Leadership - The Institute for CIO Excellence

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A CIE Course Lecture by Dr. Richard L. Routh

     Different from Management (although it includes aspects of good management) A requirement for an organization to flourish and grow to its full potential Leaders are made, not born You learn leadership like you learn to ride a bike: not from reading about it, or listening to a lecture on it, but by doing it But, a little orientation and definition up front can be quite helpful.

  ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ Different people will be most successful with different leadership styles The outgoing, loud-spoken “follow me boys” kind of leader The soft-spoken, one-on-one mentoring with wise counsel and encouragement kind of leader The kind that seeks group consensus for nearly every decision s/he makes Etc I once counseled a person who mistakenly thought he could not be a leader because he could not feel comfortable as an outspoken enthusiast directing groups of people.

   Is there a common/universal function or skill set of all good leaders?

Yes Regardless of your personality and the style of leadership that best suits you, there are some fundamental leadership functions/skills that every good (successful) leader will need to exhibit .

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

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Set and maintain the Vision

Maintain a healthy, nurturing, stable environment (emotionally stable so folks

don’t become distracted or lose vision)

Motivate subordinates (ensuring folks

have the enthusiasm and energy to do their jobs) Be a good manager

Provide resources Remove obstacles

Mentor subordinates by teaching them to be good leaders.

      Without these five functions being done, the organization degenerates into a collection of individuals all going in different directions losing focus and losing the desire to succeed. The level of backstabbing and other non-constructive office politics increases as everyone begins to pursue his or her own agendas (since there is not one established vision to keep everyone focused), the general morale decreases (resulting in significant drops in productivity, increases in absenteeism, higher employee turnover, creation of non-constructive activities to occupy the undirected creative-but-bored), obstacles to success seem to crop up out of nowhere, and resources seem to become increasingly scarce.

 

Bad examples:

◦ Vision statements that are several pages long ◦ Any vision not well communicated throughout the entire organization ◦ Department visions that do not align with strategic corporate goals ◦ ◦

Good examples:

◦ “Your pizza in 30 minutes or its free” “I have a dream” “I commit this nation to landing a man on the moon by the end of the decade.”

  ◦ ◦ ◦ Bad examples: Gossip Mold Poor lighting ◦ ◦ Good examples: Clean, fresh, new, lots of green plants Trusting, cooperative, polite, congenial.

 

Dr. Steve Caldwell will talk about this later in this course

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One size does not fit all

Salary raise Recognition in front of group Pat on the back from the boss Promotion

*** Motivation lectures/speakers DO NOT WORK!

◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ Money Enough time to accomplish assigned tasks (requires prioritizing by manager) Training Adequate authority to carry out required responsibilities People to help you reach assigned goals Encouragement (cheering you on to success) Healthy, comfortable environment conducive to creativity and productivity

What are other resources?

◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ Insufficient funds, time, authority, and/or people to accomplish assigned goals Too many rules or too cumbersome a bureaucracy so that creativity, innovation, and productivity are stifled Incompetent people in the workforce that create a drag on everyone else Lack of rewards and recognition Unconstructive goals/tasks/activities that serve to use resources for non-productive purposes, or for purposes that are not aligned with the vision.

Unhealthy or unpleasant work environment Conflicting missions (creates confusion and destroys focus)

What are other obstacles?

           Some bad managers (and bad leaders), without consciously intending to do so, end up removing resources and providing obstacles. This negative leadership happens in lots of ways: Creation of rules that unnecessarily restrict creativity and innovation Creation of rules that unnecessarily restrict communication (hampers efficiency and productivity) Misdiagnosing a situation and thereby punishing the innocent and letting the guilty go free (or worse, be rewarded) Inability or fear of fighting for necessary resources (money, tools, facilities, promotions and rewards, new technology, etc) Creation or expansion of burdensome bureaucracy (stifles innovation and impedes efficiency) Implementation of cumbersome new technology (reduces productivity) Misapplied management techniques that worked for someone else, but not appropriate in this case (extreme example: Dilbert’s boss) Blame shifting to subordinates Fails to prioritize and thereby creates a no-win situation for subordinates Fails to punish evil or fails to reward good

What are some other examples of providing obstacles and removing resources?

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

◦ ◦

Set and maintain the Vision

Maintain a healthy, nurturing, stable environment (emotionally stable so folks

don’t become distracted or lose vision)

Motivate subordinates (ensuring folks

have the enthusiasm and energy to do their jobs) Be a good manager

Provide resources Remove obstacles

Mentoring subordinates by teaching them how to mentor subordinates.

      Without these five functions being done, the organization degenerates into a collection of individuals all going in different directions losing focus and losing the desire to succeed. The level of backstabbing and other non-constructive office politics increases as everyone begins to pursue his or her own agendas (since there is not one established vision to keep everyone focused), the general morale decreases (resulting in significant drops in productivity, increases in absenteeism, higher employee turnover, creation of non-constructive activities to occupy the undirected creative-but-bored), obstacles to success seem to crop up out of nowhere, and resources seem to become increasingly scarce.

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