A lot has been written about leadership, leadership development and being a leader and yet more and more books are written about leading. Top leadership development experts like John Maxwell pump out books year after year exhorting would be leaders to “be” a leader.
The top leadership development experts continue to inspire and move people to develop their leadership skills? Why?
What would happen if we had great leaders in every organization, every non-profit, every community activity, every neighborhood and in every household? Things would change.
Here are a few things from a list of things people can do to become a better leader and they aren’t hard to do. It just takes thinking about leadership consciously, practicing leadership consciously and living leadership consciously.
Here’s a good one, “don’t micromanage“. How many people in leadership positions micromanage? Some say they don’t and then out of habit give direction rather than helping others find direction. Micromanagement is faster some say and micromanagement leads to an exact result. Certainly working with someone to develop their skills and talents takes more work initially. The end result though is someone who is more passionate about the work they do and it takes less time to “manage” someone if they can solve problems rather than asking for permission to own their work.
Micromanagement is often a result of a manager/leader who is not confident in themselves. They don’t trust who they are and as a result they don’t trust others either. A micromanager has difficultly in letting go and letting others get going. In most cases the result of someone that is being micromanaged will never be good enough. The micromanager will insist on a level of perfection that is unobtainable thus setting up the employee for failure. The micromanager will assert a “BLM” (Be like me) attitude that all their cohorts should exhibit. Differences in opinion, style and thoughts are often discarded by the micromanager as it is only their agenda that matters.
Those who work for a micromanager may never fully be able to utilize all their strengths and talents. The micromanager has to first realize they are not leading effectively and then to get help so that they can become a leader and develop the potential in others.
For the micromanager a good first step would be to absorb the advice of John Gailbraith when he wrote, “All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.”