Tuesday, March 09, 2021

11. What makes a leader? (management series)

The next article in my management series is "What makes a leader?" by Daniel Goleman, a 2004 article in Business Strategy Review.

"Why should anyone be led by you?

"Leadership has much more to do with personal authenticity than an easily learned formula" (46). "Leaders need energy, a strong sense of direction and a clear vision."

Four other unexpected characteristics:

1. Strength in weakness

  • Revealing humanness can become the psychological equivalent to a Wailing Wall--something to gripe about, something that makes the leader human

2. Sensing the situation

  • Consider individuals
  • Leaders read teams.
  • Always check that perceptions are accurate before acting.

3. Concern is paramount.

4. Stress the difference.

  • Effective leaders use their differences from other leaders. (Trait theory is disproved -- good leaders do not all have the same traits.)
Four myths of leadership

1. Everyone can be a leader. (No)

2. Leaders develop business results. (Some well-led businesses do not deliver good results. Some businesses with good results are not necessarily well-led.)

3. People who get to the top are leaders. (No. Some people get to the top through politics, not good leadership. "Leaders are simply people who have followers."

4. Leaders are great coaches. (rarely)

1 comment:

John Mark said...

John Maxwell defined leadership as influence and somewhere said basically that anyone could learn his simple principles and achieve great results. (A rough paraphrase from memory). I miss many things about being a pastor, but the burden of leadership is not one of them. I hated managing staff (and really hated the two times I had to fire people), board meetings, and dealing with sometimes untrustworthy or even dishonest lay leaders, who never seemed to listen to anything I had to say--or maybe I should say; in my mind I was never able to help them.
I was told I was a good preacher. I don't know....I've heard so many better ones (Steve DeNeff, for one) that I don't know if I ever rose above the level of mediocre. I gave it my all, that's for sure. But I seldom saw the hoped for changes, and watched sometimes helplessly as parishioners crashed and burned, or simply ignored (in a few cases, in my opinion) the Ten Commandments and never showed any open evidence of remorse.
A friend of mine said "Being a pastor is the price you pay for the call to preach." When I think of all the pastors I have known, few have been effective leaders, or at least few have demonstrated the ability to grow a church, which is how we tend, right or wrong, to define success in ministry. More than once, at an annual pastors retreat I have looked around the room and thought "Not many noble were called."
Apparently God has different priorities than we do, and may not expect pastors to be "great" leaders, just faithful.
All this to say I fully agree with the leadership myths. They ring true.