Linkedin Discussion Participants Offer Strong Views on Leadership
My original posting on the 4 signs of weak leadership generated some lively conversation on Linkedin within The Executive Club discussion group. Here are some of the most insightful responses thus far:
“I think there are two types of Leaders. One, surrounds himself with people who admire them and consistently support and follow his every whim. In this case, this leader is always “big” and his team are seen as smaller than him/her. The second leader surrounds himself with people more skilled than they are in their area of expertise/responsibly, people who have strong opinions and are not afraid to share them. The are valued and become “big” and the leader harnesses their combined strength to build a GREAT Team. This is sort of like the Russian Stackable dolls. In one case the leader see themselves as the biggest and everyone’s role is to follow them. The second leader surrounds themselves with people bigger then themselves and accomplish great things. You choose the type of Leader you want to be.”
• Thanks for sharing, Sherry. I agree with the four points and might add “more concerned about appearance than substance”. Great leaders do the right things and add value when no one else is looking.
• What a lively conversation! Even though many saw Steve Jobs as a tyrant, I believe he was honest. He essentially said, I am the visionary, this is my vision, make it happen! And in that process, he did develop some big leaders (whether they chose to stay with Apple after he left is another matter).I don’t beleive Jobs ever claimed to be a great leader, doer or collabortor. In a 2012 Inc.com article (“4 Leadership Lessons from Steve Jobs”), the author says “Jobs surrounded himself with what he called “A” players. He believed in them, and then willed them to super human feats of product development and programming. There are many examples of this in Jobs’ life. Those around him called it his reality distortion field.”Jobs believed anything was possible because he did not rely only on himself to make things happen. He believed in others.
• It is my observation that some leaders gain position leadership meaning they received the title due to a promotion since they showed some skill in a particular area however this type of leadership lacks inspiration and vision. The best leaders I worked for have been those that have inspired me and allowed me to reach my full potential. They tend to be unselfish and willing to share their knowledge. It is never about winning the debate with them but instead about having the best idea to help the organization. Bad leaders on the other hand don’t know how to inspire others for action even when they are trying to be honest about a situation.We all know that leadership is a complex subject however you know when an individual has a talent to create value while others couldn’t. Bad leaders see leadership as a place to reach rather than a place to empower others to reach for themselves.
• A good leader can have one, even two of the attributes listed in the article. Too complicated of a subject to wrap into just 4 attributes. However, the one about not always being busy is strange to me. A good captain of an aircraft carrier makes it look easy. Why, because he/she has the right people in place to accomplish incredibly complicated projects. They seem to have an air of calm due to their experience. Why, because they thought ahead, put the right people in the boat and understand that the unexpected is not really unexpected. Rather than frantically buried in a massive pile of paperwork on their desk, constantly running from one thing to the next, appearing panicked and void of opinion. This just presents the impression of being out of control and ultimately conveys to his team, “all is not well and you should think twice before you trust me”. When growing a business, or operating a large team, you are either in the balcony or on the dance floor.
• Leaders may operate from experience and intuition, but true leaders govern from principle.To paraphrase and synthesize from multiple comments above – the reason Steve Jobs was such an effective leader is he was visionary (being able imagine beyond the obvious or expected), he could “bend” the heat and light and perception around him his staff and company – to mold an image from his dreams. Most importantly – it was his sheer WILL – the drive to succeed at whatever could be imagined! Once the strategy and course were plotted – it was his force of will to succeed! True leaders are not conformed to world around them, but rather seek to transform the world from “the way it is” to “the way it should be”!
• Great conversation. I’ll add that great leaders know when to take control and when to cede control. I think there are times for each and both help build a team.
• Kenneth Gross • I think the article concentrates too much on an arms-length impression of a leader. The article implies that you know what a leader is thinking from observation – can I presume a bit of mind-reading is involved there? Always busy? The author of this article sounds like a narcissistic jerk to me, and is too fixated on the way she thinks leaders should behave.
Categories: Leadership, Professional Development