“There is a difference between being a leader and being a boss. Both are based on authority. A boss demands blind obedience; a leader earns his authority through understanding and trust.” – Klaus Balkenhol
“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
What makes a good leader?
Does a manager lead by example or by words?
Is compliance of employees achieved by checking, verifying, straightening those who they see as divergent from their policy or procedures? Can successfully managing a team mean you do not need to mould, reform or control?
Some years ago, I worked in a friendly and collaborative workplace, until sweeping changes created some newly appointed Team Leaders and the group dynamics changed.
The decline in morale and mood in the workplace was palpable. Many Senior staff left the organization and the atmosphere became toxic. Harassment, and criticism became commonplace. The boss tacitly supported this through direct, brusque emails. Softer, quietly spoken colleagues were the first targets to suffer under this micro-managerial behaviour.
The result: A disconnected, ineffective workplace with high absenteeism rates and resignations.
To be an effective manager of staff, you must possess a range of skills. Particularly decisiveness, empathy, intelligence, problem-solving skills, and great communication.
Similarly, in Government, we see politicians sit idly by until the public who elected them cry out for them to do something. Then, threatened by their own downfall, they move, often in the wrong ways and far too late.
The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people.
– Woodrow Wilson
Our politicians would do well to remember Woodrow Wilson’s words.
As always, the old pearls of wisdom and quotes provide us with much insight into learning what constitutes leadership.
He that would be a leader must be a bridge.
– Welsh Proverb