The Career Club

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Archive for November 2009

Leadership Principles Part 1

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This is the first of a three part series on the major principles of leadership. These principles are viewed as a guideline of standards to best describe an effective leader. These principles resulted from an extensive psychology research group I lead as part of my candidacy as an MBA (& later MHRM) undergrad student.

Who comes to mind when you think of a good leader, Barack Obama? Andrea Jung? Donald Trump? Oprah Winfrey? Jack Welch? Hillary Clinton?

In almost all aspects, leaders come in a variety of moralities and characteristics. What makes a leader successful? Personality, skills and one that can fit into any audience of any environment they encounter. Even so, having a set of principles helps guide individuals into becoming great leaders.

The principles set forth came from an extensive research on what guideline of standards best describe an effective leader. It then became an initiative to help encourage a more accurate and positive evaluation of one’s self. Many don’t see themselves as leaders until they are able to evaluate their characteristics, skill sets and experiences in a more positive light.

Vision To “see the big picture” is a trait of leadership when evaluating the organization from the inside out. In order for a leader to reinforce the efficient behavior, the team before them must be well aware of the goal. Conceptualization is to create and support concepts that will structure the will of a team. A leader in management must think outside the box and comprehend how the production of the ground level benefits the entire company.

To begin with the end in mind, such as the 2nd habit in Dr. Stephen Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, is to be conceptual in a sense. Dr. Covey has been able to present his vision of reinforcing efficient behavior and being an effective person no matter the environment. Over 20 million of his books have sold in multiple languages across the world. Such success goes to show that Dr. Covey is a great example of a leader who can visualize a concept and be able to present it to such a broad audience.

Inclusion There are leaders who believe that people have an intrinsic value beyond their tangible contributions as workers. As such, leaders are deeply committed to personal, professional and spiritual growth of each and every individual within the organization. When a leader is committed to the growth of the people who follow, the strength of the team will become unbreakable.

An excellent example of a business leader who showcases inclusion is the co-founder and CEO of Costco, Jim Sinegal. With Costco being considered to be the world’s seventh largest retailer, it isn’t run by your typical CEO. Sinegal is known to look just like any of Costco’s store clerks, dressed casually with a name tag as he visits up to 10 stores daily.

Almost 90% of his casually dressed employees enjoy a wide range of benefits such as health with dental and vision plans, a 401(k) plan, child care, life insurance and stock options. He believes that when employees go out there and bask on the goodness of Costco it helps the image and the word of mouth. He believes it is giving his employees the best is the reason behind Costco’s high sales, productivity and the sense of “getting what you paid for.”

Persuasion A key technique of effective leadership that is a powerful tool of motivation. To persuade can be expressing value behind a specified task or line of work, embracing a point of view through reasoning or creating an extrinsic inspirational tool. Of course the intention behind persuading followers in a constructive manner is to establish an incentive. A group will take the initiative once the sole purpose is understood and visualized. A strong leader will express the value of labor to enrich the moral of their subordinates.

During his presidential campaign in 2008, Barack Obama showcased his persuasion technique into his speeches.  His consistency, constructive manner and his inspirational speeches persuaded people to vote him into the presidency. His persuasion also influenced how the nation voted in the majority of congress during last year’s elections.  Even outside the United States, politicians in many countries were inspired by Obama’s campaign that their campaign slogan was also a convincing “yes we can.”

Now the world waits to see if his persuasion skills can work as he works to bring in health care reform and the next steps on the war in Afghanistan.

Stay tuned for part two when we discuss the next three leadership principles.


Written by Ms. Hala

23 November 2009 at 9:00 pm