Blog Post #2 The Importance of Leadership

A Fellow doesn’t last long on what he has done. He has to keep on delivering” – Carl Hubbell

 

Leadership…. What is leadership? When Googling the term leadership, one finds many definitions. Some of them are very matter of fact, such as “a person who directs and guides a group” while others are more philosophical, as 4th century BC Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu asserts “a leader is best when people barely know he exists”. The definition that resonated with me the most was written by Kevin Kruse and states “leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal”. This definition is plain and simple and gets straight to the point. chess-442542_1280

That’s great you might say, but what makes a good leader and how can I get one? Well, as if you didn’t already know, a person’s title or position within the company doesn’t necessarily make them a good leader, nor does a long list of credentials after their name. Intelligence, motivation and determination, also do not necessarily equate to good leadership. Psychologists Peter Salovey, John Mayer and Daniel Goleman, Ph.D. researched this very subject and came to the conclusion that in addition to the stereotypical definition of a leader, “truly effective leaders are also distinguished by a high degree of emotional intelligence, which includes self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill” (2004). Data from Goleman’s study revealed that effective leaders displayed a greater level of emotional intelligence and were more effective than those without it.

I don’t know about you, but that strikes a chord with me. The ability to examine one’s own feelings as well as the feelings of others, and then applying that information to guide one’s thinking and actions follows along the same lines as the definition of leadership. In order to be an effective leader one needs to not only understand themselves, but to be able to truly understand others and the best way to work with them to get the most optimal results. This is something everyone can relate to and can greatly impact one’s happiness and life in general.

So what’s the good news here and how will that help me, you might ask? Well, emotional intelligence isn’t something you have to be born with. There are numerous ways people can improve their emotional intelligence. Some people may have an easier time than others and it may take a good amount of work, but it is possible.

Now, how to convince your boss…

 

 

Cherry, K. (2014). What Is Emotional Intelligence? Retrieved October 31, from http://psychology.about.com/od/personalitydevelopment/a/emotionalintell.htm
Goleman, D. (2004). What Makes a Leader? Retrieved October 31, from http://hbr.org/2004/01/what-makes-a-leader/ar/1
Kruse, K. (2013) What Is Leadership? Retrieved October 31, 2014 from http://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2013/04/09/what-is-leadership/
Mielach, D. (2012). 10 Ways to Define Leadership. Retrieved October 31, from http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/3647-leadership-definition.html
12 Mannage.com (2014). Leadership quotes. Retrieved October 31, from http://www.12manage.com/quotes_l.html

Blog Post #1: What is Office Mayhem?

I’m sure you are asking yourself, who is this person, what makes her so qualified and why should I even bother reading this? Well, if you’ve gotten this far, why not read a little further and see what ‘Office Mayhem’ is all about? Twenty plus years of dealing with various office personalities, management, leaders and office politics has given me great insight into how “screwed up” most work/office environments truly are. I’m not saying all offices are, but a large number of them definitely fit the bill and I’m sure many of you can relate.

 

So why is this the case you ask? Well there are numerous reasons why many offices do not function as efficiently and effectively as they should. Employees with bad attitudes, management that plays both sides of the fence, limited opportunity for employee growth, incompetence, office cliques/politics and employees getting ready to retire, just coasting through are but a few examples. But when it comes right down to it, the real culprit supporting this office mayhem is leadership. Yes leadership.

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Lack of leadership permits inefficiency, disorder and bad behavior, and effects all employees regardless of their position within the company. A company may be full of exceptionally talented employees, but if leadership is non-existent and there is a lack of direction, office mayhem will ensue. Who wants to work in an office were they are under appreciated and their talents go unnoticed? I don’t know many people who would answer yes. Yet many of us unfortunately do work in that type of environment. 

 

Wow, what a downer! I’m sure some of you are thinking thanks for reminding me about how much I loathe my job. Well, I apologize for that, but that is not my intention with this blog. The goal of this blog is to talk about the importance of leadership and how it effects the workplace, employees and the company as a whole. Leaders need to step into the trenches and take notice of what’s going on within the workplace.  Only then will they gain a better understanding of why office mayhem is so toxic and how it influences the company’s bottom line. Happy employees and a positive organizational culture directly impact a company’s success. If leadership doesn’t care, why should employees?