Great leaders are often thought of as history’s heroes and corporate commanders, but they can be seen in all areas of life. Without them, our society would fall to shambles for “the problems that require leadership are those that the experts cannot solve” (Manthey, 2004). I used to feel that leaders and managers were the same. However, I have learned that you can be a leader without being a manager, and vice versa. Acceptable leaders are a dime a dozen, but exceptional leaders are few and far between. Every individual at some period during his or her life will come across both ineffective and exceptional leaders, as well as a vast range between the two; the best of them drive others to become great in their own right.
To successfully inspire greatness in others, leader must discover the greatness within themselves. “Everyone comes with certain gifts—but not the same gifts.” (Dupree, 26) People can only perform on strengths, and should focus on improving them. It makes little sense to focus on improving areas of low competence, as the energy required would be far more useful elsewhere. (Drucker, 2005, p. 3-5) Only when this personal evaluation has been preformed can one begin to effectively lead others.
Great leaders recognize that all members of an organization are individuals with different needs, values, and desires. These emotional necessities are often at the core of conflict, as conflict arises when one person’s wants differ from another’s. Ineffective leaders simply impose their power in a conflict-type of situation, further aggravating the problem. This managerial method accomplishes nothing “You only succeed in stripping that person of self-dignity and making yourself an unwelco...
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...ing an environment that both allows and encourages everyone to contribute to the vision, attempting to reshape the organization into the most socially and financially successful system possible.
Organizational change is a complex task that often times receives resistance. When employees must change their way of thinking in order to meet new goals and challenges, opposition is often met. (Dummies, 287) To overcome this conflict, leaders must create a vision that instills confidence in new organizational practices, while at the same time, empowering their employees to actively seek out new ways of doing things. (Leader, 17)
When leaders discuss their vision, effective and transparent communication is essential to its success. If the reason for this change is properly conveyed, voluntary commitment by employees will be nonexistent. (Bennis & Nanus, 2003, p. 172)
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