Career Skills LibraryLeadershipSkillsTHIRD EDITION
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THIRd EditionF E R G U S O Ncareer skills LibraryLeadershipSkills
1introductionWhen we think of leaders, we may think ofpeople such as Abraham Lincoln, Susan B.Anthony, or Martin Luther King, Jr. If you considerthe historical importance and far-reaching influ-ence of these individuals, leadership might seemlike a noble but lofty goal. But like all of us, thesepeople started out as students, workers, and citizenswho possessed ideas about how some aspect of dailylife could be improved on a larger scale. Throughdiligence and experience, they improved upon theirideas by sharing them with others, seeking theiropinions and feedback, and constantly looking forthe best way to accomplish goals for a group. Thuswe all have the potential to be leaders at school,in our communities, and at work, regardless of ageor experience. Leaders are vital at every level of anorganization; cultivating leadership skills early is agreat way to pave the way for success.Many people have no desire to be leaders; afterall, leadership comes with many responsibilities andrisks that other members of a team do not have to
2 Leadership Skillsworry about. Thus some people are more comfort-able in the role of contributor. However, in much oftoday’s world, teamwork is essential for completingprojects and assignments, and teams without leadersusually are ineffective in achieving their goals. Theyflounder without a leader’s help to focus on the goaland to make choices that will move the team towardthat goal.In school and extracurricular activities, you maybe able to avoid the responsibilities of leadership:Someone else usually will step forward to take ona leadership role. But in the workplace, the choicewill not always be yours. When you are assigned aproject, you will most likely need to rely on the helpand support of others. These people, in effect, becomeyour team. To get the most out of their efforts, youwill need to exercise good leadership.Leaders inspire others to act by setting goodexamples. Their drive and perseverance spur otherson. Leaders strive to be the best they can be—notto compete with others. In fact, a leader’s job is tohelp others make their best contribution toward ashared goal.Leaders motivate others through mutual trust. Theleader must trust in his or her teammates’ abilitiesand willingness to pursue a goal. At the same time,the team must trust in their leader’s ability and will-ingness to provide needed support. This mutual trustis essential in building a team that will be successfulin reaching its goal.
Introduction 3Martin Luther King, Jr. was a charismatic leader and civil rightsactivist. However, leaders are found not just in activism; they areneeded in all areas of business and society. (AP Photo)
4 Leadership SkillsDid You Know?Seventy-three percent of employers surveyed byThe Conference Board in 2006 rated high schoolgraduates as deficient in leadership skills.Source: Are They Really Ready to Work?In today’s workplace, you need to develop leader-ship skills to build and direct teams to get work done.Although some leadership qualities are inborn, manyof the skills necessary for good leadership can belearned. In this book, we discuss ways of interactingwith others that will help you lead them to success.Topics include:Motivating others• Giving and taking criticism• Organizing a project• Delegating responsibility• Monitoring a team’s progress• Learning leadership skills on the job• Leadership is inspiring others to follow your vision/direction/dream. In business, this means gettingpeople aligned and moving in one direction—thedirection that makes the business fly.—Stever Robbins, motivationalspeaker and entrepreneurAleader’sjobistohelpothersmaketheirbestcontributiontowardasharedgoal.
Introduction 5This book covers the following leadership topics:The basic characteristics of a leader• The importance of leadership when• working with others as a teamGiving and receiving criticism• How leaders set goals and motivate others• Organizational tools that help leaders• delegate and teams to stay focusedCompleting projects through effective• leadership and team buildingHow to cultivate leadership qualities•
7leadership—what it is andwhy it mattersPeter, I need you to prepare a report on our com-pany’s services for a prospective new client,”says his boss. “We’ve been trying to get their busi-ness for more than a year. You’ve got decent graphicdesign skills, so make the report look good.”Although Peter started working only four monthsago, he hopes to become an assistant manager as soonas a position becomes available. He is glad he tooka desktop publishing course last summer. The skillshe learned there might help him get the promotionhe’s been waiting for.Peter has been frustrated that his efforts at work up tothis point have not been recognized by his supervisor.Peter always gets to work early, stays late, and oftenworks through lunch. He’s proud that he is usuallyable to finish his assignments well before they are due.He looks down on his coworkers who seem content1“
8 Leadership Skillsto take all the allotted time to complete their work. Itdoesn’t bother him that not one of his coworkers evensays hello anymore, but he deeply cares that no one inmanagement seems to notice his hard work. This newclient report may finally get their attention.Peter knows he will need help from his fellow staffmembers to complete the report. Fortunately, hecan make them put aside their individual projectsto supply him with what he needs to do his report.When one clerk seems deliberately slow in findinga file Peter needs, a reminder that the boss has putPeter in charge is all it takes.Since he prides himself on finishing every projectearly, he tells the staff that the report is due in threedays, instead of the actual deadline the following✔ True or False?Do You Know the Qualities of a Good Leader?1. Good leaders are conservative when makingdecisions.2. I will only be successful as a manager if I havea college degree.3. The top-down leadership style is the onlyeffective management style.4. Strong leaders are always consistent.Test yourself as you read through this chapter.The answers appear on pages 37–38.
Leadership—What It Is and Why It Matters 9week. “I’m the only one who cares,” he thinks, ashis coworkers grumble about working late two nightsin a row.Peter is glad that his boss finally seems to be awareof how hard he works. He smiles to himself whenhe notices his boss watching him more and more.Since Peter is a perfectionist, he naturally checks andrechecks every detail anyway; having his boss see himin action is just a well-deserved bonus.When the report is finished, Peter knows that hehas done an excellent job. “This will really do it,” hethinks. Later his boss says the report is a “thorough,competent effort.” Peter is disappointed. He hadexpected higher praise. He is also disappointed a fewweeks later with his six-month review. His supervisorhas given him low ratings in the categories “leader-ship” and “potential for promotion.”The Benefits ofLeadershipAccording to the Center for CreativeLeadership, companies that spend moneydeveloping leaders “improve [their] bottom-line financial performance, attract and retaintalent, drive a performance culture, andincrease organizational agility.”
10 Leadership Skills“I stand on my head and it’s not enough,” he thinks.“I’m smarter than most of the managers, and I workharder. What’s it going to take to convince them?”Qualities of a LeaderAlthough there are different styles of leadership, alleffective leaders share certain characteristics. Theseare qualities that can be learned and improved uponover time.Innovative and ConfidentLeaders must be able to do the job, but ability aloneis not enough. True leadership requires a willing-ness to be bold, to consider unusual approaches toproblems, to do more than just follow tried-and-truemethods. Leaders are self-confident and have noneed to put others down to feel good about them-selves. They are willing to stand up for their ideasand debate them with others. This kind of intellec-tual competition is characteristic of a good leader. InPlanning for Nonplanners, Darryl Ellis and Peter Pekar,Jr. call this characteristic “constructively competi-tive.” They also note that exceptional leaders knowhow to be competitive without alienating others.Respectful of OthersBalancing competition with respect may be diffi-cult for young employees who think the way to getahead is to outshine their coworkers. But neitherworkers nor supervisors like or respect leaders whoExceptionalleadersknowhowtobecompetitivewithoutalienatingothers.
Leadership—What It Is and Why It Matters 11think only of themselves. The staff of Catalyst, anational nonprofit organization devoted to careeradvancement for women, suggests keeping a lowprofile while you are new on the job. In Making theMost of Your First Job, the Catalyst staff notes that ifyou’re too “gung ho” at first, people will resent you.Resentful coworkers will certainly not be motivatedto cooperate with you.Today’s market is competitive and volatile. To besuccessful, our business needs to be dynamic andahead of our competitors. In order to accomplish thiswe need strong leaders within every business unitdriving innovation and efficiency. Having leaders withfocus, motivation, and the ability to drive changethroughout our workplace will allow us to accomplishour goals.—Molly McKenna, director, GSI Education Training, Thomson ReutersAbove all, leadership requires the ability to get alongwith others in a variety of situations. For example, ifyou are class president, you won’t be able to accom-plish much if you begin to think too highly of yourself.Classmates you snub are not likely to volunteer tohelp with prom decorations. Likewise, if you are anassistant manager and ignore your coworkers untilyou need something, you will not always get theresults you want.
12 Leadership SkillsEthicalIf you pay attention to the news, you have probablynoticed the ethics scandals in the accounting andfinancial services industries, as well as at all govern-mental levels. These scandals have cost the Americanpeople billions of dollars and have caused many tolose confidence in business and government leaders.What are ethics? Ethics are a code of rules abouthow we act toward others. They deal with right andwrong.It is extremely important that you act ethicallyin all aspects of your life—at home, school, and atLeaders Are . . .Team players• Sensitive• Creative• Confident• Fond of people• Street smart• Organized• Trustworthy• Communicators•
Leadership—What It Is and Why It Matters 13work—especially if you are a manager. As a manager, youset the tone for your entire company. Your employeeswill constantly be observing your words and actions,so it is key that you act ethically in every instance. Besure that you understand your organization’s ethicspolicies and have the conviction to uphold them.CourteousIn Why Employees Don’t Do What They’re Supposedto Do and What to Do About It, Ferdinand F. Four-nies reminds managers to treat their staff memberswith such common courtesies as saying “please”and “thank you,” apologizing for being late to ameeting, and not interrupting people while they arespeaking. Other leaders in business and industry rec-ommend the golden rule: Treat others as you wouldlike to be treated.The workplace is still primarily a place where peopleinteract. The social skills we have been practicingall our lives are important in business, too. Fourniestells managers to look at people’s faces when they aretalking, to avoid sarcastic comments, and to controlemotional outbursts. Sarcasm and temper tantrumsare not acceptable in a social setting and even lessso in the workplace. Being in a supervisory positiondoesn’t give you the right to be discourteous.Did You Know?According to a survey of MBA programs• by the World Resources Institute and
14 Leadership SkillsThe Aspen Institute, 54 percent of MBAprograms require students to take oneor more courses in ethics, sustainability,corporate social responsibility, or businessand society—an increase of 20 percentsince 2001.In an effort to create more ethical• graduates, colleges are asking graduatingstudents to make the following pledge:“I, _____, pledge to explore and take intoaccount the social and environmentalconsequences of any job I consider andwill try to improve these aspects of anyorganizations for which I work.” Thepledge has been introduced at more than100 colleges and universities includingBerea College, Cornell University, and theUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison. Visithttp://www.graduationpledge.org/newfor more information.Junior Achievement is a nonprofit• organization that teaches young peopleabout business issues. It hosts an annualessay contest to encourage teens tothink about ethical issues. The winnerreceives a $5,000 college scholarship.Visit http://studentcenter.ja.org/aspx/LearnEthics/ethics_essay_rules.aspx formore information.
Leadership—What It Is and Why It Matters 15The Gallup Organization recently asked• a group of 1,009 adults to name themost ethical careers. The winners (indescending order): nurses, pharmacists,veterinarians, physicians, dentists,engineers, college teachers, clergy, andpolice officers.SensitiveGood leaders must also be sensitive to the feelingsand needs of others. These needs are not alwaysclearly expressed. Sometimes people do not evenknow what they want or need. Talented leaders areable to “read” the people around them and adjusttheir own behavior accordingly.Alissa, a college student and part-time officemanager for a local nonprofit organization, says thehardest part of her job is figuring out her cowork-ers. “When Ellie drags her feet on an assignment, itprobably means she doesn’t feel capable of doing it.Maybe I’ll need to give her some more help. WhenJerry forgets I asked him to do something, it mightmean I’ve been pushing him too hard—I do rely onhim a lot because we’re such a small staff.”Alissa has already learned to pick up on hercoworkers’ cues and act accordingly. Her sensitiv-ity and support motivate her staff and make her aneffective leader.Another aspect of being sensitive is having theability to listen to your employees. Listening is a
16 Leadership Skillsworkplace skill that is often overlooked, but accord-ing to Dr. David Wolf, a life skills coach, workersuse their listening skills three times as often as theirspeaking skills. Listening closely to your employeeswill provide you with valuable information “fromthe trenches” regarding the status of projects. It will✍ EXERCISEPreviously in this chapter, we learned about• how insensitive Peter is to his coworkers andhis supervisor. Reread the story and find threemistakes Peter makes. Then explain how he canchange his behavior to become a more effectiveleader.Have you ever served in a leadership position in• a school club? If so, what type of leadership styledid you use? Was it successful? If given anotherchance, what would you change about the wayyou lead others?Are you a natural leader? Write down 5–7 of• your best qualities (such as confident, organized,etc.) on a piece of paper, then look at the list ofnecessary qualities for successful leaders on page12. Does your list match up with that list? If not,try improve yourself by incorporating some ofthese qualities into your life.
Leadership—What It Is and Why It Matters 17also help you to get to know your employees betterand build a rapport with them.Good listening skills are especially important whenan employee comes to you with bad news. Your firstinstinct might be to interrupt your employee (or per-haps even get angry) as he or she details the problem.But it’s important to keep your cool and refrain fromresponding until you’ve heard the complete report.Dr. Wolf says that “one of the keys to effective listen-ing is to separate your emotions from the speaker’semotions or problem.” Doing this will help you toremain calm and formulate an effective solution tothe problem.Going Beyond AbilityPaul has been a member of the high-school KeyClub, a service organization, for three years. Hedecided to ask his friend Scott, the current presi-dent, to nominate him to be next year’s president.“I think I deserve it,” Paul thought. “I never miss ameeting and I’m willing to do anything they ask me.I’ve helped at every car wash, distributed turkeys atThanksgiving, and even volunteered at the seniorcitizen center every Tuesday this past year. And Iknow I’d be better than anybody else at keepingtrack of the money we raise for charity.”Paul certainly has contributed much to the KeyClub. He has always been a conscientious and capableworker. But Scott was hesitant to promise to nominate
18 Leadership SkillsPaul. Scott decided to speak to the club adviser abouthis worries.☛ FACTLeaders need to work through others to besuccessful. About 50–60 percent of leaders failbecause they are unable to build and guide aneffective team.“This has been a harder job than I thought it wouldbe. Running the meetings and keeping everybodyinterested in our long-term projects was tough.Sometimes I felt like being a drill-sergeant, but Iknew that wouldn’t work. I had to figure out waysto make the members take responsibility withoutbeing too harsh,” Scott told his adviser. “Paul is notreally a people person—I just don’t think he’s rightfor this position.”The adviser agreed. She and Scott decided to askPaul if he would be interested in running for the officeof club treasurer. Although Paul was disappointed, hewas also secretly relieved. “Maybe I’d just better stickto what I’m good at,” he thought.Paul’s story shows that although experience andability are important leadership qualities, they mustbe balanced with courteousness, respect for others,and sensitivity. A good leader possesses much morethan skill. Although this isn’t the right time for Paulto take on the leadership role of club president, this
Leadership—What It Is and Why It Matters 19experience may help him develop these skills forfuture leadership positions.Future Skills for SuccessIn 2007, the Center for Creative Leadership askedbusiness leaders to name three skills that theybelieved future leaders would need to be successful.Their responses indicate that future leaders will needto have strong skills in team-building, relationship-building, collaboration, and change management(the ability to oversee companies in changing mar-kets and in other demanding circumstances). Here isthe complete list (ranked in order of importance). 1. Collaboration 2. Change leadership 3. Building effective teams 4. Influence without authority 5. Driving innovation 6. Coaching 7. Building and mending relationships 8. Adaptability 9. Seeing things from different angles 10. Learning from others through questions 11. Resourcefulness 12. Leveraging differences
20 Leadership Skills 13. Global awareness 14. Decisiveness 15. Doing whatever it takes to get results 16. Straightforwardness/composure 17. Credibility 18. Ethical decision-makingA Degree Is No Guaranteeof successPeople often think they are good at somethingbecause they have done well in a school setting. Buta good grade, a diploma, or even a college degree isno guarantee of success in the workplace. In fact, thebrilliant student is often too smart for his or her owngood. This student may think no one can teach himor her anything and, as a result, cannot learn.With surprising frequency, individuals who wereacademic superstars in high school, college, and evenbusiness school have dramatically less success in theirmanagerial careers.—Richard K. Wagner and Robert J. Sternbergin Measures of LeadershipRobert Sternberg and Richard Wagner’s researchreveals that academic leaders are often not as suc-cessful when they start out in the workplace; they
Leadership—What It Is and Why It Matters 21sometimes lack the practical knowledge or “streetsmarts” it takes to be a leader at work. This doesn’tmean they will never get ahead. They may just needsome time to learn the ropes.The staff of Catalyst, in Making the Most of YourFirst Job, gives this advice: “In an office environment,everyday experience rates higher than a genius IQ.Unlike a mathematical equation, office problemsaren’t always clear-cut. Perhaps you don’t have all theinformation you need to understand, let alone solve,Most CommonUndergraduate Degreesfor CEOsChief executive officers employed by SP500 companies in 2008 had a variety ofacademic backgrounds, and only 10 percentearned their degrees from an Ivy Leagueinstitution. Here are the most popularundergraduate majors for CEOs:Engineering: 22 percent• Economics: 16 percent• Business Administration: 13 percent• Accounting: 9 percent• Liberal Arts: 6 percent•
22 Leadership Skillsthe problem. Or perhaps there will be several solutionsto your problem. Only practical, on-the-job experi-ence can help you accurately weigh your options andmake the best choice for your company.”People who have been on the job longer than youcan be a great help. Asking others for their opinionswill not make you seem less capable. In fact, it indi-cates a willingness to learn. And it does not matterif the experienced worker is lower than you in thecompany. It is their experience that counts.Another kind of knowledge that you can pick upon the job only is the company’s unwritten rules.One executive in the Wagner and Sternberg studydescribes this as knowing “what goes without say-ing.” New employees need to keep their eyes andears open and be cautious about saying too muchtoo soon. Other unwritten rules might include notusing the executive elevator, refraining from playingmusic loudly (or at all) if you work in a cubicle, orbeing required to treat the office to cookies or cakeon your birthday.Askingothersfortheiropinionswillnotmakeyouseemlesscapable.✍ EXERCISEDescribe a time you were the “new kid on theblock.” Was there something you did or saidthat you now realize was a mistake? Whatcould you have done differently?
Leadership—What It Is and Why It Matters 23Leadership StylesWhen Richard was chosen to direct a long-termproject at the firm where he worked, his coworkerswere delighted. Richard’s projects usually went well.Everybody always ended up feeling good about hisor her work.While his bosses valued Richard’s initiative andcreative thinking, his staff more often praised hisflexibility and openness to suggestions. These quali-ties make his staff feel that they have something tocontribute. In fact, Richard’s attitude encourages themto be creative and take initiative.“At meetings, I feel safe speaking my mind,” saysone coworker.“We don’t always have to do everything his way,”says another.“I’m interested in what my staff thinks,” says Rich-ard. “Their input is important to me. I don’t believein the top-down style of management; good ideascan come from anywhere.”Some leaders are comfortable with employee par-ticipation in problem solving. Like Richard, they feelthere is a lot to be gained through listening to manyopinions. Others manage employees with a more direc-tive style. Sometimes the style will depend on the typeof project or on the individuals included in the workteam. A top-down style might be best for a complicatedproject with many parts or for a team whose membersare mostly new or entry-level employees. But usuallya leader’s style is just that—his or her style.
24 Leadership SkillsLearn More About It:Leadership StylesBooksHarvey, Andrew J., and Raymond E. Foster. Leadership:Texas Hold ‘Em Style. Charleston, S.C.: BookSurge,2007.Jackson, John, and Lorraine Bosse-Smith. LeveragingYour Leadership Style: Maximize Your Influence byDiscovering the Leader Within. Nashville, Tenn.:Abingdon Press, 2008.Potter, Ronald, and Wayne Hastings. Trust Me:Developing a Leadership Style People Will Follow.Charleston, S.C.: BookSurge, 2008.Web SitesLeadership Styleshttp://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/leadstl.htmlMind Tools: Leadership Styleshttp://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_84.htmMotivation and Leadership Styleshttp://www.motivation-tools.com/workplace/leadership_styles.htm
Leadership—What It Is and Why It Matters 25Having a leadership style makes things easier foryour employees. They come to know what to expect.If you usually welcome their ideas, they won’t expectyou to jump on a staff member who has a sugges-tion. On the other hand, if you usually give a lot ofexact instructions for performing an assignment,your staff has probably come to depend on that.They will be uncomfortable if you tell them to “dowhatever you think is best.” A consistent approachhelps build trust.Here are a few of the most popular leadershipstyles:Authoritarian/Autocratic. Authoritarian leadershave a clear idea of what should be done, how a taskshould be done, and when it should be completedand rarely, if ever, ask employees for input. Untilrecent years, this was the predominant leadershipstyle. Researchers have found that employees whowork under this type of manager are less creative,more likely to be absent from work, and more likelyto leave their jobs.Leadership Style SurveyQuizVisit http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/survstyl.html to take a short quiz tohelp you determine your leadership style.
26 Leadership SkillsParticipative/Democratic. Unlike the authoritarianstyle, participative leaders provide instruction toemployees, but encourage them to provide suggestionson how work on a project could be improved. Theyare good communicators and are happy to pitch inand help with group assignments to encourage teamspirit. A study has found that participative leadershipis the most effective leadership style. Employees whowork for a manager who uses this style typically pro-duce high quality, high quantity work.Delegative/Free Reign. Delegative leaders let groupmembers make most or all decisions and provide littleSteve Jobs, cofounder,chairman, and CEOof Apple Inc., has acharismatic leadershipstyle. (Paul Sakuma, APPhoto)
Leadership—What It Is and Why It Matters 27or no guidance. This approach should only be usedwith trusted workers who are highly skilled and ableto work without much oversight.Charismatic. Charismatic leaders use energeticencouragement to inspire their teams. They are oftenego-driven, believing that the main reason that theiremployees achieve is because of their leadership abili-ties. This belief is often translated to employees, whomight come to believe a project can’t be completedwithout their manager’s oversight.Tranformational. Transformational leaders are inspir-ing individuals who are able to get team members tobuy into their vision of a project or, in the instanceof a CEO, the future of a company. They are mediasavvy and excellent communicators, but they focusmore on the big picture rather than details. They oftendelegate tasks and need a strong assistant to ensurethat projects move along as expected.Situational. Situational leaders combine one or moreof the leadership styles listed above as needed basedon the project requirements and the personalitiesthey are working with.Building TrustPeople respond to leaders they can trust. They needto be able to count on their leader to do the rightthing, whether it’s in school, a club, or a job. Forexample, if you agree to be in charge of a commit-tee, others are depending on you. They are willing tobe workers, but you have accepted the responsibilityAconsistentapproachhelpsbuildtrust.
28 Leadership Skillsof leading them. If you let them down, you may losetheir trust.Raymond was in charge of the advertisers’ programfor the sports banquet. The members of his commit-tee were to visit local businesses to ask them to sup-port school sports by buying an ad in the program.Raymond had many volunteers for his committeebecause the money from the ads would benefit allthe school’s teams. Also, Raymond had promised thevolunteers that he would provide them with lists oflocal stores that participated in the past.Gary, last year’s chairman, had given Raymond afolder to help get him started. It included copies ofthe programs from the last several years. Gary hadalso made notes about the best times to visit particularbusinesses and whom to speak with. When Raymond✍ EXERCISEWhat type of leader do you prefer workingwith? Think about your experiences in theclassroom, past summer or after-school jobs, orstudent clubs. Do you prefer workingwith leaders that ask for group input? Ordo you prefer a leader who is a take-chargeindividual? What were the benefits ordisadvantages to both types of leaders?
Leadership—What It Is and Why It Matters 29had mentioned this at the sports-council meeting, hereally hooked a lot of volunteers.“I usually hate soliciting donations and things,”said Sandy, one of the volunteers. “But it makes adifference if you know whom to ask for, and thatthey’ve done it before.”Unfortunately, Raymond had misplaced the folderGary had given him. “I’m sure it will turn up soon,”he told himself. “I’ll bring it in soon,” he told every-body else. “I’m retyping it.”After looking at home and in his locker, Raymondbegan to think he had accidentally thrown the folderout. “If I tell the volunteers I don’t have the informa-tion I promised, some of them might drop out. I’dbetter not say anything to anybody until the kick-offmeeting. They wouldn’t walk out on the meeting.We’ll just have to use the phone book. I know someof the kids will be upset, but they’ll just have to dealwith it.”At the kick-off meeting a few days later, Raymondasked Sandy to go to the office to get a phone book.When Sandy realized that it was for making lists ofbusinesses to contact, she felt cheated.“I should never have volunteered,” she thought.“And I never would have if I had known it would belike this.”Sandy was probably not the only one who felt thatway. An unexpected or unexplained change in oursituation makes us uncomfortable. Some people areable to rise to the challenge of new circumstances.
30 Leadership SkillsOthers may not be able to. But in either case, likeSandy, they probably will feel cheated.☛ FACTAccording to a survey by managementconsulting firm Accenture, 50 percent ofrespondents rated leadership and managementskills as the most important traits that enableworkers to do their job better.No one feels comfortable with a supervisor whotells Employee A one thing and Employee B anotheror a coworker who says one thing and does another.Why would anyone do this? The answer is usuallyoffice politics. Some people say or do whatever theythink will help them get ahead. Dealing with thesekinds of people is very difficult. We soon lose ourtrust and respect for them.There are other ways people can lose our trust. Youmay recognize a friend, or even yourself, in some ofthe categories in “The Trust Busters” list that follows.But a leader who behaves in these ways will not befollowed for long.Maintaining Balancein Dealing with OthersAlthough no one likes a dictator, we do expectour leaders to exert their authority to keep things
Leadership—What It Is and Why It Matters 31running smoothly. When they do not, everyonesuffers.Meg is the assistant night manager for a clothing storein a mall. One of her salespeople, Chrissy, often hasfriends visit during the evening. Chrissy talks with hervisitors while Meg and Donna, the other salesperson,scurry to help customers and straighten the shelves.Workplace Morale BustersBosses have many expectations for their employees,but in order for a company to be successful managersalso have a responsibility to treat their employees fairly.Failure to do so can adversely affect morale. OfficeTeam,a staffing service that specializes in highly skilledadministrative professionals, asked workers to detail oneaction by their bosses that causes the most negativeimpact on their morale. Thirty-percent of respondentssaid that “lack of open, honest communication” was thebiggest morale killer. “Consistently sharing good—andbad—news with staff members builds an atmosphere oftrust and can forestall potential miscommunication onbusiness issues,” says Diane Domeyer, executive directorof OfficeTeam.Other morale busters included “failure to recognizeemployee achievements, micromanaging employees,and excessive workloads for extended periods.”
32 Leadership SkillsAlthough having visitors is against company policy,Meg is reluctant to say anything to Chrissy. “It’s notworth the attitude she’ll give me,” Meg thinks. Megalready glares at Chrissy when her friends bring foodinto the store—prompting them to put it away in ahurry. “At least they’re careful around the clothes,”Meg thinks. “Is it worth fighting over a few crumbson the floor?”The Trust BustersThe blabber• tells people everyone else’sbusiness. A person in a leadership positionsometimes has access to private information.This does not give them the privilege of tellinganyone else.The manipulator• may only tell you whathe or she wants you to know. This personuses deception or plays on people’s fears oremotions to get desired information. This iscontrolling, not leading.The exploiter• takes advantage of others. Thisperson’s position may give him or her power, butmisusing it will cause resentment and resistance.The stealer• always takes more than his orher share. This person takes more privileges
Leadership—What It Is and Why It Matters 33There is a lot to be done at closing time each eve-ning. Meg has posted a list of duties on the wall behindthe cash register. Chrissy always manages to take solong rehanging clothing that Donna is stuck with thevacuuming almost every night. The big commercialmachine is really heavy, so vacuuming is everybody’sleast-favorite job. Night after night, Donna seethes asshe pushes the awkward appliance around, especiallywhenever she finds crumbs on the carpet.than other coworkers, taking the bestassignments or taking credit for others’ workand ideas.• The agree-er is much more pleasant to bearound. This person is always ready to giveothers a pat on the back. The problem is thatothers don’t really know where they standwith the agree-er. A good leader must alsobe a teacher who helps others improve byproviding an honest reaction.The avoider• is also dishonest in his or herreactions. This person might say, “I’ll thinkabout it,” because he or she doesn’t want tosay, “No.” The avoider deals with unpleasantsituations by simply avoiding them. This putsmore pressure and responsibility on others.
34 Leadership SkillsCareers for LeadersDo you think you would make a good leader, butdon’t know what careers beyond CEO that require thisimportant skill? If so, you should visit the Skills Searchsection of O*NET Online, a U.S. government resource foroccupational information. By selecting at least one of 10basic skills, complex problem solving skills, four resourcemanagement skills, six social skills, three system skills, and11 technical skills, you can find careers that are a goodmatch for your abilities. Some in-demand careers thatrequire leadership skills include:In fact, dozens of careers are listed, with information onjob responsibilities and other necessary skills providedfor each job. Visit http://online.onetcenter.org to use thisuseful career exploration tool.Advertising andpromotions managersComputer and informationsystems managersConstruction managersEducation administrators,elementary andsecondary schoolEducation administrators,postsecondaryEducation administrators,preschool and childcare center/programFinancial managers, branchor departmentFirst-line supervisors/managers of personalservice workersFirst-line supervisors/managers of police anddetectivesFood service managersForest fire fighting andprevention supervisorsGeneral and operationsmanagersLodging managersMedical and health servicesmanagersMunicipal fire fighting andprevention supervisorsPurchasing managersSales managersShip and boat captainsTreasurers and controllers
Leadership—What It Is and Why It Matters 35Why doesn’t Meg say anything to Chrissy? As thenight manager, Meg certainly has the authority. Butfearful of a conflict, Meg does nothing. Perhaps shehopes the problem will go away.Generally, however, problems get worse when wedon’t deal with them. Nor is it fair to expect Donnaand Chrissy to work it out themselves. This putsan unfair burden on Donna. It’s the leader’s job toresolve problems.The leader must know, must know that he knows, andmust be able to make it abundantly clear to thoseabout him that he knows.—Clarence Belden Randall, former spokesmanand Chairman of Inland Steel CompanyThose in charge sometimes worry that people won’tlike them if they use their authority. But followerswon’t like a leader who shirks his or her responsibility✍ EXERCISEIt is not necessary to bite people’s heads offto let them know you’re in charge. A goodleader can find a balance between beingan ogre and a pushover. Describe how Megmight handle the two problems she has withChrissy. (Make up a conversation betweenthem if you want.)
36 Leadership Skillsto take actions or make decisions that need to bemade. Even in a participatory style of leadership, theleader must be the last one to make decisions. Lettingthings drift accomplishes nothing and makes everyoneuncomfortable. If you’ve accepted a leadership role,you must be willing to take charge.Being a leader is sometimes very difficult. Ability andhard work are not enough. Leadership requires skillsRead More About It:Famous LeadersKarson, Jill. Profiles in History: Leaders of theCivil Rights Movement. Farmington Hills,Mich.: Greenhaven Press, 2004.Lodge, Tom. Mandela: A Critical Life. NewYork: Oxford University Press, USA, 2007.McCain, John, and Mark Salter. Faith of MyFathers: A Family Memoir. New York: Harper,2008.Obama, Barack. Dreams from My Father:A Story of Race and Inheritance. New York:Three Rivers Press, 2004.Weigel, George. Witness to Hope: TheBiography of Pope John Paul II. New York:Harper Perennial, 2005.Thekeytogreatleadershipistrust.Aleaderwhodoesnotearntrustwillsoonbewithoutfollowers.
Leadership—What It Is and Why It Matters 37in solving problems, sensitivity in dealing with others,and a willingness to make decisions and take action.But the key to great leadership is trust. A leader whodoes not earn trust will soon be without followers.✔ True or False: AnswersDo You Know the Qualities of a Good Leader?1. Good leaders are conservative when makingdecisions.False. Successful leaders are bold and unafraid ofmaking hard decisions. They are willing to try tonew approaches if they can’t solve a problem byusing conventional methods.2. I will only be successful as a manager if I havea college degree.False. Successful managers have a variety ofeducational backgrounds—from high schooldiplomas to Ph.D.s. For example, Mark Begich,the mayor of Anchorage, Alaska from 2003 to2009, never earned a college degree, but earnedraves for his leadership of the city. In 2008, hewas elected to the U.S. Senate.3. The top-down leadership style is the onlyeffective management style.False. There are many types of leadership styles,and what works for a manager of 10 copywritersat an advertising firm may not work for an
38 Leadership Skillsindividual who oversees hundreds of differenttypes of workers in a automotive manufacturingplant. The key is to find the management stylethat matches your personality and helps you toget things done in the workplace.4. Strong leaders are always consistent.True. Once you choose a management style,it’s important to maintain this style to gain theconfidence and trust of your employees. Forexample, if you are a very hands-on manager,then be hands-on in every situation. If you haveled by using a hands-off approach, then trustyour workers to do the job—even in times ofstress.In Summary . . .Leaders must be competitive, yet• compassionate.Leaders must be able to work with others.• Leaders need book smarts• and street smarts.Different leadership styles work in different• environments and situations.It is important to maintain trust between• the leader and his or her workers.When necessary, leaders should be able to• confront problems and people head on.
39workingwith othersFelicia has worked part time in a gift shop fortwo years. Because of her experience, she feelsknowledgeable about the business and very sureof herself. Mary, the owner, also has confidence inFelicia, relying on her more than the other part-time workers.One Saturday, Mrs. Ellis, a frequent customer, pur-chased a silver tray for an anniversary present andrequested that it be gift wrapped. Felicia carefullypeeled off the price sticker before she wrapped thegift. After Mrs. Ellis had left, Janice, a fairly new salesclerk, quietly approached Felicia.“I noticed that you threw the price sticker away.I’m so forgetful that I have to keep it where I cansee it, or else I start to wonder if I really did removeit.” Janice added, “In the last shop I worked at, wehad to stick it on the store copy of the receipt. Thatway we could double-check just by glancing at the2
40 Leadership Skillsreceipt. Just thought I’d suggest it because it reallyhelped me.”Felicia couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “I’vebeen working here for two years and I’ve never onceforgotten to remove the tag when the item is to bewrapped,” she retorted.Janice was stunned. “Sorry. I was only trying tohelp.”A few months later, Mrs. Burton, a newlywed, askedfor Felicia’s help in selecting a birthday present. Shetold Felicia she had a limited budget but hoped tofind something special for her new mother-in-law.Felicia asked several questions about the mother-in-law’s tastes and finally recommended a crystal vase.Mrs. Burton was thrilled to find that it was on saleand that there was no charge for gift-wrapping. “I’ll✔ True or False?Do You Know How to Work with Others?1. All types of criticism are wrong.2. Fear is an excellent motivational tool formanagers.3. Training workers takes time and effort.4. As a manager, it’s important to monitor aworker’s performance during a project.Test yourself as you read through this chapter.The answers appear on pages 60–61.
Working with Others 41certainly be sure to come in here whenever I need apresent,” she said.A few days later, Mrs. Burton returned and askedfor Felicia again. “I can’t begin to describe how upsetI was when my mother-in-law opened my gift andfound the price still on the bottom of the vase. I wasso embarrassed. You really should be more careful inthe future.”Felicia was mortified, especially because her bossMary was close enough to hear the complaint. Marycame over and apologized along with Felicia, butboth suspected that Mrs. Burton would not be backto shop again soon.The Benefits of CriticismAccording to the International Women’sMedia Foundation, constructive criticismprovides feedback that enhances job• resultsleads to personal and professional• developmentreduces stress and creates• psychological securityimproves interpersonal relationships• helps develop the ideal organizational• climate
42 Leadership Skills“Next time maybe I’ll listen to what my coworkershave to say,” thought Felicia. “I guess I don’t knoweverything.”Constructive CriticismBeing criticized is almost always unpleasant, wheth-er it is done by your friends, family, coworkers, orsuperiors. The important thing to remember is thatcriticism is not an attack on you, it is feedback onsomething that you’ve done. Very often people offercriticism to encourage improvement, not to suggestthat you lack ability. If you can separate who you arefrom what you do, you will not feel the need to strikeback or be defensive when you receive criticism.There’s nothing dreadful about “being wrong”—everyone is at times. However, if you don’t realizewhen you’ve made an error or if you stubbornlyrefused to accept it, you have fallen into an all-too-familiar snare.—J. W. McLean and William Weitzel inLeadership—Magic, Myth, or MethodAcknowledging a mistake will not make yourcoworkers think less of you—as long as you also takesteps to correct it. The purpose of criticism is, afterall, to help someone improve. Your peers are oftenin the best position to know your weaknesses as wellas your strengths.
Working with Others 43Be sure to listen when you receive criticism.Even if the criticism is not deserved, look for thekernel of truth that might be there. If you are ableto consider what others want to tell you withoutbeing defensive, you have an opportunity to learnfrom them.If you are a leader, it is especially important to listento criticism, since the higher you move up the ladderthe less criticism you will receive. Feedback from ourpeers, or even our subordinates, can show us wherewe need to improve.Criticism from a SuperiorNo matter how high you go in an organization,it is likely that you will still have someone aboveyou. Part of your supervisor’s job is to advise you.Some of this advice may sting—criticism can indeedhurt. However, remember that your superior’s intentis usually to teach and guide you. This guidancecan only help you improve your performance andadvance your career. So take it like a professional:don’t interrupt, make excuses, or blame someoneelse.This does not mean that you should say nothingat all. Your response should indicate that you under-stand the points being made (or question further ifyou do not) and accept that you need to make animprovement. Beth Collins, senior planner for aclothing retail chain, says that a simple “okay” is theworst response.Feedbackfromourpeers,orevenoursubordinates,canshowuswhereweneedtoimprove.
44 Leadership Skills“The employer may think you are just giving lipservice; that you hear, but not necessarily that youagree, or even understand,” Collins says. “Your answershould show that you recognize that there is an issuethat needs to be addressed. Ideally, I’d hope for aresponse that included how you plan to handle thesame situation in the future.”The Difficulties of GivingCriticismJason worked nights at a diner that was a popu-lar gathering place for high school students. Jasonknew many of the students because he had onlygraduated two years earlier. He now attended thelocal community college, but he hoped to trans-fer to a prestigious culinary college after complet-ing his associate’s degree the following year. He hadalways approached his job at the diner with a highdegree of dedication and seriousness, and he hadbeen rewarded for his efforts by a recent promotionto assistant manager.✍ EXERCISEConstructive criticism can help us improve.Think of a time a teacher or other superiorcriticized your work. How did it help youimprove your performance?
Working with Others 45One of Jason’s new responsibilities was supervis-ing the servers. He knew everything about their tasksbecause he had been a waiter before his promotion.But he still sometimes felt uncomfortable tellingworkers what to do.Greg, a high school senior, had started working atthe diner a few months ago. He was popular with thecustomers and his coworkers. His only fault was thathe was occasionally late for his shift. One evening,Jason had to keep customers waiting because onewaitress was out sick and Greg was late. Jason startedfeeling frantic and was just about to start taking thecustomers’ orders when Greg walked in with severalfriends.“Where have you been? Have you got a lot of nerve!”Jason yelled. “We’re going crazy while you just takeyour sweet time getting here. You do this all the timelately and you’re taking advantage of everybody else.You must think you’re above the rules! Well, I’ll tellyou what I think,” Jason added, “I think your attitudeand your work stinks. You can’t even fill the salt andpepper shakers without spilling. You’ll never makeit in this business.”When Jason calmed down, he realized he had over-reacted. His own panic about the backup in custom-ers had triggered an unprofessional and unnecessaryoutburst. Although he later apologized profusely toGreg, the damage was done. Greg worked his shift ina grim and stony silence, and everyone else avoidedJason for the entire evening.
46 Leadership SkillsGreg was certainly wrong to be late, and it wasJason’s duty to tell him so—but not in front of others.When we criticize someone in front of others, evenif we do so in a calm manner, we will only make thatperson defensive. An employee who feels he or shehas been criticized in an unfair manner will often notaccept the point of the criticism, even if it is valid.A good rule of thumb is to focus on the problem,not the person. A comment such as “You must thinkyou’re above the rules” is an attack on Greg, not onhis lateness. By publicly attacking Greg, not Greg’sperformance, Jason broke the top two rules for offer-ing criticism. His later apology could not undo theharm.What should Jason have done? He should havewaited until he was calmer and had all the facts.When we let emotion enter our criticism, it will havea negative effect—on the person we are criticizingand on our ability to be clear about the problem. Wemay end up making blanket statements, like Jason’s“You do this all the time.” It is important to be fairand exact about the facts of the situation. Exactlyhow often was Greg late? Were there any extenuatingcircumstances this particular time? Jason did not evengive Greg a chance to explain why he was late.Stick to one issue. Jason’s mentioning Greg’sinability to fill the salt and pepper shakers was poorlytimed and inappropriate. This misstep shows thatyou should leave the evaluation of other tasks to alater discussion—focus on the issue at hand, instead.Focusontheproblem,nottheperson.
Working with Others 47Also, try to balance the criticism with some praise andsome encouragement. It must be clear to you and theworker that there is a way to improve the situation.Ask if there is anything you can do to help. Be readyto offer some concrete suggestions.It also helps to involve the worker in finding asolution to the problem. If lateness is truly part of apattern, let the employee offer suggestions for solvinghis or her problem of getting to work on time.Alexander Welsh, author of The Skills of Manage-ment, suggests asking questions that will involve theworker, such as, How do you feel about the situation?Is work going as well as you’d hoped? By encouragingthe worker to participate in finding a solution, youmay lessen his or her resentment.Offering criticism is one of the most difficult jobsof any leader. Always keep in mind that the purposeof criticism is to help the other person become moreeffective. Keep the following things in mind whengiving criticism:Balance the criticism with praise.• Focus on the performance, not the person.• State the problem privately, in a reasonable• tone of voice.Be specific about the facts of the matter.• Make sure you have all the facts.• Discuss what has to be done to prevent the• problem from happening again.Offeringcriticismisoneofthemostdifficultjobsofanyleader.
48 Leadership SkillsBy involving the other person in this process, youare more likely to get his or her cooperation to achievethe desired change. That, of course, is the ultimategoal of a good leader.Conducting PerformanceReviewsSay the phrase “performance review” to workersand they often respond: “boring!,” “unproduc-tive!,” or “oh, no! Not more criticism of my jobperformance!” But well-planned performancereviews are worthwhile—for both managers andemployees. As a leader, it is your responsibility toconvey the value and importance of performancereviews to your employees. While performancereviews may be time consuming, they are an excel-lent chance to get to know your employees better(including listening to their feedback about thejob) and establish clear cut goals and milestonesfor their development and advancement. Here area few basic tips to make performance reviews moresuccessful:Learn the system.• Be sure that youunderstand your company’s protocol forperformance reviews ahead of the meeting.Some companies have elaborate systems inplace; others ask their managers to largelywing it by creating their own review forms,etc.
Working with Others 49Track your workers’ progress• . Get in the habitof consistently recording your thoughtsabout your workers’ accomplishments andstrength/weaknesses during the year so thatyou have a paper trail that will help prepareyou for the review.Develop a plan for the review• . Be ready tolaud your workers’ accomplishments,provide constructive criticism, and tell eachwhy or why not they will be receiving araise and/or promotion. Establish goals andmilestones for each employee to encourageprofessional growth.Be a good listener.• Be sure to ask youremployees for feedback on your commentsand an honest assessment of theirperformance over the past year.Follow up after the review.• Continue to trackthe progress of your workers and keep anypromises (future meetings, raise, etc.) thatyou made during the review.Be a MotivatorLeaders must have the cooperation of their follow-ers. Leaders who use force or fear to manipulate oth-ers are not leaders—they are tyrants. Unfortunately,there are people in positions of leadership who donot know how to get others to cooperate.
50 Leadership SkillsManagement is nothing more than motivating otherpeople.—Lee Iacocca, U.S. automotive industry executiveLeadership Relies onShared GoalsAbraham Lincoln could not have pursued the• Civil War if enough followers did not sharehis goals of preserving the Union and endingslavery.Martin Luther King, Jr. was certainly• a compelling preacher, but his followers wouldnot have endured beatings, jail, and even deathif they had not believed so strongly in the goalof civil rights for all.Mahatma Gandhi’s charisma was based on his• inspirational example, but his followers alsowere motivated by their desire to free Indiafrom Britain’s rule.Barack Obama is a gifted and inspirational• leader, but he would not have won the2008 presidential election if voters did notwholeheartedly share his belief in the necessityof change in American politics.
Working with Others 51The key to cooperation is motivation. There mustbe something of value for the follower. The greatestmotivator is a shared goal. People who agree with agoal will join to accomplish it.Often the role of a leader is to define a goal in termsthat show its value to others. This may not be the samevalue the leader holds. For example, suppose a studentwants to establish a soda-can recycling program ather school. Some students welcome the opportunityto do something positive for the environment—thesestudents share her goal. Others can only be convincedPresident Barack Obama would not have been elected if voters didnot share his belief in the necessity of change in American politics.(Charlie Neibergall, AP Photo)Thekeytocooperationismotivation.
52 Leadership Skillsto participate when it is pointed out that all depositmoney will be donated to the class trip fund.Gaining the Support ofYour FollowersA leader may gain and keep the support of followersby listening to their ideas. This builds a good relation-ship between the leader and followers. The leaderearns the followers’ support by indicating his or hertrust in the followers’ abilities. The leader’s willing-ness to hear the followers’ opinions shows respect anda desire to understand their feelings. People respondto those who make the effort to understand them.✍ EXERCISEPeople are more apt to help if they understand and agreewith a cause. Explain how you would convince someoneto do one of the following:Recycle their newspapers• Volunteer at a soup kitchen• Sell candy bars to raise money for a• scholarship fundWalk instead of drive to neighborhood errands• Save old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest•
Working with Others 53People deserve to be recognized for the good workthat they do—a simple “thank you,” particularly inpublic, will build loyalty. When praise is specific, italso becomes a good teaching tool. It points out well-done elements that could carry over to other tasks.The way to get a worker’s best effort is to point outwhat he does well. When you comment on a worker’sstrong points, he learns what is expected and is likelyto repeat the good work. It is easy to forget to givepositive feedback—when work is done well, we tend totake it for granted. But positive feedback is essential tokeeping a worker on the right track.—Ann Holt, hospital administratorBy offering positive feedback first, you create a morereceptive atmosphere in which to mention any areasfor improvement. Your followers will trust that youhave their best interests at heart and that you willtell them what they need to know. They will look toyou for guidance, realizing that you can help themachieve the success they desire.Supervising and training OthersMaggie Holahan works at a dry-cleaning store afterschool and on weekends. As an experienced worker,she often helps train new employees.“Some things should come naturally, like a pleas-ant attitude with the customers,” says Holahan.
54 Leadership Skills“But I mention it anyway, and I try to set a goodexample. And I tell new people about the ‘uniform’we wear—navy shirts and khaki pants. The owner ispretty relaxed about it, as long as the shirt has a col-lar and is tucked in. It bugs me when the older kidscome in to work on their college breaks with theirshirts hanging out.”“There’s a lot to remember when you work thecounter,” Holahan continues. “The computer alonetakes getting used to. It will make several differentkinds of receipts, depending on whether the customerwants cleaning, laundering, or tailoring. Each processhas its own menu of choices—pre-spotting, sizing,starch, box or hanger, crease or no crease, and so on.So while the new person watches me key the orderin, I tell them in words what I am doing. Later, whenI think they are ready, I’ll have them do slips whileI watch.”Most people want to feel good about themselvesand what they do. A good supervisor helps others dotheir best by being clear about what to do and howto do it. Training a person takes time and effort. Itshouldn’t be left to chance or left up to the worker tofigure out. It is the leader’s responsibility to providethe direction his or her worker needs to do the job.To waken interest and kindle enthusiasm is the sureway to teach easily and successfully.—Tryon Edwards, American theologian
Working with Others 55When training others, begin simply, giving anoverall explanation of the job. Explain any unfamil-iar terms and equipment. Then break the job downinto individual procedures. In The Skills of Manage-ment, Alexander Welsh notes that it is invaluable todemonstrate procedures. He suggests this pattern forgetting the best results:1. Break up any instruction into steps of aboutone or two minutes of spoken instruction.2. Pause at the end of each step to let thelearner react or catch up.3. Check the learner’s understanding. Answerquestions to clear up any confusion beforegoing on. Demonstrate the step again ifnecessary.4. When all steps have been explained anddemonstrated, recap the whole procedureverbally.5. Repeat the demonstration, one step at atime, explaining fully in detail each stage asyou go.6. Recap key stages verbally.7. Have the learner try the procedure—talkhim through it when necessary.8. Point out errors as they occur in anoncritical manner.9. Have the learner repeat the procedure ifnecessary.
56 Leadership SkillsDon’t try to teach too many new procedures atonce. Training should be an ongoing process. Youprobably didn’t learn your job in a day. Make sureyou show patience and a willingness to answer ques-tions. Be realistic in your expectations.High ExpectationsLead to SuccessAlthough it’s important to be realistic about whatothers can accomplish, a leader can help by settinga good example and setting high standards. We’vePopular TrainingMethodsApprenticeships• Famous speakers• Formal education• How-to manuals• Internet guides• Job shadowing• Off-site conferences• On-site workshops• Seminars•
Working with Others 57all known teachers who are sticklers about writtenwork, for example. By forcing a student to rewrite anessay until it meets these high standards, the teacherhas helped the student produce superior work.In order to help a worker meet standards, you mustmonitor the worker’s ongoing performance, particu-larly at first. Only then will you truly know how tohelp the worker improve. If mistakes are made, theycan be noted and corrected as they happen. If youwait to see the end-product, you may not be able topinpoint what went wrong, and the worker may not beable to correct the problem without starting over.This does not mean that you have to look over aworker’s shoulder constantly. Once you feel you havegotten the worker on the right track, you should givehim or her more freedom. In Frontiers of Leadership:An Essential Reader, authors Michel Syrett and ClareHogg advise trusting others to make decisions—even ifthis means having to live with some mistakes. Peoplelearn from their mistakes.Syrett and Hogg further note that followers developinitiative when given a degree of freedom. They arewilling to think for themselves, make and carry outdecisions, and take on more responsibility. It is stillyour job to define a clear set of “core responsibilities”to be carried out. But leaving room for freedom ofchoice beyond those core responsibilities expressesyour desire for the worker to take some initiative. Italso shows your confidence in his or her abilities.People generally try to live up to our expectations.Followersdevelopinitiativewhengivenadegreeoffreedom.
58 Leadership SkillsLeading Others to SuccessNo matter how competent you are, you will oftenneed to work with and rely on others. If they under-stand and share your goal, they will be motivatedto do a good job. In fact, as a leader, you are in a✍ EXERCISE[Al]though I’ve always pushed myself hard . . . I [had] avolleyball coach in high school who expected a lot outof me. I was expected to be a leader at all times, on andoff the court. In hindsight, I suppose it was good for me,in that it made me realize how difficult it can be to be agood leader; but at the time, I resented it. I was held to adifferent standard than others on the team, and that washard to deal with.Instead, he should have focused on pushing me hardon the court and during practice, rather than worryingabout my academic or other extracurricular activities. Iknow he was doing it because he cared and wanted meto do well, but if I wasn’t mature enough to know whatI was doing, maybe it would be best for me to screw upand learn from the experience.—Shennan Harris, law school studentLike Harris, did you ever have a teacher or coach whowas a tough grader or who pushed you to work hard?Did his or her methods work in the long run?
Working with Others 59position to help others do their very best. Your goodexample and high expectations can encourage otherpeople’s best efforts. Your careful training can getthem on the right track, and your praise and con-structive criticism can help them improve. They willbe willing to listen to you because you are willing tolisten to them. By treating others fairly and tellingthem clearly and completely what you need them todo, you ensure the best possible results. You cannottruly succeed without the success of others.Like all leaders, good coaches work to get the best effort out of eachteam member. (Clayton Stalter, Journal-Courier/The Image Works)
60 Leadership Skills✔ True or False: AnswersDo You Know How to Work with Others?1. All types of criticism are wrong.False. Constructive criticism is an acceptableform of criticism in the workplace. It consists ofpolite and useful suggestions that aim to helpyour employees improve their job performance.2. Fear is an excellent motivational tool formanagers.✍ EXERCISEIn teaching someone how to do somethingnew, we often take too much for granted.Even tasks that seem very simple to us may beconfusing to someone else.On a piece of paper, outline the steps forperforming a task you know how to do well.Then teach the task to someone who has neverdone it before. You may find that you need togo into much more detail than the steps yououtlined on paper.Try teaching the task again, this time usingthe nine-step pattern for teaching a newprocedure suggested by Alexander Welshearlier in this chapter.
Working with Others 61False. Never use fear to get your employees todo what you want. It is a sure-fire way to alienatethem and get nothing done.3. Training workers takes time and effort.True. Few people master new job duties in oneday. As a manager, you need to be cognizantthat your employees will learn at differentspeeds. Be patient and willing to answer theirquestions during the training process.4. As a manager, it’s important to monitor aworker’s performance during a project.True. This is the only way to both ensurethat the project is done well and that youremployees learn from any mistakes or roadblocksthey encounter during the project. But nevermicromanage your employees. Set attainablegoals and periodically meet with your employeesto ensure that they are being met.In Summary . . .It pays to listen to others.• Criticism, when constructive, can be• beneficial.When giving criticism, be specific and be• discreet.Balance criticism with positive feedback.•
62 Leadership SkillsWhen training others, be patient and break• larger processes into steps.Leaders should know when to intervene• and when to step back.
63organizing aprojectJared is an analyst for the marketing-research divi-sion of Emco, an appliance manufacturer. Histeam’s ongoing assignments often involve generalresearch on the competition’s product lines.Recently the small appliance division of Emconeeded immediate research on a new hair dryer justmarketed by their rival, Binder Company. Emco wasdeveloping a new hair dryer of its own; if its featureswere too similar to Binder’s, Emco would delay pro-duction until they could implement additions ormodifications to their product.The manager of development explained the situ-ation to Jared and asked him to get his team on theproblem right away. Jared welcomed the challenge—here was a way their work could make a direct contri-bution to the company. First he needed to jump-starthis team.“Listen up, people,” he commanded his cowork-ers. “Our next project is Binder. Once again, they’ve3
64 Leadership Skillsgotten to market ahead of us. I don’t know how theydo it, but it’s our job to find out. We’ve got a chanceto make Emco stronger in the marketplace. I knowyou guys will do a great job—you’re the best. So I’mcounting on you.”The team, with no specific knowledge of the hairdryer situation, assumed their assignment was anothergeneral examination of Binder’s entire product line.Since they had ongoing research on Binder in thefiles, they decided among themselves that Nick, onemember of the team, would update the files and pre-pare a report. The rest of the team resumed work onother things that seemed more important.✔ True or False?Are You a Good Organizer?1. Goals must be achievable.2. Projects should be organized using thefollowing steps: (1) State the goal and finaldeadline; (2) List all the tasks that must be done;and (3) Assign tasks to yourself and others.3. A good leader is responsible for completingevery task during a project.4. Successful leaders are excellent judges of theiremployees’ talents and abilities.Test yourself as you read through this chapter.The answers appear on pages 86–87.
Organizing a Project 65When Jared checked several days later on theirprogress, he was devastated to find out that onlyNick was working on the Binder project. “Where’san assessment of Binder’s new dryer? Why hasn’tsomeone conducted a survey of households on thedesired features in a handheld dryer?” Jared asked.Surf the Web:Working in TeamsEffectiveMeetings.com: Team Tipshttp://www.effectivemeetings.com/teams/teamwork/teamtips.aspManual for Working in Teamshttp://www.analytictech.com/mb021/teamhint.htmSurviving the Group Project: A Note on Workingin Teamshttp://web.cba.neu.edu/~ewertheim/teams/ovrvw2.htm#IntroductionTeam Buildinghttp://www.meetingwizard.org/meetings/team-building.cfm13 Ways to Encourage Teamworkhttp://www.askmen.com/money/successful_100/115_success.html
66 Leadership Skills“What kind of dryer?” asked Nick. “Nobody saidanything about doing dryer research in particular.How were we supposed to know?”Jared failed in communicating the full scope ofthe project. In order to do a good job, people need toknow what they should be trying to do and why theyshould be trying to do it. A leader has the responsi-bility to explain the purpose and goals of the workassigned to the team.Define Team GoalsGoals must be clearly defined. Don’t just say, “Takecare of it” or “Get it done as soon as possible.” Incommunicating a goal to a team, a leader must be asconcrete as possible about what tasks must be doneto reach the goal. It is important to be realistic aboutthe amount of effort that will be needed for eachtask and to set a reasonable deadline for completingthe project.For example, the following statement by a managerof the employee-benefits division to his staff is notspecific enough:“Our goal is to inform employees about the choicesfor a new health plan.”A better goal would also state how and when thisis to be accomplished:“By September 12, all employees must be informedabout the differences among the benefits and costs ofthe three proposed health plans. Our department willprovide information sessions in Conference Room BAleaderhastheresponsibilitytoexplainthepurposeandgoalsoftheworkassignedtotheteam.
Organizing a Project 67from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. every Thursday, fromnow until September 12.”The benefits staff can now readily see that theywill need to prepare and present these informationsessions to achieve their goal.Goals must be specific, have a timetable, and beachievable. Goals that are too ambitious will discour-age those who fear they cannot reach them. Goalsthat are too easy may breed carelessness or boredom.Good goals “stretch” workers and encourage themto put forth their best effort.If goals are not clearly set, the result of a projectis likely to be unsatisfactory. If people don’t knowexactly what they are supposed to do, chances arethey won’t do it or will do it incorrectly. A good leadershouldn’t merely rely on a team to ask questions todetermine their goals. If the team members receivetoo little or unclear information about a project,they may assume they missed something and make✍ EXERCISEThink of a time when you had to set a goal for yourself.Perhaps it was writing a resume, running your first 5Krace, losing weight, learning a foreign language, orconvincing someone to donate to a worthy cause. Howdid you set the goal up so you would achieve it? Whatdifficulties did you have along the way? Did you set up areward for achieving this goal?
68 Leadership Skillsincorrect guesses instead of asking for clarification.If people don’t know why they are to do something,they may not care enough to do it well. This is humannature—if a leader doesn’t care enough about theproject to explain it properly, why should anyonecare about doing it?Team Participation inProject DevelopmentOnce a project’s overall goal has been determinedand communicated to the team, it is often possibleto involve the members in decisions concerningthe development of the project. This participationdepends on the situation, the experience of theteam, and the difficulty of the project. Participationhas two benefits:Brainstorming sessions can yield many• good ideas about how to proceed, whoshould do which assignments, and whenindividual tasks should be completed.The more you involve your team, the• harder they are likely to work.Effective motivators know that the involvement ofthose who will be part of the group trying to reachthose goals is crucial to the outcome.—J. W. McLean and William Weitzel inLeadership—Magic, Myth, or Method
Organizing a Project 69J. W. McLean and William Weitzel have surveyedthousands of workers to ask specifically what moti-vates them the most. Strangely enough, money andjob security are not at the top of the list. The surveysshow that workers most value being appreciated, fol-lowed closely by “being an insider.” Being an insidermay simply mean knowing the goals and purpose ofthe work to be done or being informed about com-pany developments. But workers included in someof the decisions about goals and assignments mayfeel most appreciated.The achievements of an organization are the results ofthe combined effort of each individual.—Vince Lombardi, legendary professional footballcoachWorkers want to feel a part of what they do. Corporate policies and management styles have changedto allow more employee participation within all areasof a business. Not only should workers feel included,they should have pride in their accomplishments.The most successful companies have employees whoare proud of what they do and whom they do it for.These employees feel a direct connection with theircompany’s product or service. Successful companiesalso allow open lines of communication betweenemployees and higher management. Two-way com-munication—information exchanged between a leaderand his or her team—should be the norm.
70 Leadership SkillsGet OrganizedAlthough involving the team may have manyrewards, it is ultimately the responsibility of theleader to organize the project. The project will notorganize itself, and such a task cannot be left tochance.“I really hated working on group projects in highschool,” says college freshman Alicia Barron. “Nobodywas ever in charge. Nothing ever got done until thelast minute, or two people ended up doing the samework, or parts of the project didn’t get done at all.And you know that certain people always did mostof the work, even though everybody got the samegrade.Hall of Fame football coach Vince Lombardi stressed that successcould only be attained by the combined efforts of team members.(Bettmann/Corbis)
Organizing a Project 71“I really like the system they have here, though,”Barron continues. “In my honors seminar, I workwith the same three other students on projects allsemester long. We rotate the leader position witheach new project. The leader decides how the workshould be divided, who should do which parts, andwhen it should be completed. My partners are usu-ally extremely fair.”✍ EXERCISEWhat motivates you to work hard? Make aphotocopy of this page and circle all termsthat apply.MoneyGood gradesFameSuccessChallengesDiversityFoodFunExerciseBeing likedLearning moreGood weatherMaterial goodsBeautyHumorReligionStabilityChangesSecurityAppreciation
72 Leadership SkillsGood order is the foundation of all good things.—Edmund Burke, British philosopherBeing the leader may not be as simple as Barrondescribes it, especially if the project is complicated.It helps to organize your own thinking about theproject. What are the individual tasks that need tobe done in order to reach the project’s goal? Whowill do each task? When will each task need to becompleted?The more tasks involved in a project, the moreorganizational skills you need. Some tasks have to beperformed one at a time, with each being finishedbefore the next can be started. Sometimes several taskscan be handled at once. It depends on the nature ofthe project and the individual tasks.The next step is to set a deadline for each task.Always schedule some extra time into the plan—problems are bound to come up. Finally, assign thetasks to yourself and others. Check that each personknows his or her assignments and the deadlines.Organizing a project has five basic steps:1. State the goal and final deadline.2. List all the tasks that must be done.3. Put those tasks in proper order.4. Set a deadline for each task.5. Assign tasks to yourself and others.Alwaysschedulesomeextratimeintotheplan—problemsareboundtocomeup.
Organizing a Project 73Delegate ResponsibilityThe ultimate goal of a leader is to get the very bestcontribution from all members of the team—includ-ing the leader. At times, the leader will be the bestperson to do a particular task; if not, he or she shoulddelegate the task to someone else.Responsibility walks hand in hand with capacity andpower.—Josiah Gilbert Holland, American writerLaura is the president of her church youth group.Part of the group’s outreach program is providingholiday gifts for needy children. Every year the wholecongregation helps out, but the youth group organizesthe drive, wraps the gifts, and delivers them to theparticipating families.✍ EXERCISEThink of a time when you organized a projectfor school, an extracurricular club, or even athome. How did you break down the responsibilities? Did you follow any of the five steps fororganizing a project? How did it work out inthe end?
74 Leadership SkillsEach child’s name, age, gender, and size have tobe recorded on a master list and on an index card.The cards are then offered to any member of thecongregation who wishes to buy a gift for a child. Inyears past, the index cards were written by hand, butLaura thought that the group should type the masterlist into Microsoft Excel. This way the informationcould be organized and printed as stick-on labels.Since Mark, the youth group’s vice president, wasknowledgeable about spreadsheet programs, Lauraasked him if that was something he could do.“Sure,” said Mark. “I’m great with computers. I’lltype the master list, produce the labels, and stickthem on the index cards. No problem.”Laura told him generally what the cards needed toinclude, and Mark promised to have the cards readyin time for the congregation’s service on Sunday.When Mark brought the completed cards to theservice, Laura was thrilled—that is, until she checkedthem. They had forgotten to include gender infor-mation on the cards, which posed a problem forchildren with ambiguous names such as Alex. Markoffered to add the gender information by hand, butthere wasn’t enough time. Many members of thecongregation had planned to pick up a card duringthe coffee hour following the service.“It’s not your fault, Mark,” Laura admitted. “Ididn’t think it through and tell you all you neededto know. I was just so thrilled to get someone to doit on the computer.”
Organizing a Project 75Laura was on the right track when she asked some-one else to do a task she was not comfortable doing.And perhaps Mark was the best person for that task.But Laura forgot to give him some important informa-tion. When delegating responsibility, be clear aboutwhat you need.When to DelegateA person in charge may delegate work to others formany reasons. Like Laura, there may be a task thatsomeone other than the leader is more qualified todo. Or perhaps the leader realizes that he or she hasso many responsibilities in overseeing the project thatothers will have to take on many of the tasks. Whatev-er the reason, it is unrealistic for the leader to assumeall of the work on a project; likewise, it is unfair forthe leader to delegate all of the work to the team. Agood leader maintains a good balance between per-sonal involvement and team participation throughdelegation. A leader must also have realistic expecta-tions about what everyone can accomplish.Ask yourself which of your activities could be done bysomebody else—adequately, as well as you can, oreven better than you can do it.—Alexander N. Welsh, The Skills of ManagementFor many leaders, the problem with delegating isthinking that no one else can do the task as well. This
76 Leadership Skillsmay indeed be the case, but that should not necessar-ily stop a leader from delegating the task if somebodyelse can do an adequate job. A leader must decide onthe best use of his or her time. Perhaps there are manyother aspects of the project that only the leader canhandle. In this case, he or she may need to delegatethe less demanding tasks to others.How to DelegateTelling someone what to do requires a balancedapproach. A hesitant tone can lead the other personto be unsure of your intention; an arrogant tone canlead to resentment. A feeling of mutual trust produc-es the best results. You trust someone on your teamto do the task to the best of his or her ability. Thatperson trusts you to provide the support needed todo it. This includes supplying all the informationand materials needed and allowing adequate timeto complete the task.The key to delegation is the word entrust. Whenyou delegate, you entrust the entire matter to theother person, along with sufficient authority to makenecessary decisions. This is quite a different thing fromsaying, “Just do what I tell you to do.”—Edwin C. Bliss in Getting Things Done:The ABC’s of Time ManagementWhen delegating tasks to others, the leader needsto be as specific and detailed as possible. If possible,Aleadermustdecideonthebestuseofhisorhertime.
Organizing a Project 77write down assignments for others. The clearer youare, the easier their job will be, and the better theresults. The purpose in delegating is to save timeand effort. The task may have to be redone if you’remisunderstood.Assigning TasksRebecca explains how her promotion to a leader-ship position within her marketing company haschallenged her. “When I was first promoted, I wasthrilled,” says Rebecca. “Then reality set in. I usedto just do what I was told. Now my boss comes tome with a project and a deadline and the rest is upto me. Well, not just me. I have a great team. But it’smy job to make the best use of them. The hardestpart is giving out assignments.“At first, when I didn’t know my team very well,I would list the tasks that needed to be done on asheet of paper,” Rebecca continues. “Then I’d haveeverybody indicate whether they were strong or weakin that kind of activity. The problem was that theywere not always realistic. Usually they underestimatedthemselves. But I didn’t know if they really thoughta task was too hard or if they just didn’t want toomuch work. Others overrated their strengths and Ididn’t know until it was too late that they were inover their heads.“As I came to know their abilities better,” continuesRebecca, “I felt more comfortable making assignments.But there are still problems. Some parts of a projectare more involved than others and take more time. It
78 Leadership Skillstakes a lot of experience to gauge the amount of efforta particular job will take. If I miscalculate, somebodyis going to be overburdened and angry. I now keepa log of past assignments, including information onwho did the job, how long it took, and how well itwas done. It helps me to be more realistic about howlong it takes to do certain types of jobs. It has alsohelped me build a profile of each member of the team.I note each person’s strengths and weaknesses, stylesof working, and assignment preferences.As the manager of a small department charged withmany responsibilities, one of my duties is to knowthe strengths of my staff and coworkers and delegatetasks accordingly. I rely on the fact that I can delegatecertain projects to other workers and be assured thatthey will be satisfactorily completed. If I couldn’t, thereis no way I—or anyone else—would be able to single-handedly complete everything that the department isresponsible for.—Janet Canny, encyclopedia editor“I can’t always give them what they want,” con-cludes Rebecca, “but I do avoid favoritism. An assign-ment should be based strictly on a person’s ability toperform the job.”As Rebecca has found, one of the most difficultresponsibilities a leader has is choosing the right
Organizing a Project 79person for a particular task. A leader should neversimply assign a complicated, multitask project to ateam without sorting out who will do what. Some-times the choice is obvious: A member of the teamhas demonstrated a clear and superior ability for atype of work. In other cases, the leader must consultwith the team members to see if there are preferencesfor assignments. But the leader must still use his orher judgment to decide which worker is best suitedto a particular task. Some people work best at assign-ments that are technical in nature. Others shine insituations that involve interacting with other people.Certain tasks require a great deal of patience; othersrequire an immediate reaction. A leader must reallyknow the job as well as his coworkers.✍ EXERCISEMake two lists: one listing your greateststrengths, the other listing some of yourweaknesses. After considering these lists, whatsort of tasks would you rather do yourself, andwhat tasks would you delegate to others? Forexample, if you are a math-minded person,perhaps you would like to balance a club’sbudget. Or if you are a good writer, perhapsyou would like to take notes at a team meeting.
80 Leadership SkillsMaintaining ObjectivityIt may be natural to give the best assignment, theeasiest schedule, or the most credit to certain indi-viduals. Perhaps they fully deserve your good atten-tions. But it is possible that you are being unfair toothers who may also deserve a break. Avoid even theappearance of playing favorites. Vary assignmentsand schedules in a way that is fair to all. Avoid load-ing the least attractive tasks on the same person. Ifthere are a number of those types of tasks through-out the project, a rotating schedule can be usedfrom the start. Everyone can take a turn in doingthe undesirable tasks.Don’t make judgments about people automaticallyor based on your feelings alone. Always questionyour objectivity. Do the facts back up your opinion?Is a highly likable, outgoing worker really the bestperson for this particular task? Perhaps, but you maybe overlooking a quiet but more competent worker.You also need to be aware of your own blind spotsand prejudices. People are individuals and deserveto be treated as such.Also, everyone deserves a second chance. Perhapsthere is someone who once did a poor job for you.Be sure you view this worker’s current capabilitiesobjectively. There may have been circumstancesthat interfered with his or her earlier performance.It’s important that you have a realistic understand-ing of the pressures and needs of others. As a leader,you should know all about the members of your
Organizing a Project 81team—their strengths as well as their weaknesses—sothat you can lead them effectively.Charting Your CourseWhen a project requires the completion of a num-ber of tasks, a chart can help the team visualize thecourse they will need to follow. Here are a few exam-ples of charts that will help you complete projects.Flow ChartsA flow chart shows each task in sequence. In orderto make a flow chart, first make a list of tasks thatwill have to be done to reach your project’s goal.Then put the tasks in the order in which they mustbe done. Use boxes to show tasks and diamondsto indicate decision points. These diamond check-points can keep you from going ahead when youmay actually need to go back to a previous task.See the following sample flow chart for planning areception for an honored guest.The diamonds show points where things mightget held up: invitees who have not confirmed theirattendance and the approval of your news release.In the first case, if all confirmations are not in, youcannot yet order the food. In the second case, yoursuperior may ask you to redraft the news release beforeyou send it to the newspapers. The side arrows sendyou back to the step that will need to be redone.Although a basic flow chart does not indicate whowill do each task or when it is due, you can add this
Organizing a Project 83information to each box. The flow chart can be avery useful tool in organizing a project.Gantt ChartsA flow chart shows tasks to be done in sequence.Sometimes tasks go on simultaneously. A simplehorizontal chart, called a Gantt chart, can show thetiming of both sequential and simultaneous tasks.Since this type of chart shows the relative amountof time allocated to each task, it is also called a time/task analysis chart.The first column down the left side of the chart liststhe tasks in the order that they will be performed.Surf the Web: Flow ChartsFlowcharting Help Pagehttp://home.att.net/~dexter.a.hansen/flowchart/flowchart.htmGliffy: Flow Chartshttp://www.gliffy.com/free-flow-chart-softwareInc.com: Flow Chartshttp://www.inc.com/encyclopedia/flow-charts.htmlMind Tools: Flow Chartshttp://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_97.htm
84 Leadership SkillsAll tasks, including relatively simple ones, shouldbe listed.The next column is filled in with the name ofthe person assigned to the task. A person may beassigned more than one task. These assignments may✍ EXERCISECreate a Gantt chart for a team of three toprepare and present an oral report. Use linedpaper to show the timing of five or more tasksfor this project.Surf the Web:Gantt ChartsBrief Tutorial on Gantt Chartshttp://www.me.umn.edu/courses/me4054/assignments/gantt.htmlGantt Charthttp://www.ganttchart.comWhat is a Gantt Chart?http://www.brighthub.com/office/project-management/articles/6550.aspx
Organizing a Project 85be provisional at first. As you analyze how muchtime is required for each task, you may need to shiftassignments.The top row of the chart is a time line from theproject’s start date to its end date. The time line canbe expressed in days, weeks, or months—whicheveris appropriate. The shaded area connects the startand end dates of an individual task.Take a look at the sample Gantt chart for planninga workshop. By looking at the shaded areas, you cantell which tasks will go on simultaneously. Somerelated activities even overlap. For example, prepar-ing activity sheets can begin while some workshopactivities are still being developed. The chart alsoshows that equipment should not be reserved untilall activities have been planned.Sample Gantt ChartTask Assigned 2/11 2/12 2/13 2/14 2/15 2/18 2/19 2/20 2/21 2/22Reserve room EllenSend memos MaxDevelop JaneactivitiesPrepare activity Jane/MaxsheetsReserve EllenequipmentPrint materials EllenCollate folders EllenConduct Jane/Maxworkshop