Trained leaders

INTRODUCTION

It is my belief that excellent leaders understand how to express learning to what is important for their organisations. This is the aspect of learning that makes a difference - programs and strategies that effect the business measures that are important for success. Trained leaders also demonstrate a positive attitude towards learning through their personal association in lifelong learning. They take the time to partake actively in their organization's learning activities, they promote new initiatives and follow through to ensure their implementation.

Trained leaders appreciate how to build safe learning environments where it is completely acceptable to urge questioning, analyse assumptions and experiment with innovative ways of doing things. They also know how to support employees to adapt, change and embrace ambiguity when required. Trained leaders know that there are more than one way to reach a goal. In this matter, they focus on learning first and make knowledge easily accessible and to share. The assessment of training programs is important and if the learning is not related to what is critical for an organisation, it is of minimal value.

Therefore, developing a superior workplace is very important and rarely do such workplaces evolve naturally. They are the result of a concerted effort, a recognised plan set by a leader to build an excellent workplace.

I therefore believe that the five attributes of great leaders are self-awareness, bravery, kindness, innovation and inspiration. Many people do possess these five attributes, they just require refreshing or strengthening them by taking a few elementary steps which include integrating values and vision into your daily life, consider the experience of an associate, the experience of a manager, and release frustrations and stress.

Creating a workplace of choice requires a concerted effort, a calculated plan arranged by a leader to form a great workplace. Great leaders are conscious of the potential of positive work environments because of the direct consequences such cultures have on the bottom line. A leader with self-awareness displays a clear sense of identity, purpose, and an obvious style of interacting. In the absence of self-awareness, characteristics such as bravery or kindness, lose their power. For example, bravery without self-awareness can be irresponsible perhaps even dangerous. Innovation without self-awareness often seems more confusing than cutting-edge. Self-awareness allows leaders to not only have a greater sense of overview about themselves but also a broader view of the role they play and by acting with a coherent sense of identity and purpose and by managing a distinct, consistent way of interacting with others, leaders more effectively communicate and encourage. Confident leaders take systematic risks based on data and personal beliefs for the improvement of an organisation and the people in it and leaders who develop a culture where employees feel comfortable taking speculated risk often accumulate great rewards. Bravery is the method of having the determination to confront failure, and the strength to be a trendsetter. Another way to exhilarate bravery in leaders is to develop a vast sense of security by creating a culture in which employees feel comfortable engaging in calculated risk. Quite often kindness derives from empathy, the effectiveness to share and sense the emotions and feelings of others. A self aware leader is an understanding leader. Although innovation can flourish from inspiration, it is more often the result of raw determination , the belief that there has got to be a better way and the courage to pursue that belief. A leader that displays a creative, daring, and productive approach to solving challenges can be curious to others. The initiate to innovate requires bravery, innovation, and by definition, means doing something that challenges the current situation. Leaders must attain that trust and enable others to take risks and engage in creative enterprises. Hal Adler argues that leaders are inspirational and a great leader exhibits excitement and enthusiasm for a shared vision and unites and aligns employees to create success. So, in essence, there are five simple characteristics which all people have and these are, the ability to accommodate the communication of values and vision into the employees daily life, consider the experience of an associate, a manager or direct report as you interact, relinquish frustrations and stress and allow events to unfold without undue influence, allow your employees to surrender to those events by withholding judgment and be patient and forgiving with others

The single definition of a leader is someone who has followers and leaders should desire aspire to greater heights. Leadership is the skill of getting somebody to do something you want done because he desires to do it. The opportunity may exist for each person to contribute significantly, but there's no guarantee that inspiration or vision will be appreciated. Leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of employees to achieve a common goal. This common goal implies that everybody can contribute to the vision. Gary Cohen argues that great leaders control the best thinking of their employees no matter what their age, job title, or experience by appealing to their needs and desires. If leaders advise people what to do, they will get automatic reactions, not thinkers. Leaders do not want workers who simply follow words. The employees will not feel inspired or allowed to employ their own vision or creativity. They may not understand what they are trying to accomplish, or how they fit into the leader's vision and they may inform others about how their skills are being wasted and the employer's organisation suffers no matter how strong the company's vision is. Employees are eager to understand and contribute to the direction. Of course, financial success is important to them, but not at the expense of the environment and the health and safety of people. I believe that leadership needs to be a team effort. Gary Cohen argues that the principles of question based leadership are not new. In the 6th Century BC, Lao Tzu wrote: "A leader is best when people barely know that he exists, not so good when people obey and acclaim him, worst when they despise him. Fail to honor people, they fail to honor you. But of a good leader, who talks little, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will all say, 'We did this ourselves" Gary Cohen argues that question-based leadership meets Lao Tzu's criteria: bestowing honor on coworkers, giving them a chance to speak, and allowing them to take pride in and credit for their work.

Leaders who encourage the ‘just ask' formula work with coworkers toward goals. They are as equipped to answer questions as they are to ask them provided they don't overstep their authority or spoil the discovery process of others. These leaders act as a resource, not as a prophet and they are willing to rethink and revise beliefs and decisions and therefore, coworkers be trained in the method that their ideas can assist in shaping the course.

It is my belief that leaders ask questions to set direction, place the suitable people in the right positions, search for insight from all levels, and ensure resources are assigned to the highest priority, while acting ethically at all times and engaging people to expand beyond what is comfortable to the maximum.

Great leaders ensure that each person is committed to a shared vision, direction, purpose, principles, and priorities. To be highly effective today, leaders need to be clearly focused on purpose, centered on principles, and execute on priorities. Focusing on principles unleashes talent and energy and creates a culture where each person has an internal compass, shares a common focus, and executes around priorities. Principle centered leaders integrate principles into structures and systems. Employees who who do not honor these principles do not stay in the company. Only principle-centered leaders who work from the inside out can create a principle centered culture. Great leaders are loyal to principles. They put principles at the center of their relationships with others, their agreements and contacts, their management processes, and their mission statements. Since organizations are organic, great leaders nurture people like plants, creating the right conditions for growth.

Ken Shelton argues that all leaders need to ask: "What is this company really about? And what are the principles we're going to live and work by?" The key to long-term success is learning to align with "true north" principles, working at leadership from the inside out, and being proactive to become an island of excellence - and to leaven the team. Principle-centered leaders align their value system, lifestyle, direction, and habits with timeless principles.

Lois J Zachary et al argue that many leaders assume that mentoring is a developmental activity designed primarily to help new or emerging leaders. It is my belief that mentoring can be a very powerful tool in assisting employees at all levels evolve and develop in their work. Whether an employee is new to mentoring or participating in it at a senior level, some basic commitments are needed to prepare for it. Firstly, a sincere commitment to learning is essential as learning is the purpose, process, and product of mentoring. Secondly, there should be a commitment to making time available because mentoring is necessary to build and grow a mentoring relationship and to learn what one requires to learn and thirdly, it is important to have a readiness to learn. When seeking a mentor, it is important to ensure a good learning fit. Constructing trust in the relationship is the first priority of business and setting goals which frame and defines the focus of the work to be achieved. It is also imperative to regularly assess the mentoring relationship.

CONCLUSION

To conclude, I believe that leaders are unquestionably intuitive but any person who has got a strong and outspoken personality can get trained by using his or her skills to become an effective leader. Management education and discussions on a range of case studies which students go through during their assignment at reputed management institutes are engaged to achieve that objective. Students from all backgrounds enter good management institutes to develop into professionals in their particular own fields. Whilst some of them are successful in getting to the top and others simply maintain their function as important employees in the clogs of their employment system. Companies also organise diverse leadership programs. The objective of these programs is to develop employees in their particular fields. Leadership training communicated at corporate houses and management institutes are dissimilar as the objectives are in general very different. Companies and organisations require the skill sets focused and relevant to their field of operations whilst management institutes aim on building a generic leader. To summarise, I believe that training does assist but in the case of the personality of an ambitious leader is not receptive to various management tools and techniques then no amount of training can be of any assistance, therefore, the most important rule of leadership for an employee in which to aspire to is that to become a successful leader, there should be leading by example.

References:

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4. Shelton K. Leadership Excellence. Provo: May 2009 Vol 26, Iss. 5; pg. 6, 1 pgs

5. Zachary L et al, Leadership in Action. San Francisco: May/Jun 2009. Vol. 29, iss. 2; pg. 7

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