October 01, 2009

October 2009 - Inspiration for Leaders

"The past does not define you, the present does." -- Jillian Michaels

What kind of leader are you?

This month’s inspiration is more of a reflection for each of us as League leaders. While these are not the end-all-be-all of leader descriptions, they are general categories that can help you identify where you are, and help you grow in new directions.

Basic Leadership Styles

(Adapted from Leadership and the One-Minute Manager, Kenneth Blanchard et al)

1. Directing

The directing leader provides specific instructions and closely supervises task accomplishment. Feedback from members is minimal, and it is assumed that they will comply automatically with the instructions they receive.

2. Coaching

The coaching leader continues to direct and closely supervise task accomplishment, but also explains decisions, solicits suggestions, and supports progress. Members’ input is sought in setting goals, in determining what tasks should be scheduled, and how the tasks should be done. This method is a combination of the directing with supporting styles.

3. Supporting

The supporting leader seeks the members’ input in planning and decision making, and facilitates their efforts toward task accomplishment.

4. Delegating

The delegating leader turns over responsibility for decision making and problem solving to subordinates who have shown that they can handle the responsibility.

In all cases the leader maintains ultimate responsibility for members’ actions. The progression inherent in the move from directing to delegating indicates maturity and increased capability of both leader and member. A good leader does not operate as the sole decision maker. As she moves from directing to delegating (or to any appropriate combination of the four styles), the leader must share some of the authority and glory inherent in getting the job done. True sharing requires comprehensive knowledge of the goal and task, a high degree of self-knowledge and self-assurance, and a great capacity for persuasion.

Do you feel inspired? Do you have suggestions for future topics? If you have questions or comments, or just want to comment on what you’ve read, please send a note to the Nominating Committee.

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