Traits of leadership.

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TeeDee

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Leadership.

Often used term thrown around casually in the boardroom and appealing to the ego's in most of us.

But what is it - what are the traits of GOOD leadership? I'm sure we have all experienced our fair share of poor Leadership which is leadership in name only.

Most of us ( animal psychology ) 'want' to be Leaders - But can you learn it? Can you teach it. Or is it inherent.

So what True Leaders have you experienced in your life and what made those people stand out as being good Leaders?
 

Toddy

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.....and define leadership.

I manage a household. My household had three males and all I had to do to get something done was to ask.
There are still two of them here, and tonight I've asked everything from sorting the battery in the smoke alarm to fetching stuff down for me from the deep back top shelf of the linen cupboard, to putting the bin out at the kerbside. It just gets done with no fuss or bother. I don't nag. My husband says I can't nag, he thinks I just never learned how :dunno:
I think they're just helpful and it's unnecessary emotional abuse.

My neighbour had three daughters and every single ask in her household was a fight. It didn't matter what it was, if she asked one they demanded one of the others did it. It was incessant. It would have done my head in to live like that. No acceptance that everybody helps in the home.

We were very different characters though and where she got angry and ranted, (she ranted at me when I said I just asked) while I just explained what needed done and asked for help.

I did the same thing when I worked. Everything from wardrobe team for film (crew of six females aged from 16 to 54) to an ad hoc group of crafts folks, of all ages and both male and female.
The work got done and no one had any issues with the way we did it.
Academics however were a nightmare to work with. Ego overcame practical application all too often.

Maybe that's a big part of it ?
Persuading others to help and agreeing that this is the way to do it ?

But then, that's not an army or a political party :)
 

TLM

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How do you feel that they may differ?
In many ways, first as the tools one has differ a lot, second because the effects of any decision are different. All can be life or death decisions so not necessarily much difference there.
 

TeeDee

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Nov 6, 2008
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.....and define leadership.

I manage a household. My household had three males and all I had to do to get something done was to ask.
There are still two of them here, and tonight I've asked everything from sorting the battery in the smoke alarm to fetching stuff down for me from the deep back top shelf of the linen cupboard, to putting the bin out at the kerbside. It just gets done with no fuss or bother. I don't nag. My husband says I can't nag, he thinks I just never learned how :dunno:
I think they're just helpful and it's unnecessary emotional abuse.

My neighbour had three daughters and every single ask in her household was a fight. It didn't matter what it was, if she asked one they demanded one of the others did it. It was incessant. It would have done my head in to live like that. No acceptance that everybody helps in the home.

We were very different characters though and where she got angry and ranted, (she ranted at me when I said I just asked) while I just explained what needed done and asked for help.

I did the same thing when I worked. Everything from wardrobe team for film (crew of six females aged from 16 to 54) to an ad hoc group of crafts folks, of all ages and both male and female.
The work got done and no one had any issues with the way we did it.
Academics however were a nightmare to work with. Ego overcame practical application all too often.

Maybe that's a big part of it ?
Persuading others to help and agreeing that this is the way to do it ?

But then, that's not an army or a political party :)

I do think Ego ( or lack thereof ) can be a big bit.


Unlike many here , I'm not that well educated but I've always remembered the following from wherever I read it. - I think there is a large kernel of truth in it.



solon.jpg
 

TeeDee

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In many ways, first as the tools one has differ a lot, second because the effects of any decision are different. All can be life or death decisions so not necessarily much difference there.

Ok , so the skillset of Leadership in one field doesn't translate automatically to the other.

So name examples of Leadership in one of those fields and tell me why you think it was a good example.
 

C_Claycomb

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The good leaders I have known have been confident, but not overly so, have clearly been interested in the welfare of those around them, those that they are leading, have listened well, and acted decisively when needed. They have not suffered fools, but they have been better than average diplomats about it. There have been other characteristics, but those are the easiest to describe quickly.

Leadership can be taught, but like everything else some people are more naturally talented than others.

I think it is also important that one differentiates between leaders, and managers. Most people encounter managers more often than leaders. Managing and leading are not the same, and often the people that are good at one are not good at the other. Good leaders have good managers working for them ;)

I took a course with the IMECHE about "Leading without formal authority" and did a fair bit of reading and watching on the subject. I liked the way Simon Sinek described leadership in the following talks.




I also enjoyed his description of Infinite Games vs Finite Games with examples from wars and businesses, but that is a little different than the leadership talks.
 

billycoen

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Jan 26, 2021
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I think trust is a big factor.I've been on a few team building courses,i can now drive a landrover around a muddy field with an egg on the bonnet,cos you never know when that's going to come in handy.The people i was put in charge of were lads i had worked with for a long time,so i think it was an easy transition.
 
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Billy-o

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Engage people in a conversation. Put your case. Find out what knowledge, resources, skills and other techical capacities there are in the group. Put your case. Listen to people. Find out what they want to do. Help them do that. Or, find a different role.
 
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Toddy

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So , lead from the front. Follow my actions , not follow my words sort of thing.
I think that depends. Being prepared to do the work too counts an awful lot in many situations.
Perhaps Not so much as a military 'leader' though. Witness the upset when, "Sunray is down!", came across the radio on the Falklands.
I hasten to add that that's in no way me disparaging the bravery or commitment of the men involved.
 
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TeeDee

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I think that depends. Being prepared to do the work too counts an awful lot in many situations.
Perhaps Not so much as a military 'leader' though. Witness the upset when, "Sunray is down!", came across the radio on the Falklands.
I hasten to add that that's in no way me disparaging the bravery or commitment of the men involved.

I was more trying to condense Robbis comments.

Totally agree however that ( as per Robbis comment ) and echoing your own sentiment Toddy that I'd feel far more involved and invested into a Leader working at the Coalface alongside me , rather than standing back remotely from the work - but sometimes I guess both things are necessary. Once trust and respect is earned it a signal of confidence and faith in that person.

I once read a book on Leadership from a gentlemen that had impressive Military honours and was now selling leadership and management courses to the corporate world - an item in his book stated that Leadership was nothing more than Manipulation of anothers will to do things which they wouldn't normally do - which I instantly disliked but after thinking upon it ( still don't like the words used ) its probably got some truth to it.

But I'm also interested in moving away - which the thread seems to have done naturally - into seeing Leadership as either Business or Military , polarising into two camps.

What about the friend or acquaintance that you feels exudes Leadership characteristics - why do we feel this person is one to be considered a Leader? what are the commonalities that we seek to affirm that belief.
 

TLM

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But I'm also interested in moving away - which the thread seems to have done naturally - into seeing Leadership as either Business or Military , polarising into two camps.
There are good examples of people moving from civil to military and vice versa. (Finland has always had a conscript army, that means most of the lower officers and NCOs are reservists, essentially civil professionals). Some do the transit easily some do not. I don't think I have ever seen a study of that, there might be one though.

Most people do not want war, even if they are soldiers and they act accordingly. There are "warriors" that seem to thrive when fighting, an evolutionary quirk I guess.
 
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Broch

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I have been hesitant to enter this conversation because, in the past, I have upset some people with my views; but, here goes ...

In my view, there are very few true leaders in military or business landscapes. The majority of officers and business leaders are only really managers - some are good and some are bad. But if people only do what is being proposed because military rank dictates it or because they'll have to find another job if they don't, or even because they'll get a pay rise or a promotion if they do, (i.e. carrot and/or stick) then it's not leadership it's management.

A leader is trusted, decisive, listens but doesn't decide by 'committee', acts in a timely manner with commitment, takes responsibility, articulates reasoning and circumstance clearly, defines expectations and needs. He/she makes people believe that the action is right (even if it's iffy) and makes people want to execute it and follow. But, he/she will not shirk being forthright, insistent, and even forceful if it is in the interest of the plan to the benefit of the majority - sometimes the ability to make the big decision is a mark of a good leader. A good leader may, when circumstances dictate, be aggressive and even cruel - it's just another tool in the armoury in times of extreme need.

I have met very few true leaders; I think they are a rare beast. I think one can train to have better leadership skills (and apply them to management), but I believe true leaders are born or, at least, are the result of 'life experience'.
 

Toddy

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Most people do not want war, even if they are soldiers and they act accordingly. There are "warriors" that seem to thrive when fighting, an evolutionary quirk I guess.
And then there are the gangs of young men (and girls these days too) who seem to channel violence as their social standing within their immediate peer group.

I live in central Lanarkshire. It was the recruiting ground for the lowland regiments. They were apparently lauded for their abilities in urban warfare. I was told by a senior officer that it was because they had grown up fighting in every close (communal stairwell) back lane and town in Lanarkshire. The same seems to have been true for the towns like Glasgow and Edinburgh too though.
One wonders, does that kind of violence, and leadership thereof come purely from an inate ability to be violent ? and how that they attract others to their 'gang', to risk life and limb to cause mayhem just because someone else says so.
 

TeeDee

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I have met very few true leaders; I think they are a rare beast. I think one can train to have better leadership skills (and apply them to management), but I believe true leaders are born or, at least, are the result of 'life experience'.

May I ask in what context you met these people you consider are True leaders?
 

TLM

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And then there are the gangs of young men (and girls these days too) who seem to channel violence as their social standing within their immediate peer group.
I think (really out of my field) that is a social thing but of course one has to have a certain inner orientation for that. That is still some way from being a soldier that does require the ability to obey orders and act in a controlled manner.
 

Toddy

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I think (really out of my field) that is a social thing but of course one has to have a certain inner orientation for that. That is still some way from being a soldier that does require the ability to obey orders and act in a controlled manner.

The banned command, "Havoc!", aye, indeed.
 

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