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How do You Lead?
What is leadership? Is it art? Is it science? How does one undertake the practice of leadership?
As the saying goes, "Things are managed, people are led." In fact we would not spend so much time, effort, and resources on understanding leadership if there were not people in organizations. Budgets can be managed; programs and processes can be managed. People must be led.
At the heart of the concept of leadership is the question: What defines a leader?
An effective leader is one who considers not only the objectives (needs) of the organization, but cares for the needs of its members. An effective leader can determine which of these needs is more important in the context of the situation. He or she can influence members of the organization to work to satisfy the organization's needs while simultaneously seeking to develop and move them along the continuum of commitment to the organization.
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Effective leaders create the conditions for success and winning.
They keep a mindful eye focused on the goal to be accomplished while paying close attention to the needs of the people they are leading since they realize that without people they serve no purpose. Leaders may be quiet and unassuming or outspoken and self-aggrandizing. There is no single, prescribed method for leadership. Attempts to duplicate the behaviors of other successful leaders result has resulted in mixed results.
People are at the center of the leadership equation and the ultimate measure of a leader is delivered by the results achieved by those who are being led.