THE ROLE OF LEADERS

If you ask managers what they find most difficult and challenging in their job, the most common and honest reply is ‘people’. According to Rob Goffee, Professor of Organizational Behavior, London Business School, “success today and tomorrow will depend increasingly on one’s ability to get people to follow you, not because they have to, but because they want to”.
Getting things done through others is a fundamental leadership skill. Indeed, if one is unable to do it, they’re not leading. In an attempt to get people to do things, some smother their people, blocking their initiative and creativity. They’re the micromanager, insecure leader who can’t trust others to get it right because they don’t know how to calibrate them and monitor their performance. They wind up making all the key decisions about details themselves, so they don’t have to deal with larger issues. And some even abandon their people altogether. This sort of behavior does not yield the results that are often desired by managers using such techniques.
What then should leaders do? First, leaders need to commit as much as 40% of their time and emotional energy, in one form or another, in selecting, appraising and developing people. Leaders are committed to the people process and are deeply engaged in it, so that fundamentally, the right people are in the right jobs.

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