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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Are You A Leader? Maybe

At work do you get frustrated when things don't appear to be happening the way they are supposed to happen? Do you often see people looking or acting productive but nothing seems to get accomplished. Do you feel that your goals and benchmarks remain just that...goals and benchmarks, and that there is no sense of accomplishment in sight? Then maybe it's time for you to get up and do something about it, be proactive about meeting your goals and increasing productivity, become a leader.

Most people are content standing around and taking orders; not everyone is a leader. Many individuals naturally feel comfortable getting tasks done and are awesome workers; it isn't unusual for many people to adopt a follow-the-leader mentality. Are you a leader?

Great leaders are created through hard work, dedication and experience. It may be true that some people are born with natural talents, with the ability to lead, influence change and orchestrate great achievements. However, without practice, without drive, without enthusiasm, and without experience, these people will not develop to their full potential and become great leaders. First of all, let's define leadership. To be a leader, one must have the ability to influence others to accomplish a goal or an objective. A leader contributes to the productivity and cohesion of an organization. Leadership requires a huge commitment; good leaders are constantly working and studying to improve their skills.

Contrary to what most people believe, leadership is not always about harnessing power. It is not about harassing people, controlling their every move or increasing their efficiency through fear. It is about bringing people together and encouraging them to work towards a common goal. It is about getting everyone on the same page, communicating your needs and helping everyone see the big picture. If you want to be a great leader you must be a leader and not a boss. You have to relate to people and feel what they feel, you need to keep them on track and most importantly you need to find out their goals and help them accomplish them.

The first step in becoming a great leader is gaining the trust of people and to get people to follow your lead. How is this accomplished? In general, people follow others when they see a clear sense of purpose, direction and confidence. People will only follow you if they see that you know where you are going and that you're positive you can get there. If you yourself do not know where you're headed how can you lead? You must know and see the vision of the organization. Having a clear sense of hierarchy, knowing who the managers are, how to get things done, the organization's goals and objectives, and how the organization works is the only way to show others you know what you are doing and can be trusted. Being a leader is not about making others do what you want them to do. It's more a statement of who you are, what you've been through, what you know and what you do. You must be a reflection of what you expect your subordinates to become.

Studies have shown that good leadership is obtained through the trust and confidence your subordinates have in you. If they trust you, they will do what it takes to get the job done for you and for the organization. Trust and confidence are built through good relationships, high ethics and doing what you say you're going to do. The interactions with your people and the relationships you build with them will lay the foundation of your organization. After you've earned their trust and confidence, you can communicate your goals, objectives and expectations.

Communication is the key to good leadership. Without proper communication you cannot be or become a good leader. You must be able to clearly communicate and explain your thoughts, ideas and needs.

A leader should also possess good judgment skills so that they can assess situations and find viable solutions to any problem. It is this judgment that your subordinates will come to rely upon. Therefore, good decision-making is vital to the success of your organization.

Leaders are not do-it-all heroes and should not be expected to be. As a leader, you should never claim to know everything and rely on skills alone. You should recognize and take advantage of the skills and talents your subordinates possess and foster them. When you come to this realization will you be able to work as one cohesive and efficient unit. Remember being a leader takes hard work and time. Leadership is not something that you are born with or can be learned overnight. Remember, that it is not about you; it is about you, the people around you, their success and the success of the entire organization.

Do you have the drive and the desire required to become a good leader?

Jayson Gibson is a co-founder of New Homes Section. Search Arizona Home Builders, Arizona Master Planned Communities and Arizona Homes on New Homes Section.


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