Leadership

Leadership

From Rhodri..

It’s a word that is thrown around like everyone knows what it means – while thousands of people make a living off preaching to others what it should actually mean to them and how to achieve it. Truth is, this topic is so subjective that if anyone tells you they have the golden ticket to solving all of your leadership issues, only one thing is certain – they are lying.

When we mention the word leadership most people automatically assume we are talking about the business/working environment but I believe it extends way beyond those parameters into your personal relationships, parenthood, hobbies etc.

Over the years, throughout my many careers, I have found myself in both leadership and followership roles and my opinions are based solely on my personal experiences.

Everyone has the ability to be a good leader. All it takes is an emotional investment or connection with the task at hand and the help of those people that surround you. Unfortunately, what I am describing only exists in a utopian society and as we all know, few rarely get to experience that.  All too often, not everyone on the team pulls in the same direction. You will always get those people that have their own personal interests and agendas foremost in their minds and as a leader your greatest battle is to create a “we” instead of “I”.

People in positions of authority usually have deadlines, budgets and a host of other issues that they are trying to juggle at the same time. In turn, our human survival mechanisms are triggered due to stress hormones and we try to problem-solve ways and means of alleviating our workload. The next logical step is to find the capable people under your command and place some of your workload on them; the net result being that they become overworked, jaded and disillusioned with their position within the company. The key word I use here is capable. As a person in authority why would you try and alleviate your workload by giving it to someone who is incapable?? Usually it will just result in a sub standard product and ultimately either look bad on you or fall on your desk for you to right the wrongs thereby defeating the objective of delegating job tasks in the first place right? Wrong! As a person in authority, it is your job (I would go as far as saying it is your legacy) to inspire all of those people under your command to produce sound work. It is far too easy to continually place demands on the people that continually do the job correctly. You need to place ownership and responsibility on the shoulders of those people that in your opinion produce sub standard work or don’t seem to be invested in the task oriented goals. You never know, those people might just surprise you – and isn’t it also your job as a leader to create leaders?? You may have to answer to your bosses for missed deadlines etc but by showing your workforce that you believe in them and you are willing to protect them from the hierarchy will ultimately be paid back to you in kind twofold.

One of my mentors once told me that the success of any human endeavor is directly related to the quality of the relationships of the people involved – I couldn’t agree more. I have been fortunate enough to experience this and the power it brings to all involved is tangible.

In the current climate where the Millennials are now entering the workforce I could throw out  leadership adjectives you should be following  like empathy, vulnerability, humility, inclusiveness, generosity, balance, patience…… but what do they really mean? You can sit through a lecture where somewhere preaches these fundamentals to you, hell, you may even nod your head in agreement, but once you return to your normal base of operations all thoughts of inclusiveness, empathy, balance etc disappear with the reappearance of your ridiculous workload.

To be a good leader you have to “know thyself.”You have to look inside those places you seldom want to look because you might not like what you see. By exposing all of you to yourself those inbuilt fears of failure, looking weak in front of your peers etc. no longer have power over you.  If you are afraid of asking for help when you need it, how can you expect others under your command to do the same? Your greatest strength is your humanity. Lead like you would like to be lead, be an open book, always have your door open, be totally transparent and inspire others with the “do as I do” NOT the “do as I say” philosophy – you never know, you may just get a taste of that tangible power I mentioned earlier.

In our current society we rarely know that much about the person that sits in the cubicle next to us and if you want something from them, instead of getting up and poking your head around the partition, you will send them an email. It’s ridiculous. If you are in a position of power, get to know the people you employ. Take the time to be invested in them, get to know their interests outside of work – five minutes of your time is nothing to you but it is a huge deal to them.  Create a feeling of unity and importance amongst your employees and even you will be surprised at the net result.

We welcome your feedback and if you would like to experience a truly unique leadership and/or team building course, please don’t hesitate to contact us at: team@rogueconsultinggroup.com 

4 comments

  1. Shelley M.

    Rhodri, I was very inspired to read this today. I am fortunate enough to work for a company that was founded on rejecting the frustrations of being led by overworked, ungrateful, overdemanding “leaders”. The president and principals of our small company are excellent examples of those who trust and know the capabilities of their staff because they truly know us. I said to someone the other day, “It’s just nice to work somewhere and have your boss treat you like a grown-up.” We are trusted and treated like adults because coworker culture is so important to the leaders of our company. I do know all the names of my coworkers’ spouses, boyfriends, children and even their dogs. And I also know that if I’m under water and need to work until midnight, someone will step up and stay late with me and it’s probably one of the principals of the firm. And I think this is very rare to find – especially because people don’t know it exists! So thanks for posting this morning, I think leadership is greatly misunderstood and it took me a long time to realize it. And small plug for you guys at Rogue, my previous experience in physical team activities with you has made me a better worker, better listener and better leader in my working life. Cheers!

    • Thanks so much for the feedback Shelley and it is refreshing to know that those companies do in fact exist.

  2. Raza Prince

    Hi Rhodri,
    Since the age of 17 I have experienced working for and with some great human beings. I don’t want to reply in essay form, but I do want to try and express a few feelings towards your inspirational blog.
    As a rule we are all the same. Strip this earth of all it’s developments and reverse time back to where our ancestors lived in caves where as a pack, hunted for food and most importantly protected each other. It is this that I base working relationships on!
    If we were to live as our ancestors, WHO would you want in your pack?
    This is a near impossible task to choose the ( in your opinion ) most dearly and suited people.
    Some would say you would have to be ruthless and pick people that would kill, both to hunt and protect, others would choose their closest, to form a pack that could be taught to hunt and kill?
    The answer is in the readers heart and mind- not an easy one and one that I have had many a discussion.

    Quality of relationships – I have both worked as a Royal Marine in some of the most testing environments that you could imagine. I have learnt that you are only as strong as the person to your left on right and that humility is a strength of leaders.
    It was not uncommon to lead from the front, but to always ask the team their thoughts prior to moving out.
    It is the understanding of ALL, not one, that builds understanding and resilience in a team, I have, with the support of others thought ” if something happens to any one team member” who will stand in their position, who will pick up the slack, most importantly who will without a thought, push themselves to to their limits for the success of the task?
    Is it the success of the task or the emotional tie to the team that drives you forward. This again is only answered by the reader.

    In closing, all my lessons of life have been learnt through others giving to me and in return, I carry that mantra on to every thing I do in life.

    Rhodri, I thank you for taking the time to write about qualities that all humans possess, but many do not tap in to. Your blogs coninue to inspire me. I would like to express that taking your time to inspire your followers is a gift that not many have. The lessons that I have learnt from you are many, from trekking in sub zero conditions to hauling our bodies across desserts, mostly to spend time with you is priceless.

    Fortune favours the brave

    Raz

    • Once again Raz we appreciate your insightful reply and I hope our readers click on the comments box and read your response. There is much to be gained.

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