On Monday we discussed how you can become a leader. So over the next couple of days, we are going to equip you with a few more hints, tips and strategies for becoming the most influential leader you can be.

It’s a fact

Do you know why geese fly in that characteristic V-formation, honking their way over thousands of kilometres to a warmer destination? Consider these fascinating observations – which can have meaning for perceptive leaders:

  • Leadership upfront is rotated. When the lead goose gets tired, it swaps the point position with a goose in the V-formation.
  • By flying as a team, the geese help each other by creating an upward air current for one another. Each flap of the wings literally creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. In fact, someone has estimated that by helping each other in this way, the flock gets 71 per cent greater flying range than if each goose flew on its own.
  • When one goose becomes exhausted or gets wounded, two fall out of formation with it and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with the straggler until it is able to fly again.
  • The geese at the rear of the formation are the ones who do the honking. Perhaps they’re announcing to the leaders up front that they’re following and all is well. Certainly the repeated honks encourage those upfront to hang in there till the destination is reached.

It’s fascinating the things leaders can learn from geese.

Viewpoint

“I demonstrate the art of leadership with a simple piece of string placed on a table. Pull the string, and it will follow wherever you wish. Push it and it will go nowhere at all. It’s just that way when it comes to leading people.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Each one of us, in large or small ways, is a leader. Some have an official title for their roles as leaders, while others may lead their brothers, sisters, or friends. Leadership is a state of mind – what you do to yourself, not what you do to others.”

Chin-Ningchu, President of Asian Marketing Consultants, in Thick Face, Block Heart.

Viewpoint

“Leaders will be those who empower others… Empowering leadership means bringing out the energy and capabilities people have and getting them to work together in a way they wouldn’t do otherwise.”

Bill Gates in ‘Entrepreneur’

“A manager can make a good team work well. A good manager can make an average team work well. A true leader can change the whole attitude, philosophy, and spirit of any group of people.”

Source unknown.

So who needs charisma anyway?

If you’re not a charismatic leader, then don’t get too upset. According to researchers David and Michael Tushman, a charismatic leader can be a problem for an organisation anyway. In fact, they list these as common problems surrounding such haloed chieftains:

  • Charismatic leaders set unrealistic expectations.
  • They create an organisational dependency in which everyone freezes until the boss issues another order.
  • Subordinate levels can’t lead well because no vision, exhortation, reward, or punishment is meaningful unless it comes from the leader.
  • Charismatic leaders create a need for ‘continuing magic’.

Charismatic leadership can thus ‘turn an organisation’s employees into a bunch of junkies thirsting for a fix of magic instead of helping them focus on a clear and steady vision’.

So – who needs charisma? There are more important leadership attributes and requirements than the possession of charisma.

But if you seek charisma

People who are truly sensitive to the feelings of others have that certain something that enables them to acquire charisma – the intangible that makes people want to follow you, to be around you, to be influenced by you. If you want to acquire charisma and become a powerful and persuasive leader, Roger Dawson in ‘Secrets of Power Persuasion’ suggests you try these strategies:

  • Treat everyone you meet as if s/he is the most important person you’ll meet that day. Even if you find it difficult to do at first, people will really become important to you once you’ve acquired the habit.
  • Develop a sensational handshake and project a positive thought as you shake hands, e.g. ‘This is a great person. I’d really like to know him/her better.’
  • Learn the art of giving sincere compliments. If you manage people, keep in mind that they really do care what you think and appreciate your mentioning it.
  • Work on your smile, and when someone smiles back, keep smiling for those magic two more seconds.

The Snowman as our leader

According to G.H.Long in ‘Directors and Boards’, analysing leadership is like studying the Abominable Snowman: you see footprints, but never the thing itself.

Leadership is also like electricity, he adds. You can’t see it, but you certainly can’t miss its effect. And yet, this elusive, intangible thing we call leadership might very well be the most essential ingredient in personal and business success.

Wanted: Leadership

‘Leadership’ is a word on everyone’s list, said Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus in ‘Leaders: The Strategies for Taking Charge’…

‘The young attack it and the old grow wistful for it. Parents have lost it and police seek it. Experts claim it and artists spurn it, while scholars want it. Philosophers reconcile it (as authority) with liberty and theologians demonstrate its compatibility with conscience. Bureaucrats pretend they have it, politicians wish they did. And everybody agrees there is less of it than there used to be.’

 

Here at Global Training Institute we offer a wide variety of qualifications as well as short courses to suit your needs. Wanting to delve deeper into management? Some of our courses include Diploma of Civil Construction ManagementCertificate IV in Project Management PracticeDiploma in Project ManagementCertificate IV in Frontline ManagementDiploma of Management – Business Management and the Advanced Diploma of Management. Some of our short course also include Attention ManagementCommunication StrategiesPersonal Productivity Skills and many more! 

If you feel that this is something you’d like to know more about, please contact us on freecall 1800 998 500 or email Anne at [email protected]

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