Leadership is influence and responsibility. Leadership is either developed by default (by our environment), or leadership is deliberately developed by the individual.
The good news about being a leader in the information age is that for any result someone wants, or problem someone is facing, a person has experienced it and written a book about it.
This page includes, leadership development...
Four Categories of Leadership
There are four categories of leadership, formal, informal, parental, and self-leadership.
Self-leadership is our most basic leadership, and our most important. No one has more influence and responsibility for ourself than ourself. It involves deliberately seeking new knowledge to develop our personal foundation, fulfillment, and achievement. Even if you are in a tough environment that has a lot of influence over you, you have choices, and a responsibility to get results for your life. You can increase your influence within the environment by constant personal development and constantly thinking "How can I .....?"
Informal leadership is where people look to another person for information or guidance, even though they don't have authority over them and are not responsible for getting results for them. Informal leadership is an unofficial public contract where people have expectations of the informal leader to help them get results (informal responsibility). This is often seen in family members, friends, mentors, activists, and influencers, where people seek their advice or knowledge to help them create a better life.
Formal leadership is where a person is given authority over other people, and they are responsible for getting results for those who gave them authority.
Parental leadership is when a person has given themself authority over, and responsibility for, a child they either brought into the world or adopted. The adult that child turns into is largely impacted by the parent's words, emotions, and actions. This is often the most challenging leadership position because people put themselves in this position before they are ready for it, or before they have developed their personal foundation, fulfillment, and achievement, or self-leadership.
Think of self-leadership as we all have a future self, who is depending on our present self, to develop the opportunities we have, starting with developing our identity, mind, emotions, and body. Our future self is in a better place than our present self, and it will take some development to reach our future self. Our present self has the most important influence and responsibility to become our future self. This means doing the best we can with what we know and have, where we are at.
There are over 200 success principles and at least 10 claim to be the most important. These are natural opportunities which are highlighted in the book Opportunity Truth. Every year more studies are being done to reveal more about these success principles or natural opportunities. The more anyone develops these natural opportunities the more influence they will grow in their environment.
Leadership development is to discover, design, and deliver truths and principles in order to build wisdom and skills that help fulfill responsibilities and get results, while helping others become more effective and efficient leaders.
Formal leaders are responsible for creating a healthy environment and leading (empower, equip, and encourage). They often have a good amount of professional development in the industry.
Setting a healthy environment includes creating a healthy culture, and includes having a purpose or vision, key values, and leadership that set a good example. A healthy environment includes healthy communication, especially in meetings.
The book The Advantage provides a systematic approach to create healthy communication in meetings, build trust that allows healthy conflict that leads to commitment and accountability, with a desire to embrace results.
The book Good to Great explains that creating a high performing team requires “getting the right people on the bus” which are people who are capable of disciplined thinking and disciplined action.
The book The Culture Code gives three must haves for a good culture or healthy environment including safety, vulnerability, and purpose.
Empower your people by setting expectations, some autonomy to do their job, with some boundaries, and knowledge of best practices for their position (not to be confused with micromanaging). Then get some feedback about the expectations, autonomy, and best practices by exercising empathy.
Consider having transparency in their expectations with a recorded sheet with the organization’s vision and values, and agreed upon responsibilities, tasks, and goals for their position.
Equip your people by helping them learn the skills necessary for their position and providing resources for their responsibilities.
Besides the professional skills necessary for their responsibilities and tasks, some of the most important skills to teach people includes developing a positive growth mindset, self-discipline, effective communication skills, problem solving, resourcefulness, and the universal habits that are highlighted in the book Opportunity Truth. Other good skills include the ability to replace bad habits with good habits, and effective reading.
If your people are required to read often, consider setting aside time to help them improve their reading skills, the book Limitless has a good tactic. If your people are required to type often, consider setting aside time for them to learn how to type.
Spending a few hours improving these skills in your employees could very well pay off within the next 12 months, and they will always remember where those skills came from, and they will be grateful for it.
Many surveys show that employees want development and desire to move onto higher responsibility. Consider regular professional development time, like an afternoon where people in the organization are required to do a short presentation based on some previous learning.
Encourage by showing appreciation of their strengths and past, and inspiration for future possibilities. When encouraging others, it can help to know their personality and appreciation language and use words that resonate with their personality and implement their appreciation language.
The formal leadership development plan is designed based on the understanding they have already built a strong personal and professional foundation, so the plan does not include the identity, affirmations, or routines.
You can create your one-page plan by recording your vision, values, goals and lead measures (or habits) to meet the goals. Then record your direct reports and their personality, strengths, appreciation language, and primary responsibility. Consider reviewing your vision, values, goals and lead measures daily, preferably in the morning following to help start your day strong. Review your direct reports traits before engaging with them to better understand them, so you can better connect with them, have better conversations, and ultimately help them develop.
Developing the Leader Within You 2.0, and The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, both by John Maxwell, Turn This Ship Around by L. David Marquet, Leaders Eat Last, and Start With Why, both by Simon Sinek, Call Sign Chaos by Jim Mattis and Bing West, Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey, The Leadership Challenge by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner, Leadership and Self-Deception by the Arbinger Institute, The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni, Principles by Ray Dalio, The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle, Good to Great by Jim Collins, Team of Teams by Retired General Stanley McChrystal, Tantum Collins, David Silverman, and Chris Fussell, Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, and Every Body Matters by Bob Chapman and Raj Sisodia.
Lead to Win, John Maxwell, Entreleadership, Coaching for Leaders, Dose of Leadership, Growth Think Tank, School of Greatness
The Aspen Institute, Center for Creative Leadership, Leadership Nudges, Front Line Leadership
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