Positive leadership – does it make a difference


Have you worked for two or more Managers or supervisors and wondered how one seemed to be a better leader than the other and why?

Effective leadership takes an incredible amount of dedication and self searching, the term “Natural Born Leader” is a term that I personally disagree with. Leadership is a daily source of education that is honed with time, being subjected to problems of all sorts and dealing with a myriad of people.

Let’s use baseball players as an example, every major leaguer has talent, there are the exceptionally talented ones also. They typically work harder than most to bring out the most in their talent, if they relied on talent alone they would be an average player over time. The same is true with leadership, daily you will learn from experiences and other contacts which will make you in the long term a better leader if you embrace it.

Characters, integrity, passion, setting the example are all key ingredients to becoming a successful leader but the main ingredient is you the leader. If you ignore past experiences you have learned from other leaders along with past problem solving experiences then you are limiting yourself and your growth.

I have worked with countless managers/leaders and have learned from each and every one of them. The things that I thought were bad I put in my memory bank and frequently thought to myself, “Whenever I am in a leadership position I will or will not treat people like that”.

Let’s use and example:

#1. You are the Inventory manager and a truck full of supplies has arrived on schedule, unfortunately 2 of your associates are going to be later arriving. You only have a 2 hour time frame to have the truck unloaded. The one associate you have is full of energy and ready to tackle the job. You on the other hand are on the cell phone calling the GM to tell him you don’t have enough manpower to finish the unload on time. This discussion goes on for over 30 minutes with no solution.  You are being paid to make decisions and lead, you have failed.

#2. Joe we have two people calling in late so we are going to have to team up and get this truck unloaded on time. I guarantee you we will finish in less than 2 hours, remember I was an inventory specialist prior to becoming a manager and can still hold my own, let’s do it!

This manager took immediate action, not making excuses but came up with an immediate solution and proved he is worthy of being a manager. In addition he gained the utmost respect and admiration from his associate who will in turn let every associate know what happened. You can rest assured example #1 is going to let everyone know also how her manager handled the situation.

If he is smart manager #1 will learn a great deal about being a leader from this situation. If he doesn’t learn from this situation then he has a long road to travel to be a successful leader.

The golden key to being a successful leader is knowing your team and each individuals strengths and weakness. This will allow you put the right person on the right assignment and dramatically increasing the expectation of positive results.

So back to the original question what makes one person a better leader than others? In my opinion it is entirely up to the individual, the tools are there it is how you decide to utilize them. Every person with average intelligence can be an effective and respected leader with hard work. The lazy ones, well they just don’t get it.

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