Monday, February 20, 2012

4 Ways to Get the Lead out of your #Leadership

Every leader aspires to be a great leader. We talk about leadership. We study leadership. We boast about the importance of leadership. We all know that the difference between successful organizations and unsuccessful organizations lies in leadership and leadership alone.

The problem is that there are two kinds of leaders, real leaders and lead – leaders. No, I'm not talking about lead as into lead an army. I am talking about lead as in the type that weighs down the organization, or they need to get the lead out of their behind. Both real leaders and lead-leaders lead, but there are some distinct differences in how they get the job done. 

Lead-Leading vs. Real Leading

Here's a table of of Lead-Leaders and Real Leaders employs limits, model by example, use action and create a disciplined organization.  As you will see, there is a vast difference between the two leadership styles and their impact on the organization.

Real Leaders

Impose limits on the things that followers can do.
Identify organizational limits and enlist followers to problem-solve for opportunities to overcome limitations. 

Fail to model the example that they expect their followers to emulate. 
Know that the only way that organizations can improve is based solely on the example that leaders set every day. Real leaders lead by setting the example and modeling it in everything they do.

Have only one action, reaction and it use starts from behind their desk. 
Are active. They are involved in all facets of the organization, in building improved lines of communication and by constantly being proactive as they seek out potential problems. 

See discipline as their primary form of influence to make followers comply with expectations. 
Are self-disciplined and help the organization become more disciplined as well by keeping everyone focused on the most critical things that will ultimately make the organization successful. 

So which are you?

Leadership is probably the most over-defined yet most misunderstood concept in our culture. Everyone wants to be the leader, but few want to take the heat when scrutiny rears its ugly head. Real leaders do not vie for leadership. They are compelled to assume it. They're not obsessed with the power that it brings, but in the potential that it possesses. 

Lead-leaders want the job and the fancy chair that goes with it. Their goal is to get the position and do what it takes to keep it, and typically that generally lies in preserving the status quo. In essence lead-leaders weigh down the organization by not allowing it to flourish and grow. 

So which one are you, a real leader or a lead-leader?