Thursday, July 31, 2008

Developing the Leadership Within You

I shared some of this information at Silver's Club recently, but choose to share it with all for greater leadership at all levels:

Developing the Leadership Within You
by John Maxwell

The key to success in any endeavor is the ability to lead others to success. Everything rises and falls on leadership. The effectiveness of your work will never rise above your ability to lead others. Your leadership skills determine the level of your success and those around you. Leadership principles can be learned. Link leadership principles up with desire and nothing can stop you from becoming a successful leader.

Management is the process of assuring that the programs and objectives will be implemented. Leadership is casting visions and motivating people. People don't want to be managed - they want to be lead. Manage yourself but lead others to success. Do this well and you'll be ready to stop managing and start leading.

Definition of leadership is INFLUENCE. "He who thinketh he leadeth and hath no one following him is merely taking a walk." Leadership is the ability to obtain followers. Once you figure out leading is the ability to attain followers, you work backward to learn how to lead. The problem is that most people define leadership as the ability to achieve a given position, not to get followers. They go after a position, rank, or title and upon their arrival think they have become a leader.

Two common problems arise from this line of thinking: 1) those who possess the status of a leader often experience the frustration of few followers. 2) those who lack a title don't see themselves as leaders and don't develop their leadership skills. In any group of people there is a prominent influencer. You can easily find them. Who is the one whose opinion seems most valuable? Who is the one whom others watch when issues are discussed? Who is the one with whom people quickly agree? What kind of influencer will you be?

Climbing the Steps of Leadership

a. The higher you go in position of leadership the longer it takes
b. Must start at the lowest level & work way up
c. Higher you go, higher level of commitment
d. Higher you go the easier it is to lead
e. Higher you go, the greater the growth
- Growth can occur when effective change takes place
- Change will become easier & others will assist in making needed changes
f. NEVER STOP LEADING THE BASE LEVEL or organization will collapse. Each level of leadership stands on the previous one, like a pyramid
g. Take other influencers in the organization up the ladder with you to the next level

There are five (5) levels of leadership each building on top of the other.

Level 1 is Position (Basic entry level)

You are given authority because of a title. Only influence is that which comes with the title. There is territorial rights, organizational charts, etc. This leadership is given by appointment. All other levels gained by ability. In control because one has been appointed to a position, but real leadership is when others will gladly follow.

Level 2 is Permission

People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. Leadership begins witht he heart not the head. This level of leadership flourishes with meaningful relationships not with regulations. Lead by building inter-relationships. At Level 2 time, energy, and focus is spent on individuals needs and desires. You can love people without leading them, but you cannot lead them without loving them.

Level 3 is Production

Morale is high, turn over is low and there is a profit. Needs are met, goals are set and realized. There is momentum, growth and leading is fun. Problems are solved with minimal effort. Everyone is result oriented. At Level 2 everyone like to get together just to get together, but at Level 3, they like to get together to accomplish goals
- results. DO NOT SKIP A LEVEL!! Level 2 is the glue that holds the organization together. Building relationships is a process that provides the glue for long-term consistent production.

Level 4 is People Development

At this level, people follow because of what the leader has done for them. Leader commitment to develop other leaders inspires ongoing growth. Great leaders empower others. Workers main responsibility is to do the work himself. Leaders main responsibility is to develop others to do the work. Success without a successor is failure. Loyalty to the leader reaches its peak when the follower has grown through the mentorship of the leader. At Level 2 the follower loves the leader, at Level 3 the follower admires the leader, at Level 4 the follower is loyal to the leader. Why? Win peoples hearts by helping them grow personally.

Level 5 is Personhood

People follow because of who the leader is and what the leader represents. Can be developed only through a lifetime of leadership development. In order to get to top, do two things: 1) Know what level of leadership you are on at this very moment and know what level followers are on. You will be at different levels with different people in the organization. If biggest influencers in the organization are at the highest levels and supportive of you, you have a good chance to attain leadership success. If not, problems will arise. 2) Know and apply the qualities needed to be successful at each level of leadership. At #1 position, know your job and do more than is expected. At #2, love people. Make it a win, win situation. Make others successful. At #3 position, initiate change. Be an agent for growth. Do things that give high return - be a visionary. At #4, realize that people are your most valuable asset and develop them. Attract other winners to goals and levels of leadership.

The Qualities of a Charismatic Leader

Charisma is defined as:

"The ability to inspire enthusiasm, interest, or affection in others, by means of personal charm or influence."

Leaders who have this special ability share four (4) things in common:
  1. They Love Life
  2. They value the potential in people
    *Leaders see people, not as they are, but as they could be
    "The greatest good you can do for another is not to share your riches but to reveal to him his own."
  3. They give hope
    Napoleon Bonaparte once said: "Leaders are dealers in hope."
    *Paint tomorrow brighter than today.
  4. They share themselves
    *Wisdom *Resources *Special occasions

Charisma is an attractive blend of learnable qualities.

"Leaders draw out the best in their people, give the best of themselves, and find the greatest fulfillment." - John C Maxwell