Leadership skill can be developed and fine tune as one work with people to motivate and bring the best out of them for the good of the people and the organization.
Douglas McGregor developed the Theory X and Theory Y frameworks for thinking about people.
Theory X states that:
- The average human being has an inherent dislike of work and will avoid it if possible.
- Because of this human characteristic of dislike of work, most people must be coerced, controlled, directed, or threatened with punishment to get them to put forth adequate effort toward the achievement of organizational objectives.
- The average human being prefers to be directed, wishes to avoid responsibility, has relatively little ambition, and wants security above all.
Theory Y states that:
- The expenditure of physical and mental effort in work is as natural as play or rest.
- The external control and threat of punishment are not the only means for bringing about effort toward organizational objectives. Individuals will exercise self control in the service of objetives to which they are committed.
- Commitment to objectives depends on the rewards associated with their achievement. The most important rewards are those that satisfy needs for self respect and personal improvement.
- The average human being learns, under proper conditions, not only to accept but also to seek responsibility.
- The capacity to exercise a relatively high degree of imagination, ingenuity and creativity in the solution of organizational problems is widely, not narrowly, distributed in the population among both men and women.
- Under the conditions of modern industrial life, the intellectual personalities of the average human being are only partially realized.
Whether you are working in a large organization, a high school student, a university undergraduate, head or president of various societies or club or even a home maker, you are a leader wherever you are and this leadership skill can be developed. How one perceive our friends, subordinates or collegues will affect the way we treat them.
If we think they are Theory X type of people, your attitude and behavior towards them will cause them to be people who are passive, take no risks, do only what is required and only achieve productivity because they are forced to do it. The results of thir work is often of poor quality, short term and people will find ways to beat the system that is in placed.
On the other hand, if we think they are Theory Y type of people, our attitude towards them will cause them to want to make contribution and feel important, motivated to participate in solving the organizational problems, self motivated and having a sense of ownership. This result in better quality of work.
Hence, the way we perceive people around us will either motivate them to be better or demotivate them to be worst then who they currently are. This leadership skill of motivating people to bring out the best in them can be developed.
Manager Vs Leader
A manager uses rational and formal methods to rule over his subordinates to get things done whereas a leader uses passion and emotions to motivate them. Although the latter usually takes longer time in coaching and counselling them, its fruit will be better and last longer in the long run.
As people become more educated and refine in their thinking, the old method of exercising authority, calling for daily meeting to keep a tap on the subordinate's achievement, overload workers with lots of work, expecting workers to stay late every night and creating fear in them is no longer workable in the 21st century. Most people preferred to be empowered in making decision, given the opportunity to discuss problems with the boss and sharing the vision of the company instead of being a follower all the time.
Some of the leadership skill that an effective leader can cultivate are:
- Lead By Example Leaders must be able to hands on as subordinates will respect those who can lead by example. Instead of telling and instructing, they will go all the way to learn up the task of doing the job and show them how it is done. This trait will help to develop trust in the leader.
- Challenge The Norm Leaders must be able to bring the people up to another level beyond what their current ability is. They must allow things to be done differently in trying new methodology and ideas. This helps to eliminate fear in the hearts of the people in stepping out into new frontiers.
- Impart Vision Leaders share the organization visions with the people and impart ownership to them. Once the people feel responsible for its success, they will support and appreciate the vision of the organization. Visionary leader will continue to talk, educate and remind people on the importance of achieving the visions and the rewards that will follow once the vision is accomplished.
- Enthusiasm Leaders who are enthusiastics about their work will create a healthy atmosphere for the people to work. The influence is contagious and many will be looking forward to come to work instead of dragging their feet to office just to earn a living. The way a leader talk and behave influence the morale of the workers. This leadership skill takes effort and practice though it is quite easy for some.
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