Principles of leadershipBlog added by Lloyd Lofton on November 22, 2013
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Lloyd Lofton

Marietta, GA

Joined: August 30, 2011

We often mistake management for leadership. Here are some ways to know the difference.

Managers know what to do; leaders inspire people to do it. The person who gets results through others is the one who is a leader, not a driver. Having people on your staff who want to do the things necessary to win is a result of leadership.

People often do things reluctantly when they feel forced into it. For a leader — someone who creates a culture of inclusion, expectation of excellence and appreciation — people will do their jobs enthusiastically. Creating this type of work environment requires far more skill and subtly than “selling” your staff on an idea or process.

This type of culture in the workplace takes a leader who has studied his or her people, their motives and attitudes. These become the leader's tools to help lead to accomplishment. For many, security is the main motivator to grow in their work and they are engaged when their work is viewed as important — when they feel that their contribution matters.

Well-timed praise spurs many to new heights of effectiveness, while it might only inflate another worker, who might respond better to constructive criticism. And then another individual may wilt under any kind of criticism; some other strategy may be needed to light the spark in him. This is the tool a capable leader hunts for within his staff.

People’s motives and attitudes are often conditioned by personal history and events occurring in their home life. Effective leaders know their people, their worries, personalities, touchy points and prides. They understand why they tick and what spurs them on. Leaders encourage staff to talk, and engage in active listening. A good listener does this best; a “teller” encourages his staff only to be silent so he can hear his own voice. A leader does not dominate a conversation or a meeting, unless there is a good reason.

An effective leader recognizes his team in public and reproves his staff in private. When he does criticize a staff member, he comments on the method (job performance), not the motive (the person or personality, unless germane to the job.)

Praise is always done in public; this builds strong, hard-working, loyal teams. A leader puts himself in his staff's place before making decisions which affect them. He understands they have tough problems of their own, both business and personal. He believes they have pride and self-respect and that he will get more effective results by treating those characteristics as assets.
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