Redefining Leadership

Learn how to become the best leader you can be.

Today, a manager, CEO or the leader of a company is able to run everything without the need to ever leave their office chair, merely using the click of a mouse to manage. You are only as slow as your broadband is.

However, although the logistics of being a boss are definitely much simpler in today’s modern age, it’s doesn’t make the leaders any better. Due to our rush towards technology, we’ve actually made the personal, human touch disappear which is necessary if we want them to work to the best of their abilities.

In addition, if you want to encourage them as an actual person instead of as a management cyborg, then you need to take it up a notch. The fundamental tool of gaining respect isn’t based on your job title but rather how dedicated you are to your principles. These next paragraphs will act as a guide that will teach you how to become a friendly, informed boss who will get things done.

You’ll find out:

  • How come the top leaders want to get out of their offices and actually get their hands dirty
  • How come you must captivate wannacomes to your meetings
  • How come Obama had to make an apology to an art history professor

Creative and successful leaders manage by being mobile.

Ask yourself, “How often do you see your department head walking around in the office?” Is this something that doesn’t happen often? The head of departments typically remain in their office, granted they don’t need to go to a meeting.

As a result, they don’t connect much with their staff. They only ever interact with them during the occasional meeting or report. However, you’ll never really understand your company and how it can be bettered until you create tight connections with your coworkers. You have to leave your office and converse with those who work below you. This means that you need to manage by doing some walking around.

The author had done that when he had just gotten his position as president of Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). He wanted to learn all that he could about the school, therefore, he got out of hiss office so that he could get to know as many people as he could in the departments surrounding him. He had gotten them food and assisted new students with their luggage when they were moving in, in addition to many other things.

The type of personal management doesn’t require taking over the positions of other people, though. If you end up getting too devoted in working side-by-side your staff members, you may, on accident, end up taking their work away from them or taking on all of the important decisions on your own, therefore the rest of them team has nothing but the minor tasks to do. This will cause them to feel useless since they won’t be offering much to the team. Leaders are there to lead!

The manager needs to be able to find equilibrium between working with their staff and providing them with their own space.

Communicate clearly and give your messages a personal touch.

Leaders have many different ways of communicating with their teams today. If you aren’t able to meet with your team in real life, try and link up with them via Skype or email. We are able to talk to more people at greater distances. This, however, is also problematic. As a leader, how do you make sure that your staff completely understand what it is that you’re saying?

There are a lot of different strategies in order to obtain clear communication, however the best thing to do is to utilize examples in order to back up what you stated.

Facts are much simpler to understand whenever they’re placed alongside an example as what is said becomes more real to whomever you’re talking to.

Suppose you’re sending out an email about why it’s important to take responsibility for what you do. You will need to outline what you want as well as what your terms are. For example, you can reiterate how a staff member will need to stay later should the others not do their work correctly. That will help back up your statement.

Those skills are useful, however, don’t forget that it’s still the best to just talk in person. There’s no alternative to the warmness of personal communication.

It’s impossible to meet with everyone each time, though, therefore, try to humanize thouse virtual messages wherever you can.

The author once had to send an email to a campus at the college. He was interested in meeting every recipient personally, but since he wasn’t able to, he added a personal touch to the email; he scanned a handwritten letter and added it to the email.

That special touch worked wonders as so many more people replied than usually; a little bit of warmth made all the difference.

Get your team members together regularly in short and efficient meetings.

Suppose that your business just made an item and the have to create a new team in order to manufacture, market, as well as sell it. You’ve just been made the leader. What is your next move?

First and foremost, you need to make people feel as if they’re part of a team that’s why you need to put them all into one room. Teams never really feel real when you first create them, but as soon as team members meet one another, they begin feeling as if they are a part of something. They are united anyways since they are all working in the direction of the same thing.

The meeting shouldn’t be the last one, either. Teams need to meet a few times during a project in order to talk about their strategy or work through any issues that they are having.

The three different types of people that come to meetings are wannacomes, havetocomes, and wanneats.

Wannacomes are the ones that want to be there, havetocomes aren’t interested in being there, and the wannaeats on every come for the food. The best types of meetings are those where the majority of people are wannacomes. If you want to ensure that they’ll come, you need to pay attention on having your meetings as quick as possible.

This means that you need to create an agenda. Only incorporate the problems that need to be talked about. Wannacomes may not want to come to meetings that are about the things that they are curious about if that means that they need to listen to useless conversations about stuff that they don’t care about.

Therefore, make sure that your meetings are short and concise. By having short meetings, you can make sure that everyone remains on topic and stays productive. More importantly, it’s a lot more attractive for every person that was invited as both the havetocomes and the wannaeats may turn into wannacomes.

Stick to your principles and show your human side.

If you want to be a strong leader then you have to make sure that you get the job done; there’s no need to think about morals or principles. Actually, though, that idea is incredibly false.

You don’t become a leader right away after you’ve come up with a great idea. In addition, you need to have a strong strategy to bring it to life.

The former president of MIT, Jerome Wiesner, has a story that depicts just that. When he had been younger, Wiesner had been a physicist for the Manhattan Project, which developed the atomic bomb in the Second World War.

When Wiesner had seen the destruction from the war, he had committed his life to “fostering world peace and integrating the arts into the sciences at MIT.”

Wiesner’s principles had made him into a leader. He had been so committed to them that he began to look after actions in order to bring them to life. In the end, he became one of the main voices in the global discussion around nuclear arms.

Therefore, good ideas are crucial, however, they don’t make you a leader. Ideals are what do.

Your ideals don’t need to just guide your work, but rather, if you would like to be a good leader, those ideals need to guide your life as well.

The author, for instance, has many advantages from being the leader of a college.

He gets a private car that comes with a chauffeur, a mansion, as well as a membership to a private dining club.

However, he doesn’t take advantage of any of the privileges. How come?

In a meeting that he had during the financial crisis, he had been asked to picture a parent that’s having trouble paying for their kid’s fees. He had been asked how that parent would feel had they seen seen that a faculty member receives those kind of benefits.

The author had utilized that has a guide for himself ever since that time. He takes precaution to think about how he looks from the side. He understands that by taking advantage of his privileges as the president of RISD, it would go against his beliefs.

Keep in mind that in the end, leaders are people. They are impacted by their environment just as every other person is, too. Therefore, make sure that you show your teammates your human site. You’ll gain their respect if you follow your principles. Leading by doing just that is the most efficient way to do so.

Take the time to earn your team’s respect.

Just as you’d suspect, a good leaders need to be backed up by a solid team. Therefore, you need to have a team that supports you. However, you do you get them to support you?

Great leaders will always respect their staff. The top leaders typically go out of their way in order to show them how much that they are thankful for them.

Ikko Tanaka, who is one of Japan’s greatest designers, embodies that idea. He is the mastermind behind a few of some successful Japanese brands such as MUJI.

Once, he had asked the author to come to dinner with all of his staff.

As soon as the author had come, he was taken aback when he found out that Tanaka had made all of the food on his own. He had also talked about how appreciative he was to have his team as he understand that they were the ones behind his success. He wanted to show his gratitude as well as keep the respect that they had.

You are also able to keep your respect by recognizing and taking the blame for any mistakes that you make.

It’s not often that you come across leaders that do so in public. A high profile figure had once apologized to the author for being so bitter in an intense public meeting, however he had asked him not to say anything to anyone.

Don’t ever do that. Be sure to take responsibility for your actions by, for instance, apologizing in public, as it shows your humility.

For instance, President Obama had apologized publicly a few times. In February 2014, he had even apologized for having made a joke about art history majors. An art historian at Texas University, Ann Collins Johns, had been so upset that Obama had sent her a handwritten apology. She had accepted it.

You can’t be right all the time, even if you’re a leader. People will have a lot more respect for you if you choose to admit your mistakes.