|Complete Leadership ManagementMany believe ‘leaders are born and not made’. Birth traits may provide a head start but many traits can be acquired.
The first step is to recognise the required traits. The second step is to truly evaluate your own positives and negatives.
The final step is to modify your own behaviour and implement what you learn.
|DefinitionThe principles of leadership have changed little over time. Whether you were part of an ancient civilisation,
a modern industry or army, the basic principles have not changed. It is independent of geography and culture.
A typical dictionary definition would be, ‘the process of ruling, guiding or inspiring others’.
|EffectivenessIn order to achieve anything you must have a process or method that is effective.
We all know that certain people appear to be more effective than others in ‘getting things done’.
You will only be as effective as the leadership qualities that you possess.
|QualitiesMany people have tried to summarise what makes one person a good leader and another less so.
A few of the characteristics and virtues are introduced under the following sections:
Long term not short, Sphere of influence, Motivation, Political skills, Proactivity and Typical leadership methods.
|FunctionsIn order to be a leader of a team you will have to carry out particular functions as part of
task completion and the management of the team. These areas are:
Planning, Controlling, Evaluating, Communication, Personnel support and Delegation.
|Long termTo benefit from leadership you will need to persevere over a long period of time gaining knowledge and experience.
A short term solution is not realistic and you should plan for the long term.
This supports other investments you may make in your career and training.
|Direction and visionLeadership is a long term activity and must go hand in hand with 'direction and vision'.
These are covered under the sections:
Creation, Visualisation, Preparation, Control, and Personality traits.
|CommunicationWe know that any vision of the future will necessitate change in one way or another.
This provides its own problems. In general people are not keen on change, they fear it.
From a personal view point this may often be bad, for example, job losses.
|Identifying the leaderIdentifying a leader in a group is not simply a matter of level in an organisation.
The person with leadership traits does not just depend upon power or position.
There may be other indicators, as seen when observing individuals.
|TrustNo leader can exist without certain attributes. On of these is trust.
This is raised under the following headings:
Consistency, Character, Results and Mistakes.
|IntegrityIntegrity goes hand in hand with trust for any leader. Another indespensible quality.
A dictionary definition is, ‘adherence to moral principles or honesty’.
Also discussed are, Absence of integrity and Importance of integrity.
|RespectMany people mat not appear as leaders initially. They may not be someone's idea of a leader as a ‘powerful’ figure.
Gaining respect for the position and as a person is covered under sections:
Earned, Leader ladder, Training of others, Group dynamics and Ivory towers.
|ForesightLeadership and the management of projects is based upon facts and solid data.
However, there are times when just considering bear facts can limit your performance.
A good leader has the knack of knowing when to pursue certain issues and when to modify plans.
|Mutual attractionWhen you take over a team you will have a vision of where you want to go.
To achieve this goal you will need a particular skill set of people around you.
Naturally, you will tend to review your own weaknesses and try to fill some of these gaps.
|RelationshipsAre you likeable? Does it really matter?
Many leaders would probably say that it doesn’t really matter. They are there to do a job and results count.
Whenever you work with someone it is hard to ascertain their real character.
|SupportAnyone in a managerial position is only as good as the people who are working for him or her.
This applies equally to strong leaders. For you to fulfil your goals you will need strong help.
Without it you won’t be able to function as effectively as you can. You will not reach your own potential as a leader.
|EmpowermentA strong leader is secure. He has no fear for his position as he is a valuable asset.
A confident leader will relish the idea of empowerment by delegation.
Many managers find delegation one of the hardest skills to learn and adapt to.
|CredibilityThe people that you lead must have confidence in you. Credibility is another trait that is necessary.
This is covered within the sections:
Build for your vision, You first the vision second, Follow the leader and Get people on board.
|Winner mentalityYour major focus must be on the end result and how to get there as efficiently as possible.
Good leaders have an absolute belief in the vision they are trying to achieve.
They want to win. This belief should not be confused with arrogance.
|ProgressChange means movement. Leaders have a vision that they wish to achieve.
This invariably means change and that means progress forward.
The change is best accomplished in smaller steps, each one adding confidence to achieve the overall vision.
|PrioritiseThe aim of leadership is to cast a vision and achieve an aim or goal. If you don’t learn to prioritise you will fail.
As a leader being busy is not the same as being effective. Just working hard is often the failing of the workaholic.
Everyone needs to put the most effort where the rewards are likely to be the highest.
|Letting goIn order to reach the top it will come as no surprise that you will have to sacrifice some aspects of your life.
The biggest sacrifice you will have to make is the loss of your own position.
This might seem strange that to be successful you must loose your own position but it is true.
|TimingLeadership is all about judging the correct action to the correct timing.
There are only 4 possible outcomes.
Your vision and actions need to be considered in this light.
|ExpansionLeaders produce leaders. When you begin you will be very busy developing your self to cope with the work load.
However, there will come a time as things expand when that will not be enough.
If you don’t develop your next line of leaders all you will have below you will be a line of followers.
|Proactive v reactiveIf you had to come up with one word to describe a leader you might choose ‘proactive’ and for a follower ‘reactive’.
The difference is time. In the case of the proactive manager he has time to consider options for any activity.
A follower has no time, they may react with little thought for any options and the result may reduce efficiency.
|Proactive behaviourIn order to be a better leader you must sharpen your own proactive behaviour and be less of a follower.
To do this you must be aware of what being a proactive person really is.
That is, tackle needs using priorities and focus on ‘important’ and not ‘urgent’ issues.
|PracticalityThere is a vision and then there is reality.
On one side leadership is about setting a vision of the future, on the other this has to be set in the real world.
This doesn’t mean that the leader should turn into a pessimist overnight.
|StakeholdersIdentify those involved. How the project is managed will depend upon the potential affect on the project.
Who will make the final decision?
A vision may need presentation to the appropriate stakeholder.
|SWOT analysisLeaders will produce a vision that will require a strategy to get there.
An assessment of options may lead to more than one strategy.
a useful tool will be the SWOT analysis of strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities.
|ForcesThis is similar in approach to the SWOT analysis and represents the identification of Strengths.
You then derive a list of ‘positive forces’ to help attain your vision.
You want to do two key things: Maintain them and improve them.
|The problemGetting to achieve your vision will require the completion of a series of tasks.
Deciding on what tasks, how they are completed, when they are completed
and their dependencies on other tasks is the tricky bit.
|InsightInsight is the ability to perceive clearly or deeply.
Insight is about convincing yourself that you understand the facts or the situation.
The best way to do this is to ask questions. You must find out underlying reasons and to clarify meaning.
|ConfidenceIt is all very well knowing what you need to do as a leader but if you lack confidence, it may be hard to deliver.
This can be a vicious spiral.
Poor confidence inhibits good technique leading to poor performance and reduced confidence in your leadership.
|Personal directionIt is well known that a good leader will lead by example but where does that example come from?
You should expect a leader to possess a set of values which will drive his actions.
It may not always be clear if a person is acting based upon an assessment of the facts or for personal reasons.
|Skill developmentNewton's first law states: ‘If a body is at rest or moving at a constant speed in a straight line,
it will remain at rest or keep moving in a straight line at constant speed unless it is acted upon by a force’
Inertia should be avoided by continually improving your skill set.
|Problems of changeChange runs through a range of emotions. This usually begins with denial of what is or might be happening.
This quickly turns to anger with blame apportioned to someone and then to doubt and acceptance of the situation.
Finally, you realise that you have to get on with the situation and start to formulate plans.
|Freeze to freedomA career move is usually your own idea but may be instigated by others and you feel you have to accept the position.
If you are prepared you will go into the new challenge with hope and enthusiasm.
However, many people don’t think about their career to that extent and often end up in positions ill equipped to cope.
|DelegationLeadership is all about values, a vision and trying to achieve it with goals and strategic plans.
When you reach a position where strategy is important you must leave behind the practical side of ‘doing the job’.
This can be very hard. A key technique to enable you to do this will be delegation.
|The three C sAny leader or manager will live with these three items: Confusion, complexity and chaos.
Most managers are usually seeking perfection in directing projects.
It is impossible to run a perfect project. No leaders or managers are perfect.
|BalanceAre you happy in your work? Are you happy in your life?
Is the balance right and if not how can you correct it?
How far will you push your career to achieve financial independence at the expense of your home life?
|Emerging leadersEmerging leaders must be identified, nurtured, coached and developed by the leaders above them.
This is not always the case.
Attributes of a leader are varied but will be different for an experienced one compared to that of an emerging leader.
|The bossIt is a fact of life that your boss is more valuable to you than you are to him or her.
You must understand your boss in order to have the best chance of influencing him or her.
As an emerging leader it is a good idea to understand what your boss may be looking for.
|Style spiderEach person has a style of how they behave. This is made up of a variety of elements.
Depending on what elements you choose you can compare the leadership styles of different people.
In the case of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® you may choose to compare the 8 key ‘types’.
|Self disciplineWe all have desires and things we would prefer to do instead of what we know we must do.
The problem is these desires have a habit of easily distracting us from the correct path.
Developing a habit of self discipline is not easy.
|Problem solvingProblem solving is not just a theoretical exercise it should lead to a decision then an action step.
When you solve a problem there are a few common steps to go through.
Define the problem, Put forward a possible solution, Decide on what data to collect and others.
|Follow the leader If you are an emerging leader your senior managers will be looking for attitudes and behaviours
that mark you out for future leadership roles.
Potential can be seen in many areas including written reports, emails and presentations to name a few.
|Chess – the middle gameTrying to improve in leadership is like trying to master chess. Novices begin to learn opening moves.
These are developed further with initially tried and tested strategies.
Eventually, you have to depart from the tried and tested in the middle game in order to gain a tactical advantage.
|StandardsIn order to move through the various phases to reach the top you will need to exhibit the required standards.
If you don’t learn to be professional at an early stage you will be found
out as a leader and only reach a particular level.
|Open questionsIn simple terms an ‘open question’ does not allow the easy reply of ‘yes’, ‘no’ or words like ‘maybe’.
Sometimes you may want a simple reply whereupon a ‘closed question’ would be very useful.
The use of closed questions can be justified for clarification when you don’t have a lot of time.
|MeetingsMeetings are usually loathed by everyone and at the same time accepted as a necessary evil.
There really are only 3 areas to consider.
What will you do before the meeting? What will you do during the meeting? What will you do after the meeting?
|AgendaThe first meeting should be used to finalise some aspects of what is expected.
How frequent are the meetings? How long will they be? How will you handle preparation before hand?
The agenda should identify, for each item on it, the activities that must be complete before attending the meeting.
|Top of the ladderIt takes a long time to develop your leadership skills. During this process you spend much of the time looking
up to good quality leaders and gazing downwards as you help and train other potential leaders.
The biggest test arrives when you reach the very top.
|Loneliness at the topWhen you are in a leadership position you are ‘on your own’ to a large degree.
People will rely on you to make decisions on their behalf. People are expecting you to lead to their benefit.
In the main no one will worry what you go through to reach these decisions.
|The Top teamAt the very top your choice of team will be critical for the direction of the company and the implementation of strategy.
If the key team is wrong the organisation will suffer.
When you are at the very top you do have the choice to build the team you would like.
|ValuesThe best leaders will exhibit the values of honesty and humility in their personal and professional lives.
People look to their leaders to set an example.
Without honesty the leader will not engender trust and the followers will disappear.
|Leadership stylesIndividuals will lead in their own manner.
A few common styles are:
Autocrat, Bureaucrat, Aristocrat and Democrat.
|CEOThe chief executive officer is the most important role in the management of an organization or company.
Many executives believe a strong corporate brand carries more weight in the market than the CEO’s reputation.
Many executives believe CEO integrity is of paramount importance.
|ChairmanThe chairman runs the board. The chief executive officer runs the business.
An autocratic boss may be more likely to ignore danger signals.
|Mergers and acquisitionsOrganisations may get to a position in a competitive market where they feel they can not survive alone.
The basic idea is that two companies together are better than the two as individuals.
There should be improvements in efficiency and market share and shareholder value.
|Leaders and managersWhat is the difference between a leader and a manager? Are the attributes for each the same?
Many would argue that many managers are also leaders or potential leaders. Many leaders may have been managers.
Others might argue that there is very little difference.
|Useful word derivation Here you can see the definitions of a variety of words relating to the word leader.
|SummaryIt is a good idea to develop some good habits that you perform on a regular basis.
Things to do and leadership key points are summarised.
The following sections focus on particular aspects of leadership and are covered in extra depth.
|GeneralTrue leadership is characterised by people wanting to follow. If you have no followers you are not a leader.
If achieving a particular task requires the input of others then the ability to influence is necessary.
It is perhaps thought that a weak leader has no influence. This is not true.
|PositionIt can be a belief that a person in a particular position or conferred with a title is there due to leadership qualities.
Titles e.g. Lord or Prince have associated power but the individual concerned may not have leadership abilities.
The position itself may have great influence irrespective of the person attached to it.
|leadership stylesFirst impressions usually last a long while. When you meet someone consider how you impact on others.
Try to think about the impression you made and what you could have done to modify it if necessary.
Four styles of leadership are very commonly referred to: Directing, Mentoring, Coaching and Delegation
|Who?In order to achieve what you want you must influence people to help you.
How wide does this net stretch and how can you view it?
You will need to think about the people you need to influence to reach your vision.
|How?Behaviours range from aggressively trying to get your own way to listening and finding a common ground for progress.
Clearly, the majority of your technique should probably lie somewhere in the middle.
Aggression is likely to meet with a deal of resistance. Some people may think a softer approach is weak leadership.
|Personal traitsMany of these are allied to monochronic (convergent) or (divergent) polychronic personalities.
Others could be summarised as:
Inner thinkers, Outgoing persons, Logical, Wishful thinkers, Planners and Spontaneous.
|SellingA leader influences people by selling a vision for people to buy into. If people like the vision they will follow.
If someone is trying to get you to buy something you want to know ‘what is in it for you?’.
What are the benefits? If a vision comes to fruition how will it change your life for the better?
|DefinitionA dictionary definition is: ‘The ability or an instance of great perception, especially of future developments’.
Also covered are Vision v mission statement, Change management, Area and level, and Time and process.
Trying to develop a ‘vision’ for the future of an organisation or personal uses certain common elements.
|PreparingWe have spoken about creating the vision and communicating the vision.
What we then need is for others to share the vision. We need motivation.
In general the vision will be created in one of two ways.
|PersonalitiesWhen arranging meetings to discuss and generate a new vision you will need to manage the people at the meeting.
This in itself requires an understanding of what makes individuals think and act.
You will need an understanding of their personalities.
|GeneralYou will need a vision to help you concentrate on where you are going.
Without one your organisation will lack focus and probably a competitive edge.
This section covers Foresight, Development, Helicopter view, People issues and Presenting the vision.
|GeneralOnce you have a vision and confirmed that people have bought into it you will want to formulate plans to achieve it.
Strategy: The art or science of the planning and conduct of a war. The mode of executing tactics.
Tactics: The art and science of the detailed direction and control of movement or manoeuvre to achieve an aim or task .
|SelectingWhen a lot of project options are being discussed it may be easy to loose sight of the main purpose.
So, just confirm that it meets the requirements for the vision by getting agreement.
Check that the strategy you choose will meet the criteria of performance, time, cost and scope.
|RecordingWhatever strategy you decide upon it is good practice to record how the decision was made.
For projects this would normally reside in a central file of all the project information.
It may be a good idea to put this in a stand alone document.
|DevelopingA.P.I.M.A. stands for Assess, Plan, Implement, Monitor and Act.
This system is used in problem solving and is easily adapted to the development of the vision strategy.
|Schedule planGenerating the actual schedule involves many things.
The schedule shows all of the tasks required and their timings.
It will involve consideration and generation of many items.
|OverviewThe mainstay of any leader is the ability to think proactively and not reactively.
Within this the leader has to have a ‘helicopter’ view, which not only galvanises the generation of a vision,
but can oversee all of the necessary elements below it that will bring it to fruition.
|Part of leadershipIf you don’t develop an overall strategy for leadership it is likely to be weaker than it might be.
Leadership is required at all levels of management the key areas will be:
Strategic thinking and Leadership review
|MotivationA definition would be: The desire to do, interest or drive.
Before you can motivate people you usually need to have someone working for you.
So it is hard to judge this quality in an emerging leader as they may have no one to manage.
|X and Y theoryDouglas McGregor developed his theory X and theory Y of human motivation in the 1960s.
It has been used in human resource management, organizational behaviour, and organizational development.
They describe two very different attitudes toward workforce motivation.
|Abraham MaslowMaslow's hierarchy of needs is a theory in psychology that Abraham Maslow proposed in his 1943 paper.
His theory contends that as humans meet 'basic needs', they seek to satisfy successively 'higher needs'.
These occupy a set hierarchy.
|Frederick HerzbergHe put forward the idea that certain factors in the workplace cause job satisfaction, while others lead to dissatisfaction.
He became known as ‘The Father of Job Enrichment’ and the originator of the ‘Motivation-Hygiene Theory’.
He was a big influence on post-war visionaries such as Abraham Maslow, Peter Drucker and Douglas McGregor.
|Key problemsMotivation is not easy to accomplish. There are some key areas to consider.
The folowing areas are covered:
Money, Perks, The boss, Integrity, Goals, Recognition, Feedback and Monkeys.
|PeopleDealing with people requires you to adopt particular habits. Some of which can be discussed under:
Follow the leader, Positive assessment, People watching, Dealing with people issues and The other’s viewpoint,
Future leaders, Key leader traits, Which people?, Good people characteristics and Right person right job.
|Issues and actionGood leaders always view things in a positive light.
In order to possess and use any of the recognised attributes of being a good leader you must be positive.
If you are proactive or adaptable you need a positive outlook to get the most out of these attributes.
|Be cleverIf you wish to be recognised as being a leader you must
be able to impress the managers above you as well as your team colleagues.
There are a few key points to remember.
|When in troubleThe problem of reaching a middle management phase in your career was compared to ‘the middle game’ of chess.
It’s easy to be positive when all is going well but that positive attitude is most valued when there is trouble.
There are key areas where leadership skills require you to remain positive.
|Project managementManagement here is about the process of organising tasks, resource, timing and the quality of the finished product.
The knowledge of problems statements and work breakdown structures can improve the leadership process.
See where you can use the basic priciples of project management.
|Change managementThe problem with change management is that it affects people. If it didn’t it would be easy.
People generally hate change, especially major change.
Organisations may initiate change following an assessment of facts, e.g., financial reports or marketing reports.
|CommunicationA leader will establish a vision for the organisation which will be pursued over a particular time period.
If not, he or she is just maintaining the status quo and generally adheres to the view ‘if it isn’t broke don’t fix it’.
Assuming you are a leader who doesn’t just want to ‘hold on to the reins’ you will be devising a vision.
|TrainingTraining needss support from the top. If not training at the lower levels will be fragmented and lack direction.
Most managers are used to carrying out processes against the clock to achieve their goals.
This tends to make them want to get on with achieving their goals and time spent thinking is often reduced.
|SelectionLeaders tend to arrive via a few different routes: Hereditary, by election or appointment and as an emerging leader.
The selection process involves characteristics, higher level needs and the use of skill lists.
The best man or woman should always get the job and political wrangling should play no part.
|OpportunityLeadership training is good. Without the opportunity to lead there will be little practical experience gained in the field.
Not all potential leaders will have the opportunity to reach a position where they can lead in practice.
Some people will gain skills and look for an opportunity elsewhere to lead.
The product is a PowerPoint presentation with full accompanying notes.
It contains 100 plus slides and over 95,000 words.
There is a lot of information, covering a wide area supported by practical advice.
Techniques are fully explained.
Supported by Excel and Word files.
This section examines the effect that you have on others and why it is important in leadership.
There are many aspects that need consideration. What is the difference between influence and persuade? Are incentives useful and what misconceptions exist?
How does your position alone influence leadership? How will you use your skills to develop others and increae your own leadership skills?
There are many styles of leadership, some better suited to the situation than others. Which is yours? Do you need to adapt?
Who exactly do you wish to influence and how? What personal traits may be useful to achieve your aim?
Leadership can be viewed as a marketing exercise. How you sell yourself and your vision can have a big impact.
Leaders lead and without a well planned direction to go in the 'ship' part will be rudderless.
To help you with this you need a vision. Producing one is another matter.
A vision has similar characteristics to a 'mission statement'. What is the difference?
Generating a vision requires good preparation, agreement and good communication.
The knowledge of the traits of individuals will be useful in generating the vision. These people will receive the communication of the vision and should 'buy in' to it.
This is a very large subject in its own right and some key points are covered here that will help with leadership skills. For a more in depth account see The Complete Motivation package.
Key motivational theories are covered, such as, the X and Y theory of Douglas McGregor, Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs and Frederick Herzberg hygiene and motivation factors.
Some major problem areas are raised as well as the reminder that motivation is about people and trying to understand them.
All projects have problems. There are always issues and actions to take. A positive approach is vital.
Try not to see problems specifically but rather raise solutions.
Being positive is particularly important when trouble occurs.
Being positive goes hand in hand with good organisation. A good knowledge of project management skills will come in very useful.
Being positive is especially relevant when change is occuring. Good communication will enhance the success of any processes towards change or achieving your vision.
Managing change is essential but there are many reasons why people avoid doing it.
A positive approach begins with your own attitude. What happens to you and how you react are very significant.
Training begins at the top but will include many aspects apart from a clear vision.
Other areas for consideration will be the training budget, the timing of training, the level of the training and just how many leaders will you need?
Not everyone will have leadership training, so how do you select those who will? Personal characteristics may be valuable here.
Having provided the leadership training individuals will then need an opportunity to put it into practice.
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