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Born to be the best trained leader

Is a good leader in Paris the same as a good leader in Brussels, Cairo or New York? While the need for leadership is universal, the attributes of a good leader can vary greatly...
Views: 1.649 Created 06/11/2007
Is a good leader in Paris the same as a good leader in Brussels, Cairo or New York? While the need for leadership is universal, the attributes of a good leader can vary greatly around the world. Leadership is, to some extent, a culturally dependent skill.Cultural values and norms are embedded in people's expectations of leaders. Effective leaders master the art and craft of language. They speak clearly and present logical and compelling arguments. They make wise use of communication tools and practices. But skilled leaders also know that communication goes beyond words. The actions and attitude send powerful messages. Effective communication lets team members know they are valuable, provides them with a sense of emotional security and is a significant part of the team bonding process.

At a basic level, communication is the transmission of meaning (not simply data or information) between a sender and a receiver. Your attitude and actions give additional meaning to your spoken and written messages. Your behavior gives people information about your disposition, opinion, mood or mental set — regardless of the words you speak. The way a leader communicates reveals much about his or her character. Communication can disclose the leader's authenticity, sincerity, genuineness and virtually every other aspect of a leader's character. When a leader is all talk and no substance, people see right through the official message.

Effective, respected leaders:

  • Often give encouragement and reassurance.

  • Handle resistant audiences well.

  • Understand the symbolic value of personal visibility.

  • Ensure that nonverbal and verbal messages are aligned.

  • Listen to individuals from all levels of the organization.

  • Encourage direct and open discussion.

  • Initiate difficult, but needed, conversations.

  • Are clear about expectations.

  • Disseminate information quickly and clearly.

  • Ask good questions.

  • Solicit information and opinions from others.

  • Involve others before developing a plan of action.

You may be very competent as a manager. However,leadership training is a different thing from  management training (they complement one another). If you rely only on being a good manager, you'll never inspire people to give their very best. Because of this, people who are only good managers are passed over for promotion - time and again...

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