Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Leadership is about Influencing

Leadership is about Influence, not authority. All the more relevant now, when leaders need to be Inspiring role-models. on how Leaders can acquire charisma to Inspire
To make people feel good, feel happy and feel hopeful is an important Leadership responsibility. This power to make people feel positively charged needs to be developed for effective leadership. Please share your thoughts on how this "Positive-energy-movement" can be created by Leaders.
A Leader who wishes to lead the people needs to have the following,
· Charismatic Power
· Referral Power
· Assertiveness in Communication
· Should use Listening as a power
Influencing for leader has 3 different types, a. Retribution b. Reciprocity and c. Reasoning, the most popular method is to use Reasoning as a source of influencing.
power is the capacity to produce affects on others, influence is the measurable change in attitudes, values, beliefs, or behaviors that result from the agent’s application of influence tactics. The nine common influence tactics are separated into two categories: soft tactics and hard tactics
Soft tactics are those considered friendly or non-coercive and are perceived to be fair. They include:
Rational Persuasion. Trying to convince others with reason, logical arguments, or factual evidence.
Inspirational Appeal. A request or proposal that attempts to build enthusiasm by appealing to others’ emotions, ideals, or values.
Consultation. Inviting others to participate in planning, making decisions, and changes to obtain buy-in with the leader’s initiatives.
Ingratiation. The practice of getting others in a good mood before attempting to influence them, often taking the form of flattery.
Personal Appeal. Referring to friendship and loyalty when making a request.
Hard tactics involve more overt pressure, generate resistance, and are perceived as being unfair. They include:
Exchange. Making express or implied promises and trading favors to gain compliance from the target.
Coalition tactics. The agent enlists the aid of others as a way to influence the target to do something.
Legitimating tactics. Basing a request on one’s authority or right, organizational rules or polices, or express or implied support from superiors
Pressure. Using demands, threats, frequent checking, or persistent reminders to influence the target to do something.
The success of an influence tactic can be distinguished by the target’s commitment, compliance, or resistance to the desired result. Leaders with a relatively large amount of power may successfully employ a wider variety of influence tactics than those with little power. For example, leaders who use referent power have the widest range of influence tactics from which to choose (e.g. consultation, ingratiation, exchanges, inspirational appeals, personal appeals, and coalition tactics) while those who have legitimate power are limited to using only coalition, legitimizing, or pressure tactics.
The challenge is in properly assessing the situational environment, the intended outcome, and the appropriate influence tactics to employ based on the leader’s source and magnitude of power.
Integrating leadership with power and influence
Deck plate leadership is critical to the success of any organization. A firm understanding of the interconnectedness between power, influence tactics, and leadership is instrumental in building and maintaining an effective unit. The best mix of power and influence tactics for optimal leadership is dependent on the leader, the target, the situation, and the intended outcome. Leaders at the deck plate level should make it a priority to appropriately use all sources of power and influence.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Mistaking functional ability as a sign of leadership potential

‘In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence’ says the Peter Principle. Perhaps that’s why recent research has suggested:

Leadership is a skill in short supply and a lack of leadership often leads to *
a. Poor succession planning and performance (wiping £2bn a year from the FTSE 350)
b. 41% of workers have no confidence in their senior managers
c. 85% of large companies run leadership development programmes and cite a lack of good leadership in the UK, with the primary lack being people management ability .
(courtesy: personnel today website)

I think we are getting leadership just about as wrong as we can;
“Often potential corporate leaders are identified because they excel in a technical area and are then taught leadership skills. Functional excellence seems to magically imply leadership effectiveness.

The RAF (part of Royal Air force) provides a contrast. If you join you probably want to fly a plane. But you have to wait six months to get to that point: for the first six months you are immersed in issues of brand, leadership and follower-ship. This is even truer in the Red Arrows. We assume the 35-40 applicants a year can fly. The week-long selection process focuses on informal judgment of applicants’ behavioural skills. Although the skill bar is high, the team prefers someone who’s only just there but with excellent behavioural ability rather than vice versa *. (Courtesy: personnel today website)

In my view organisational leadership development is the wrong way round: behavioural skills should come first. Waiting to develop all of these skills at a senior level is a harder “nut to crack”. Development must be more evenly invested.

Employers should be putting more emphasis on embedding leadership values and behaviour at junior and middle management levels. It is a fundamental step in identifying potential and making sustainable improvements to organisational performance and leadership effectiveness.”