Balancing Quality: the ability to listen
Too Far: bossy, domineering
Way Too Far: tyrannical
If I had to choose one quality to distinguish the best new leaders, it is “openness to criticism,” the passion for continual self-development, which teaches the leader to value the development of others. — Michael MacCoby (1933 – ) The Leader
If you think about it, people love others not for who they are, but for how they make us feel. We willingly follow others for much the same reason. In order to willingly accept the direction of another individual, it must feel good to do so.
— Irwin Federman, President and CEO, Monolithic Memories
• If a person takes the responsibility, he or she has to expect others will want to assess reward or blame for success or failure. The good leader will have included the group in the decisions leading to the outcome.
• There are different types of leader-follower relationships: sergeant-private, teacher-student, manager-employee, parent-child: all have different degrees of learning, risk, control, intention, and care involved. The situation and the individuals dictate what pressures, hand-holding, and nudging are needed.
• The lubricant between a leader and a team is dialogue, communication. A leader has to be sensitive to and find out what the expectations of the others are. An individual or a group can give up their individual judgment to the leader, but only if it is specifically needed and agreed to be the right thing to do.
Although a person should not give up the responsibility for control easily, if a person gives up control to another, that person should be willing to give the leader support with his or her opinions, ideas, and forgiveness. The person being led can look at the situation as a learning experience and not get into blame if the experience is not what he or she wanted or expected.
• Consider time in your leadership duties. What are the deadlines? Can you afford to teach someone to do a task or must you get someone who already has the skill?
It is optimum to let people push whatever edges they can. If possible make time for the group to get in sync. The time to get everyone up to speed may be longer, but in the end the reward is increased cohesiveness, consistency, safety, and efficiency. This team, for the next project, is moving forward faster as a unit.
Once a decision is made do five things:
- Commit to it even if you don’t agree with it entirely.
- Be sure all of the members of the team are likewise committed.
- Make a plan on how to achieve the goal.
- Decide who the decision will affect, and let them know before they get broadsided.
- Expect adjustments to be needed as time goes on.
Admonition: If you ask for input, respond to it.