjust. Note the different situations in which you are most likely to overuse your strengths. Work on your weaknesses to improve them.
Write down actions you must take: Write rather than simply having a mental list of things you hope to do. Sharing your intentions may make you more likely to follow through with your plans. Try not to embarrass yourself in front of anyone you consider better than you.
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