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Is Leadership Just A Fancy Word Or A Way Of Life?

Managers and people in Human Resources (HR) go to leadership trainings where they are encouraged to nourish their inner leader with the intent to influence staff to do their bidding. As with all good intent people, they get very enthusiastic and try to go the distance with their newly acquired tools. Many times the work community is stuck in old behavioral patterns, so this new way of “leading” not commanding doesn´t work. Why not?

Leaders need followers you see. No one will follow someone who they find unworthy in some aspect. Whether it is something they have done in the past that goes against the prospective follower’s values or just plain untrustworthiness, we, as people, are smart. If the person who intends to lead you doesn’t resonate with your core, no matter if at work, community work or at home, you will not follow. Some of us don’t realize at first how deeply imbedded our values are into our cores. Yet we even choose our professions because of some hidden or not so hidden value of life.

Honesty is, according to Eliason BC, the most important value of physicians, with social power coming in last. According to Throop and Castellucci, a large group of technical and business school graduates value competence above all, with self control (commitment) coming in second and ambition coming in third. Honesty came in fifth and responsibility twelfth.

Knowing your values may be important when it comes to choosing your profession, choosing your partner and your way of life.

Do your values resonate with the values of your coworkers and family?

Leadership isn't only bound to your workplace. In different aspects of our lives we assume the role of the leader or the follower.  Parents take turns in leading their family in tough times and in joy. When life´s difficulties come knocking on your door, it's comforting to know that if you fall down, someone you love will reach their hand gently toward you and assist you in getting up and help you get back on your path. Sometimes it's the hand of the smallest family member, those chubby little fingers that reach into your heart and warm it up. A smile from your child on a stressed day can slow the world down, put it into perspective and make everything right.

Can leadership tools assist you aspire to your greatest potential?

Situational approach to leadership (Hersey & Blanchard) is one tool used in leadership training. Here, the explanation is that a person's competence and enthusiasm may vary from time to time so he/she may need different kinds of support at any given time. This is very interesting to me because this is so familiar from homeopathy. In my homeopathic studies I was allocated a mentor, someone to guide me through cases and difficult situations. As time went by the mentors grew in numbers and sometimes it was as if they were sent by a higher power. People I did not know, homeopaths, with knowledge to specific situations assisted me and when my competence grew, they went on to other aspiring students.

Situational approach describes four degrees of competence/enthusiasm.

  1. The first one, called Supporting is when a person has high competence but variable enthusiasm. The person leading will then need to support, praise, listen and facilitate until the person regains his/her enthusiasm.

  2. Delegative approach is when a person has high competence, high enthusiasm and needs little extra from you. You then watch from afar in case they will need you, but leave them to their projects.

  3. Coaching approach is for someone who has some competence and some enthusiasm, here you direct them, support them.

  4. Directive approach is when the person has little competence but high enthusiasm (like a homeopathy student on his/her first year). They need, structure and direction and help to mature their competence. This is something that seems to make perfect sense to most; many people already use this approach in their work and in their parenting.

Today, more than ever, trust is a big issue in our communities. From India to Iceland, governments have systematically worked against the trust people had on government and now frantically try to rebuild it. It's not an easy task and I can't predict whether it will work, but I do know one thing.

If you operate from your core values, don't break them even when the going gets tough, you will emerge from every situation as a winner. People you trust and respect will follow you anywhere you go and you will also be more willing to follow others. We as a species recognize the innate good and trustworthiness in others and following our instincts will only help us to aspire to the greatest form of ourselves.  We will learn from others and pay forward our knowledge thus creating a better world.

Leadership isn't some fancy word or tool meant to be used only at the workplace. If you think about the people who have influenced you the most in your life, who do you think about? For me, one person comes to my mind as a leader, he led people with peace, with his core values.


Gandhi
sought to practice non-violence and truth in all situations, and advocated that others do the same. He practiced his principles in real time and lived his life in complete resonance with his core values. People who remember him may remember him saying „My life is my message“, when he was asked if he had any messages for the people. He lived his life with a set of values he never backed away from. That´s why he had and has so many followers. Non violent protests to the wrongs of life and never giving up.

If your family were to describe you and your values, do you think they would know them? Do you review your values and live by them?

 

 

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Comment by Debby Bruck on September 16, 2012 at 11:38pm

Thanks to all those who commented.

Comment by Viktor Kalocsai on September 7, 2012 at 11:18am

Yes, there is a great potential in the Humankind that shall be used for common good.

Comment by Dr Muhammed Rafeeque on September 7, 2012 at 6:47am

There is a hidden leader inside every person. We have to discover and nurture the same!

Comment by Viktor Kalocsai on September 7, 2012 at 4:51am

Good Leadership is in the focus!

Leadership is a God given task to help the people to ascend into spiritual level. Leadership in the business and official environments are just temporary ‘games’ that must be also fulfilled but due to the weakness of the man, it doesn’t work in most cases. The solution on this worldwide problem is simple but not easy: Leader must place his/her life in the hands of God and be the instrument in His hands. How many of the so-called Leaders are qualified to do this and did this? Very few of them understand even the part of this self sacrifice.

Leadership must show an example with how the Leaders live their lives. It must reflect their life as their message. Today, the lifestyle model is based on family that is reduced to Ego and fear, which on the other hand closes the doors of Heart only for the members of the ‘Smith’ Family. This habit then holds back the formation of the basic human values.

The fundamental human values all emanate from Righteousness based on Truth. If human behavior has no such basis, it leads to disaster. The enumeration of human values (Truth, Righteousness, Peace, Love and Non-violence) isn’t correct. They are all facets of the foundational humaneness. They grow together; they are absence of Inner conflicts. How can one have peace when he revels in violence of speech and action? Now, of these five vital principles, Love is the foremost. It is Love that flows as the under-current for the other four values. When Love is associated with our thoughts, it manifests itself as Truth. When Love is associated with feelings, it produces Peace. When Love animates actions, it results in Right Action. When Love is combined with understanding it becomes Non-violence. Therefore whenever you feel angry, think of love, develop thoughts of love in your heart. You will have peace.
A lamp kept on mound illumines the area; if kept in a pit, it is as if it were not. A virtue that is practiced is a lamp that shines for all; good thoughts and good deeds have a way of influencing others. The gems of wisdom, the light of intuitive experience should not be kept away from fellow - men. They have to be shared, even at the cost of one’s life. That was the lesson Jesus taught and symbolized.

Now, we Hungarians had leaders who were executed by the Austrians in 1848. Since that time, Hungarians have no Leaders who guide the nation according to Divine will…nor yet other countries because the Man’s corruption and fear seduced them from selfless love and selfless service. However, as a God loving individual/soul, I know that God never fails, only Man and only if Man forgets its Divine origin and excludes the Light/Love/God from within his/her Heart.

Leader must watch and manage/guide not only the daily and short-term duties but the middle-term and long-term routines. Is this an easy task, after all? In this material world the Leaders have many unnecessary tasks, titles that are created by the populist business/official habits that are creation of the greed and money. For example, COO in most cases is for Chief Operational Officer, which is a high-sounding title. In real, COO is a Statistician who manages few colleagues. The value of the title is bigger than the value of the Man and their jobs.

  • Without compassion there is no leadership.
  • In daily life, Leaders must cultivate and strengthen unity, cooperation and mutual trust through their employees, citizens to uproot the conflicts and factions, violence and upheavals.
  • Leaders must teach people what the ‘synonyms’ mean in our life because today, Man is in silence about this topic. Why synonyms? It’s because spiritual teachings use synonyms to teach how to discriminate between bad and good. Btw, synonyms in other words are the basics of lingual differences of races that are used to explain a feeling or situation. If we want to eliminate bad qualities like hatred, envy, pride and ostentation, we have to employ Truth, Righteousness, Peace, Love and Non-violence as the cleaning instruments. Together with worldly education, we have to cultivate the human values and undertake spiritual discipline.
  • Leadership shall follow the vegetarian or satvik food consumption rules because ‘we become what we eat’. If we eat animals we become animals in speech, thought and act. If we look around, we can see that aggression and related habits dominate the world. So, the food consumption habits must be changed from meat eating to vegetarian or non-meat eating with much less spices.
  • A Leader is like an Universal Teacher who can help on mostly everything.

 

Leadership described in one phrase:

Being present without physical presence(, which keeps the order as the leader would be there).

Comment by Dagný Ösp Helgadóttir on September 6, 2012 at 5:57pm

Yes, I agree. People who spend half of their life learning to mend the sick usually have a higher calling. The problem is when something gets mixed up on the way. That is a topic for another post altogether.

Comment by Debby Bruck on September 6, 2012 at 3:48pm

From what you reply, I think we can simply say, "love of power" without adding the word 'social.'  Those that love power and act accordingly to this desire to dominate over others who they consider below, weaker and subservient will not endear them. Those who work in the areas and technology and business live in a competitive world with that mentality. The fact that 'honesty' ranks so low, I'm wondering what were the top 11 concerns of this group of people? If honesty does not count, then you certainly would not want to trust these people. 

Whereas, physicians, who pledge to heal the sick want to treat people with respect and also want that respect for their profession. The only problem being, the physicians have been scammed by the pharmaceutical companies to believe their (dishonest) representatives and claims about their drug products. At least, I'm glad to hear that the physicians rank 'honesty' as an important value in their lives. 

Comment by Dagný Ösp Helgadóttir on September 5, 2012 at 6:23pm

Thank you Debby and Kuram. 

Comment by Dagný Ösp Helgadóttir on September 5, 2012 at 6:23pm

Debby. When asked to rate their values, number one being their most important one, honesty ranked highest with physicians but fifth with Tech and business school graduates. They valued Competence number one. I find it interesting how low responsibility scored if we put it into perspective to the crash of 2008. I don´t assume any connection, I just find it interesting. Social power can be various. You can lead others with your values because people trust you and that in turn gives you social power. But if social power is one of your values I do think it means a different thing entirely, but that is perhaps just my observation. If you value social power, why do you value it? Does it give you power over others or elevate you in some way? I don´t know. People who have the trust of followers do gain the most potent and powerful value of all and that is trust. 

Comment by Debby Bruck on September 5, 2012 at 11:07am

Dear Dagny, trusted teacher, thank you for sharing what you learn and believe. I am interested in this paragraph. 

  • Honesty is, according to Eliason, BC, the most important value of physicians, with social power coming in last. According to Throop and Castellucci, a large group of technical and business school graduates value competence above all, with self control (commitment) coming in second and ambition coming in third. Honesty came in fifth and responsibility twelfth.

Is there a discrepancy between these individuals concerning the hierarchy of the quality of "honesty?"  Is it most important number one value or does it come in twelfth way down on the list? 

Please define 'social power' and how that takes a part in leadership. Thanks so much. Debby

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