What makes a good leader?

How does a good leader make you feel?

Do you want to be a leader, but you don’t know how?

Effective leadership is a very important concept for any team, business, organisation or role model; it dictates how well a team performs and more importantly, what a team achieves. But can anyone be a good leader?

Kouzes and Posner’s leadership challenge is a fantastic method for liberating the leader in everyone, so for those of you who believe that you haven’t got what it takes to be a good leader, you may surprise yourself!

According to Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, effective leadership can be categorised in terms of behavioural traits, skills and abilities, all of which can be easily learned if you’re willing to accept the challenge! So why not make a difference today?

There are five well established practises of exemplary leaders, which include the following:

  1. Model the Way – Model the behaviour you want your team to follow. Set attainable goals and create opportunities for your team.
  2. Inspire a Shared Vision – Create an awareness of future possibilities and Untitled15make your team believe that they can really make a difference. Really engage those feelings of motivation.
  3. Challenge the Process – Experiment and take risks. Treat disappointments and failures as learning curves. Be open to new experiences and ways of working; this is the key to becoming inspired!
  4. Enable Others to Act – Strengthen others beliefs in their abilities and build a safe, trusting environment to experiment in.
  5. Encourage the Heart – Recognise individual contributions to the success of your team and reward these accomplishments in creative ways (this will ensure that your team is continually inspired!).As many of you will notice, many of these five practices link in with our previous blog on ‘Inspiring your Teams’ (http://bit.ly/ZunQIs).

For any good leader, it is important to make sure that your team is inspired before you can achieve any real results, so if you want to make a real impact, it is worth keeping this in mind!

So how can you tell whether you are a good leader?

Of course the obvious answer to this question is witnessing your team achieve excellent results.  However, it is important to realise that even though you may think that you are doing a good job, the feedback you receive could suggest otherwise.

So how can we measure our performance?

Kouzes and Posner have developed a really useful 360-degree assessment tool, the Leadership Performance Inventory (LPI), which is based on The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership® model. Over three million people have taken their first steps towards their personal leadership best by using this tool and no matter where your leaders are along their leadership development journey, the LPI will support the important work you do in developing, nurturing, and empowering your emerging leaders. The LPI assessments and facilitator materials illuminate both the effectiveness of your leaders and the level of commitment, engagement, and satisfaction of those that follow.

Alternatively, Cooley’s notion of a ‘looking glass self’ may also be a strong indicator of our leadership performance, as the ‘looking glass self’ suggests that we see ourselves through the eyes of other people. We are constantly making judgements and conclusions about ourselves based on how others interact and respond to us and as a result, we use this information to construct our own self-concept. So let me ask you – does the behaviour of your team indicate that you are a good leader? Can you use this information to improve your leadership abilities?

With this in mind, we may also be able to drive change in our teams by the way that we, as leaders, act towards our team members. If you want your team to believe that they are skilled and competent enough to achieve even the most unattainable goals and you act towards them as if this were true, could this encourage each individual to start believing this themselves? This is definitely something to consider!

Case Study

Here at Masterclass Training, we implement Kouzes and Posner’s leadership challenge to help you and your organisation achieve the extraordinary. A client of ours, West Yorkshire Probation Service, has undergone our leadership coaching as a means of providing their managers with the essential tools and skills necessary for being proactive in times of frequent change.

Here is just a snippet of the feedback we have received from them:

“We’re seeing some very positive benefits from the managers themselves… their enthusiasm seems to be very much improved and organisational performance is starting to improve dramatically, and the LPI programme has been a very significant contributor to this.”

For more information about the LPI, visit the links below!