In order to become successful, Leadership Concepts requires an intuitive understanding of the human nature – the basic needs, wants and abilities of people. To be effective, a leader understands the following:
People, paradoxically, need security and independence at the same time.
People are sensitive to external rewards and punishments and yet are strongly self-motivated.
People like to hear a kind word of praise. Catch people doing something right, so you can pat them on the back.
People can process only a few facts at a time. Thus, a leader needs to keep things simple.
People trust their gut reaction more than statistical data.
People reject a leader’s rhetoric if the words are inconsistent with his actions.
Leaders need to give their employees independence and yet provide a secure working environment, one that encourages and rewards successes. A working environment should be provided that fosters employee creativity and risk-taking by not penalising mistakes.
A leader will focus on a few key values and objectives. Focusing on few values or objectives gives the employees the ability to discern on a daily basis what is important and what is not. Employees, upon understanding the objectives, should be given personal control over the task in order to make the task their own and thereby something to which they can commit. A leader, by giving the employees a measure of control over an important task, will tap into the employees’ inner drive. Employees, led by the manager, can become excited participants in the organisation.
Having a worthwhile cause such as total quality management is not always enough to get employees to participate. People (and, in turn, employees) follow a leader, not a cause. Indeed, when people like the leader but not the vision, they will try to change the vision or reconcile their vision to the leader’s vision. If the leader is liked, people will not look for another leader. This is especially evident in politics. If the leader is trusted and liked, then the employees will participate in the total quality management cause. Therefore, it is particularly important that a leader’s character and competence, which is developed by good habits and ethics, be above reproach. Effective leadership begins on the inside and moves out.