What Leaders Do

September 26, 2011

Effective Communication, Leadership

Organizational leaders have four basic responsibilities.  They must build credibility, motivate their followers, get the job done and improve their organizations.  These responsibilities are constant, regardless of the type of organization or the leader’s level within the organization.  Leading from where they are, these three things are the focus.

Credibility…

Leadership begins with who you are.  Followers are drawn to character and competence. They are drawn to emotional stability.  They are drawn to those who share their interests and their hardships.  Your personal credibility is the foundation for your leadership capability.  Great leaders begin with great credibility.

Motivation…

Motivation is all about relationship and understanding that followers are unique.  They are motivated by their individual circumstance and their individual goals.  What makes your people tick and how are you providing for their needs?  How do you relate their needs to the organization’s needs?  Motivation is both science and art.  You need to understand the theory of motivation and more importantly, the leader actions they inspire.  Once you have determined what to do, your results are highly dependent on the way that you do it.  This is the art, which becomes more difficult the higher you go in an organization. It is more challenging to inspire through several levels of organization.  Motivation breeds action.

Achieve the Mission…

Leaders are responsible for getting the job done.  What is the organizational Mission and what specific contributions are expected from the leader and their followers?  Leaders focus follower motivation on achieving organizational goals while linking them to their individual needs.  It’s defining the relationship between achieving the Mission and meeting individual needs.  Do your followers equate organizational achievement to personal achievement?

Improve the Organization…

No individual or organization can remain stagnant.  Leaders have a responsibility to improve themselves, their followers and their organizations. Organizations improve when individual members improve.  Without constant improvement organizations soon fall behind and predators will cull the weak from the herd.

Please comment on the fundamental responsibilities of leadership.
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