The importance of leadership
Insight, Examples, And Advise On Leadership.
The importance of leadership can't be overstated. It helps to set the tone for organizational culture, employee experience and happiness, and can be the model that professionals, early in their careers, take with them as they grow into leadership positions.
Bake (2019) reflects on there being many leadership styles, yet rather than pressure leaders into adhering to one in particular, organizations are better served by encouraging the following:
- Potent communication skills
- An ability to motivate employees
- Strength of character
- Collaborative tendencies
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Demonstrating The Importance Of Leadership Skills.
These characteristics are not unique to one company, yet they transcend industries, generations, cultures, and geographies.
Despite this, workers may be limited in their exposure to diverse leadership examples when their time has been committed to a single department or employer.
To allow for your additional exposure, we're fortunate to feature the insights and advice of special guest and first time contributor, Chris Yarde.
Chris Yarde | Business Intelligence Leader.
Why Demonstrating Leadership Is Important.
When a person demonstrates leadership they are letting those around them know they can be trusted. A leader is so many things. They are a teacher they are an advisor and they are also a decision maker.
Without good leadership a perfectly well organized group can seem out of place or disoriented. When a team has good leadership the group can achieve goals that are set and can overcome issues that pop up unannounced.
When a leader comes forward it happens for a few reasons. One they want to help make a change in their current situation, The current leader may be showing signs of conflict in decision making or the persons qualities or gifts are called forward to help with a situation.
An Example I Recall Of Someone Demonstrating Leadership.
I love cycling. It's my mental and physical therapeutic hobby/ pass time. I play a crucial role in the Saturday morning group rides. I'm called the sweeper. That means no one from the group rides behind me. I'm making sure no one is left behind or has an issue along the way. One Saturday morning we did a ride and the ride leader made a judgment call. One of the riders wasn't feeling well as the morning got going. He decided to ask the rider how he/she felt and if they were able to continue. The rider smiled and said "I would like to continue but can we avoid the hills because they are causing me some discomfort?" I told them we are fine I'm going to teach he/she how to get up these hills.
When the ride leader showed interest in the rider and how they were feeling there was a sense of comfort that the rider felt. It wasn't about being macho or showing how strong we are but more importantly we showed how much we cared about each rider out there.
How That's Shaped My Leadership Behaviors.
Reaching out and showing you care goes a long way with everyone we come across. When you speak to a total stranger in a group ride they feel welcome. We have grown the group rides from 10-15 people to over 20 riders each weekend. The bigger draw is the personalities we as ride leaders show and how helpful we are to each rider. The riders go away with a sense of accomplishment and they tell their friends and family about us. Beginners are having a hard time getting into riding because they believe they are ruining everyone's fun by riding slower than the rest. It is my job to help them feel welcome and help them feel like a part of the ride. Zero pressure, just show up and enjoy yourself.
My Advice To Those Wanting To Become Better Leaders.
Ask questions. You can never, ever assume you know everything. A great leader has to ask the crucial questions to give them the information they need to help the group be successful. If you know what your team needs in order to be successful and you can only gain that information by asking questions then you need to do just that. Critical thinking and the advice from your team will make you the perfect leader.
As a leader you have to be able to take constructive criticisms. If those whom you are leading can not come to you and give you feedback on how you are leading then you will never break through barriers and you will never reach the people you are leading.
An Important Takeaway.
The great man theory of leadership suggests that leadership skills are ones that people are born with. It eschews the possibility that leadership skills can be learned.
Open minds and continued research have proven this theory outdated. Leadership skills can be learned.
Better yet, what you learn through one experience can be applied in other areas of your personal and professional life. The example Chris has shared above shows just that.
So, whether in sport, school, work, or during a group cycling ride, the importance of leadership can be witnessed and these examples can have lasting impact on your own leadership behaviors.
These behaviors and actions can be the model for others, helping to create a positive and lasting ripple effect.
Thank You To Our Special Guest Contributor.
Immense thanks goes to Chris for sharing his insight and examples of the importance of leadership.
Be sure to connect with him on LinkedIn for more!
For More On Organizational Leadership.
This section of the site is an excellent foundation for developing leadership skills, understanding different types of leadership, and exploring leadership styles.
To continue your learning:
David Bohmiller, MBA, MS (he/him/his)
Founder, CEO and Consulting Executive
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Bake, M. (2019, January). The Importance of Leadership and Employee Retention. Radiologic Technology, 90(3), 279–281.
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