Leader, Leadership and Leadership Styles

A walkway through the mid campus of the Genent...
A walkway through the mid campus of Genentech

Leader/Leadership

According to Alan Keith of Genentech “Leadership is ultimately about creating a way for people to contribute to making something extraordinary happen”.

A leader is a person who influences a group of people towards a specific result. But how that person influences varies with the style of the leader.

Leadership styles can range from the autocratic (“I’m going to tell you what to do”) to completely free reign (“You do it your way but get it right!”).  The easiest way to think of it, is in three main flavours.

Leadership Styles

Transactional Leadership

Transactional leaders provide rewards if, and only if, people perform as they require and are believed by the leader to work hard enough! This leader wants to contract with you in detail to set the exact reward you will receive for an exact amount of effort. This leader is unlikely to want to change how things are done or to listen to your suggestions for improving things; just make sure the agreed performance goals are met!

The leader will only intervene if they think something is wrong or the targets look threatened.  Expect to be closely monitored, though, and expect this leader to look for problems.

This approach can be useful when people are new and don’t know the work. Then the leader can be expected to turn into manager and provide very detailed instructions.

When you know what you are doing, this kind of leader can make you feel very demoralised, stressed and de–motivated.  This is particularly so when you know there is a better way of doing things.

Laissez-faire Leadership

This kind of leader leaves you to get on with things.  Now this works when you are a highly skilled craftsman or professional.  You take pride in your work you know you do it well; you drive on to achieve the objectives rarely needing help from anyone.

When you do need help, or another opinion, it may not be there for you.  You may not receive praise because the leader may not know enough about the work to know whether it is good or not!

Sometimes these kinds of leaders don’t really understand what they should be doing and just hope you know enough to cover for them!

Transformational Leadership

These are leaders who motivate you to commit to the vision of the organization!

They become your role model and sometimes you feel you would follow them anywhere! (I’ve worked for them but not often!) These leaders know where they want the organization to go and share the vision with you,

They also allow you to share that vision making process! They let you join in the problem solving and decision making without you feeling they have exploited you.  It is true sharing and involvement. They offer both challenge and support – they coach and they advise.  Yes, you do have to work hard but you feel motivated to do so!

These are the leaders who believe your personal development matters as well as the organization of which you are a part.

Sometimes though, the style isn’t appropriate, for example,  in real a crisis.  But those occasions should be rare.

So, when you think about styles of leadership what kind of leader are you? And what kind of leader would you prefer to work with?

I am Wendy Mason and I work as a Coach, Consultant and Writer. 

As a coach, I work with all kinds of people going through many different kinds of personal and career change, particularly those;

  • looking for work
  • looking for promotion or newly promoted
  • moving between Public and Private Sectors
  • facing redundancy
  • moving into retirement

I am very good at helping you sort out what you want, overcome obstacles and handle change.   Email me at wendymason@wisewolfconsulting.com for more information

  • Becoming a Leader Today – What is Leadership? (wisewolftalking.com)
  • Are You a Transformational Leader? (psychology.about.com)
  • What Servant Leadership Looks Like (chrislocurto.com)

Overcome Your Fear of Networking in a Few Simple Steps

Overcome Your Fear of Networking in a Few Simple Steps

Fear of Networking! I understand that networking can be intimidating. But if you really want that job, you’ll have to work for it.

Florence Fung

Florence has served more than 6 years of experience as an audit senior manager in a Big 4 accounting firm. She began her career in Vancouver, British Columbia but spent most of her career in Atlanta, Georgia. As a Chartered Accountant, she has been actively involved in campus recruiting and interviewing potential candidates of all levels. Florence enjoys helping others as much as she can but don’t expect any sugar coating from her. You’ll only get the straight up blunt truth. Reach her at flo@thejobmouse.com.

Overcome Your Fear of Networking

“Posting your resume on a job site? Checking job posting sites everyday? Submitting your resume to a company website? If this all sounds familiar to you, I have some bad news for you. You’re suffering from “hide behind laptop” disease. The remedy? Get off your butt and start meeting people in person. After all, there is a real world beyond your laptop.

In today’s job market, networking is a necessity. I understand that networking can be intimidating. But if you really want that job, you’ll have to work for it….Read the rest at

Overcome Your Fear of Networking in a Few Simple Steps

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Self Employment and A request from Dave

Dear Wendy

Dave has written me a new letter and he has a request. His letter is below.  You can find out more about Dave and the background to his letter on his page. So the next few posts here are going to be for those contemplating self employment.

“Dear Wendy

As you know I didn’t get the school administrator’s job.  I was very disappointed at first but applying for it and going for interview was a useful experience and it has helped me to clarify what I really want to do next.

When I first retired I thought I would prefer to do something different rather than seek another similar middle management post and now I feel sure that that really is what I want to do.  I’m thinking about becoming a self employed computer skills teacher and trouble shooter.   I have the technical skills and my personal relationship skills have always been one of my strengths.  I’ve got a lot more work to do to identify the market etc but I think it is a realistic proposition.

I know your blog is mainly aimed at people looking for work in the private or voluntary sector but I wondered whether you had any advice to offer for those thinking about self employment, as I am.

Regards

Dave”

Stages of Grief – Living Through Change

Stages of Grief – Living Through Change

Stages of Grief! When we go through any form of change in life we lose something. There is something for which we grieve. Even when things change for the better, something else is lost. Perhaps, it is only the comfort that comes from old habits and familiar surroundings!

We experience feeling of loss during all major life changes. For example, this could be when we lose someone close. Or, perhaps, it might be losing a job. But, the feelings overwhelm us, and this is unfamiliar and unwelcome.

So, it is useful to know what to expect. Then you can understand that you are not alone. And you are quite normal. You will be able to work through this experience to find a good way ahead!

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.

Most theories on handling life changes like redundancy are based on the work of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.

Stages of Grief
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Kubler-Ross was a doctor who spent a lot of time working with the dying in Switzerland.  She hated the way doctors often shunned the dying because they felt embarrassed by their own inability to help!  Busy doctors could always find an excuse to avoid an encounter.

Dr Kubler-Ross spent time both comforting the dying and studying them.  And, she wrote a book called ‘On Death and Dying’ which included a description of the stages of grief that is often referred to as the Grief Cycle.

In the years after her book was published, psychologists realised that this cycle was not exclusive to just the terminally ill.  This meant it applied to people who were affected by all kinds of bad news and life changes.

The important factor was not whether the change was good or bad, but how you perceived it.  If you think you are losing something you value then to a greater or lesser extent you will grieve for it.

Stages of Grief – the Kubler-Ross Grief Cycle

This chart illustrates her Grief Cycle!  It shows the roller-coaster of feelings that can follow news of a life change as you move between activity and passivity until you reach real acceptance. Of course, the reality isn’t as neat and tidy as this. You can slip, slide, and spiral backwards and forwards through the cycle until you teach equanimity again. But it still a useful model.

Stages of Grief

Information and lot of communication is needed at the beginning. Emotional support helps throughout. But it matters particularly when you are feeling lost in the middles stages. Later, guidance and advice on options can help.

Stages of Grief; how they really feel

So, there you are living your life as best you can. Then suddenly you learn something, or someone makes a decision. And it means life will never be quite the same for you again!

  • You move into Shock. Perhaps there is an initial paralysis at hearing the bad news).
  • You try your best to ignore it and go on day by day doing what you have always done. Denial means you are trying to avoid the inevitable.
  • Beginning to get frustrated, you know you just can’t avoid it. Anger may takeover with a frustrated outpouring of bottled-up emotion.
  • You try everything you know to find a way out And you may try to bargain, still seeking in vain for a way out.
  • Then you realise there is no way out. Depression can follow a final realisation of the inevitable.
  • Hopefully, you move on and start looking at options. And you may try out new ways of behaving.  You are testing but seeking realistic solutions.
  • You find the best way ahead for you. Acceptance follows as finally you find the way forward.

This description is extended slightly from the original Kubler-Ross model, which does not explicitly include the Shock and Testing stages. These stages however are often useful when trying to understand and work through change.

Experience varies and support helps.

Sometimes you go round the various bends more than once depending on your personal journey. Sometimes you can miss a stage out completely.  But I have described the most common journey.

People have found it useful to have the map when they go through personal change. You stop worrying about what you are feeling, knowing it is quite normal. You start to look for triggers that might take you onto the next stage. The support of friends and family can make a huge difference.  Working with a counsellor or life coach can also help, particularly if you get a bit stuck in one of the stages.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

The ability to bounce – coping with life’s problems

Bouncing Boy
Image via Wikipedia

Losing your job can be a major blow to your self confidence and it can be difficult to bounce back.  This can be much worse if you are someone who has found it difficult to cope with life’s problems in the past

Coping with life’s problems successfully needs you to have realistic expectations. Psychologists call these expectations, and the judgements you make based on them, ‘appraisals’.  Things that happen to us aren’t a problem unless we judge them to be.

Life is never perfect and problems, including losing your job these days, are a part of normal, everyday life. If our judgements (appraisals) are realistic, we’re much better able to deal with them and not let them throw us off-balance.

The appraisals we make come from our belief system. If we hold unrealistic beliefs, then our judgements may not be the best for the situation.

Sometimes we have unrealistic beliefs about what we must or should do.  We want to be “perfect”.  “Everyone must like me “or “I’ve got to be good at everything” for example. If you think about these for a minute, they are irrational beliefs. Who do you know who could really achieve them?

Another approach!

When you are aware of this, it is possible to substitute an irrational judgement with something more positive?

If someone treats you rudely, you could think what a rotten person they are.  Or you could think “See, everyone does dislike me!”  But another view could be.  “I wonder what happened to that person today to make them behave like that?”

But it is important to follow up these ‘primary appraisals’!  We need to ask ourselves afterwards if there’s anything we can do about a particular event that has caused distress – a “secondary appraisal”.

If we feel helpless to change things, or incompetent when facing challenges, then we’re less likely to come up with a suitable way to handle things.

Self-efficacy

People who have a confident belief that the responses they make to life’s challenges have a meaningful effect (self efficacy), are able to face problems with energy!  This means they bounce back easily.

But how do you develop this belief?

Self-efficacy comes from life experiences and being with others who already have the belief. It’s built up over the years by responding to challenges with action, flexibility and persistence.

But how can we increase our self-efficacy?  Well here are some suggestions:

  1. Set some goals for your life. If we don’t have goals, how can we succeed? Set some goals for your life, and give yourself credit when you achieve them.
  2. Make your goals challenging but realistic enough so you’ll be able to reach them. Set some simple goals to start with, that are fairly easy to achieve and then build on them.
  3. Find some good role models. They don’t have to be someone you know, but find someone you admire and you could learn from.
  4. Talk yourself positive. Take time to observe how you think about yourself.  Start praising your success in your own mind and make a decision to stop putting yourself down.  Admit that, like all of us, you have faults and stop belittling yourself for them.  Instead build yourself up for the smallest successes.
  5. Remember it takes energy and effort to succeed.  Be like an athlete, train yourself to win

Support

People with a good support system are more successful at overcoming life’s problems.

Are there people you can count on to listen to you when you need to talk? Can you speak to them frankly, without worrying about what you say? And are there people in your life you can count on to support you in major decisions?

Why not arrange to see old friends and family members.  You will find most people will take an interest in you if you show a real interest in them first.

Don’t wait for things to get better, take the first step – taking action gives us an increased feeling of competence and self-esteem. Taking action raises our self-efficacy!

A Checklist For Your Personal brand

Image via Wikipedia

September and a new term begins.  Time to reassess and refresh your personal brand!  The world sees your personal brand in all you do; it can work for you or against you.    

Sometime ago I posted a Checklist for your Personal Brand on Wisewolf Talking. Here is an updated version.

1. Do you have credibility? Are you an expert in your subject?  Do people believe you know what you are talking about?  Do the words you use reflect the latest thinking on your subject?  Do you write articles and blog posts on your specialist interest? Does your resume reflect the real depth of your experience – is it up to date?

2. Do you have an introductory piece – an ‘elevator speech?  Can you deliver a succinct description of what you do, how you do it differently, plus the benefit it delivers, within the time that it takes an elevator to travel one floor?

3. Are you a convincing communicator? Do people believe what you say and act on your advice?  Why not do a market survey – choose three people you trust and ask them what they think!  If not, then read a book or take a class.

4. Do you dress for the job?  Do you know what the dress code is for your sector?  Do you follow it?  But what about off duty – if you met you boss in the supermarket, what impression would they get?  Think about what is appropriate to the situation – balance your individual style with clothing that will appeal to those you are trying to impress.

5. Do you know the etiquette for your organization and your sector?  How do people behave? What kind of business cards do people carry?  Be the one who follows up and says thank you after sector and professional events.

6. Do you know the people you need to impress?  Take time out to build your address book.  Collect business cards – make sure your card reflects your image properly!  Ask contacts for further introductions.  Use LinkedInTwitterand Facebook to find new people.

7. Do you nurture your network?  Do you work at nurturing your relationship with your contacts?  Do you show an active interest in them and genuinely care about them?  Ask how they are and what they are doing and mean it.  Remember things they tell you – note them down if you need to! People appreciate real attention but they know when you are being insincere.

8. What do you do with your spare time?  If you give something back to the community with voluntary work or help your local sports club – the news does get around!

Your personal brand is precious – it’s the “you” that the world sees and judges you by.  Nurture your brand and you will nurture your life and your career.

Related articles

A Checklist For Your Personal Brand

Image via Wikipedia

September and a new term begins.  Time to reassess and refresh your personal brand!  The world sees your personal brand in all you do; it can work for you or against you.    

Sometime ago I posted a Checklist for your Personal Brand on Wisewolf Talking. Here is an updated version.

1. Do you have credibility? Are you an expert in your subject?  Do people believe you know what you are talking about?  Do the words you use reflect the latest thinking on your subject?  Do you write articles and blog posts on your specialist interest? Does your resume reflect the real depth of your experience – is it up to date?

2. Do you have an introductory piece – an ‘elevator speech?  Can you deliver a succinct description of what you do, how you do it differently, plus the benefit it delivers, within the time that it takes an elevator to travel one floor?

3. Are you a convincing communicator? Do people believe what you say and act on your advice?  Why not do a market survey – choose three people you trust and ask them what they think!  If not, then read a book or take a class.

4. Do you dress for the job?  Do you know what the dress code is for your sector?  Do you follow it?  But what about off duty – if you met you boss in the supermarket, what impression would they get?  Think about what is appropriate to the situation – balance your individual style with clothing that will appeal to those you are trying to impress.

5. Do you know the etiquette for your organization and your sector?  How do people behave? What kind of business cards do people carry?  Be the one who follows up and says thank you after sector and professional events.

6. Do you know the people you need to impress?  Take time out to build your address book.  Collect business cards – make sure your card reflects your image properly!  Ask contacts for further introductions.  Use LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to find new people.

7. Do you nurture your network?  Do you work at nurturing your relationship with your contacts?  Do you show an active interest in them and genuinely care about them?  Ask how they are and what they are doing and mean it.  Remember things they tell you – note them down if you need to! People appreciate real attention but they know when you are being insincere.

8. What do you do with your spare time?  If you give something back to the community with voluntary work or help your local sports club – the news does get around!

Your personal brand is precious – it’s the “you” that the world sees and judges you by.  Nurture your brand and you will nurture your life and your career.