Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. Clipping is a handy way to collect and organize the most important slides from a presentation. This, despite his efforts to continue his education and training, and despite a reputation for reliable leadership.
The jobs went to two far less qualified team members under the assumption that seniority automatically beget leadership.
The new leaders insisted on weekly meetings that lasted four hours and accomplished nothing, holding onto the idea that a meeting was important for meeting’s sake. But people have a natural way of ferreting out who the real leader is, and turning to them no matter what the title is, and that’s exactly what happened in the case of David (which, by the way, is a true story I heard from a friend). A good leader has to be a take-charge individual, domineering and charismatic and god-like, always in control and understanding and knowing all things, right? In other words, good leadership is an active process; it’s all about the actions they do, not the words they say.
Drucker has hit on something, but this statement is only true as long as the followers are true followers, and not forced. Remember, someone who is promoted to be a leader will have followers by default, but are they true followers?
In David’s case, he had qualities that made people come to him and follow his lead, even if he wasn’t the designated leader, and even if they weren’t aware they were turning to him to lead. There is an almost intangible quality of good leadership that is hard to create through any specific training, and it involves inspiration. Good leaders inspire people to do their best without any coercion, threat, or other power play.
Good leaders don’t hold pointless meetings, and when they do have meetings, they keep them moving and on task.
One of the most frustrating things for David’s team was endless meetings in which nothing was accomplished. Being a wise steward of other’s time is how a leader teaches the team to value it in their own work. Good leaders know time is limited, and that they don’t own the rights to anyone else’s time. Leaders are usually tasked with getting people towards a goal, and they often answer to people higher than they as to how well they’re doing to that end. Leaders may feel pressure to measure or increase something that is tangentially related to the ultimate goal of the team, and withstanding that pressure is tough.
Good leaders stay focused on what is truly important, and aren’t distracted by outside pressures. Part of David’s struggle was the sense that he was doing work that ought to have been the leader’s job, but wasn’t getting paid for it.


It is surprising how many people view positions of leadership as an opportunity to merely get a pay increase and work decrease, or to enjoy prominence. And if you realize your decisions must answer to someone else, understand you might not be the true leader of the team. In short, good leaders are people who have a kind of influence that make others want to follow them.
Start a free trial and find out why 35,000 other businesses are usingWhen I Work to schedule and communicate with their employees. Make Scheduling EasierStart a free trial and find out why 35,000 other businesses are using When I Work to schedule and communicate with their employees. People privately whispered condolences to David, but it wasn’t long before his team was struggling and splintering under the poor leadership of these two men. Good leaders have qualities about who they are and what they do that supercede any job title placed on their head.
Quiet, calm, and community-oriented personality types can also lead just as well as that top-down personality approach.
You can get people to act out of fear and coercion, and you might get initial results, but you’ll kill any true loyalty or inspiration. Good leaders don’t insist that team members use their personal time to get things done for the team, particularly if they don’t allow team members do take care of occasional personal business during work hours. Having our time used up with no tangible result is frustrating for the team, and also trains them to spend their time foolishly. Measuring the wrong thing makes you not only lose sight of the goal, but puts stress on your team as they try to both meet the goal and these peripheral benchmarks. His leaders were expecting the team to carry the burden that they didn’t want, and it was leading to gossip and dissension within the team. Good leaders make regular training available (and even required) to make sure each team member is as qualified as they can be. Segregating by age groups and personality types might make leading a diverse team easier, but it doesn’t strengthen the team. The moment you start thinking about yourself and how you can capitalize on being the leader, your team will cease to be inspired by you (and may even feel derision towards you) because you are no longer interested in leadership, but in power. Subordinates don’t always verbalize what they’re really thinking, but their body language can tell you a lot.
When someone is talking to you, are you listening or are you thinking of what you’ll say next when they stop to take a breath? Good leaders are quick to end any gossip or bad communication that is happening in their team.
Good leaders communicate as often as necessary (but no more) to keep their team pointed to the goal. You might have to answer to higher management, stockholders, customers, the press–but as a leader, you aren’t responsible for them.


Good leaders empower and build their followers so that they point in the same direction and achieve something greater than they, or their leader, could do on their own.
They passed the work they didn’t want to do to the team, disguising it as an “opportunity to learn”, burdening and stressing the already over-worked team. Good leaders don’t waste their team’s time with policies and procedures that make it more difficult for work to get done. Unless you mix your team and help them learn to work together, there will be weakness in the team. Have you done a good job showing and explaining how important each person is to the larger goal? If they have bad news to deliver, they deliver it honestly and as quickly as possible so that their team doesn’t have to stew in fear and rumor. They know too much communication is superfluous, but that a lack of instruction and discussion allows a team to go off the rails. You need to understand how people see you in order to understand how to communicate with them.
When situations are frightening or the news is bad, we look for a more autocratic leader to take charge and fix things.
Are you around your team in a variety of settings so you learn how they act depending on different feelings?
Whether you’re literally one-on-one, or you are speaking to a large group, make eye contact and speak as if directed to individual people.
They made emotional decisions that got them in trouble with their superiors, passing that heat down to the rest of the team. If you know a team member receives criticism poorly, for example, find a way to communicate it positively.
It may mean you need to continue your education to provide “proof” that you are still the one who knows. Pay attention to the dynamics that might be changing and that might require you to shift leadership styles. Service providers, contract workers, and nearly everyone outside of the team got into the habit of contacting David when they needed to get something done, instead of the designated team leaders. And it may even mean that when you’re not sure, you still communicate in a way that is direct and without caveats. By no means should you ever communicate in a way that leaves open a door for you to retreat.



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