Leading and following are two sides of the same coin. The definition of leadership often fails to include strategic followership. A skilled leader is able to judge when to relinquish the reins and defer to the leadership of others when necessary. Implicit in this is that an effective leader has a strong sense of their own strengths and weaknesses, and also accepts that leadership is not a “lone-actor” phenomenon and that leadership is not about the leader- it is about the task and the team. It follows that strong leadership requires the leader to understand their followers true strengths and weaknesses and how to leverage their talent.
Going back to the Katz’s Three-Skill Approach (LINK), senior management and leadership is less about technical skills and more about human and conceptual skills. If a task or a challenge requires more technical skills, a leader must defer to the leadership of a technical expert for the solution. Even within the relational and conceptual skills set, for a specific area another member of the team may hold the expertise or experience required to find a solution or resolve a conflict. The challenge here is for the leader to be flexible and agile enough to defer to the leadership of others in a timely manner and become a follower for a while, without losing his or her overall authority or credibility. Leadership is as much about following as it is about leading. At the end of the day it is the success of the team and the task that helps to establish the credibility of the leader.
References & Further Reading
• Bass BM & Avolio BJ (1990) “The implications of transactional and transformational leadership for individual, team and organizational development”. Research in Org...
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...r’s use of criteria that will bias decisions in your favour, selecting decision makers who will promote and defend your interests.
3. Proactive tactics – these tactics have immediate objectives like getting the target person to carry out a new task or change procedures used for a current task. There are many different types of proactive tactics (see table).
For influence attempts involving a single target person, there are three distinct outcomes:
1. Commitment – when the target person makes a great effort to carry out the request or implement the decision effectively.
2. Compliance – when the target person is willing to carry out a request but is indifferent rather than enthusiastic about it and will make only a minimal effort.
3. Resistance – when the target person is opposed to the proposal or request, rather than merely indifferent about it.
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