Leadership Is An Inside Job
Skills can be taught and learned, but it is the level of confidence with which the skills are used that make the difference.
For example: one person can tell staff members that they have to increase their output and the staff members will react with a ho-hum attitude. Yet, another manger can tell them the exact same thing – even use the same words – but the reaction is one of lighting a fire under the staff.
What’s the difference? It is the enthusiasm, the confidence, the intention and belief of the leader who is delivering the message that makes the difference.
Leadership is as much a condition of the mind-set of the leader as it is of what he/she has learned. There are numerous books that have been written about leadership skills and qualities. Most of those books, have merit. They are filled with stories of leaders who have develop a particular skill set and they work to help them get more productivity out their team than other people. It depends on the book you are reading, which of those skills are the most important for the leader.
I’ve read books that say that charisma is the most important quality. They are filled with charismatic leaders and the unusual lengths their team members will go to for those leaders. I have also read books that say that it is the humble, non-descript leader who has the greatest impact on their team. And those books also back up the claim with stories of success.
This has led me to realize that it isn’t the particular leadership style that you develop, your effectiveness comes from your belief in yourself and what you are doing. Then, and only then, will the skills you learn be successful.
In my leadership courses, I teach as much personal development as I do leadership development. I have seen over and over again, managers who have blossomed as individuals use their newly learned leadership skills more productively and skillfully than they ever believed possible.
The skills are important, but remember - leadership is an inside job!
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© 2007 Margo Chevers