Many school of thoughts are of the notion that in this modern day era of democracy, effective leadership is founded upon the basis of humility and accountability, as opposed to the old dictatorial ’worship’ of superiors that’s still practiced to this very day (unfortunately). And when it comes to the workplace, you’ll find one boss being loved and adored by their staff while another is loathed with such rage, that employees would be glad if they suffered sudden demise. To be honest, you wouldn’t expect such a foul attitude from staff members unless...
Fear, Threats and Intimidation are used as Major Motivators
In Economics, we learnt of an old system of governance that was preferred by monarchs in Europe during the days of Adam Smith. Besides believing in agricultural land as a major economic resource, the rulers of that time used to ensure total submission of their subjects by use of fear, threats and intimidation. For instance, the absolute monarchy in France at that time used to ensure that the poor French people bore the major burden of unfair taxation or else suffer the serious punishment through jail time, grab of defaulter’s land and even beheading in some cases.
Not that these penalties were reasonable, but because king’s fearful influence was law and thus final. And with that in mind, everyone kept their distance. Of course the monarchs maintained absolute power by accumulating wealth through dubious means, keeping their people on ’survival mode’ and paying absolutely no taxes while they let the poor bear the burden of lavish monarch living. And all this wouldn’t be possible without the use of fear. But of course...
Accountability at some point is inevitable
Most of us are aware of the French revolution and how the monarchs suffered very gruesome deaths. First off, they got to face their own music and in this case, the people’s word of vengeance was law and final. While some were beheaded, others were hanged, imprisoned and even burnt alive on a stake. This is a classic case of accountability gone sour. Where unforeseen circumstances were subliminally brought about by everyday harsh decisions made by the monarchy. And these decisions inspired a vindictive revolution which brought about serious wrath on their part.
This applies to the modern day workplace as well where a boss uses fear to get things done but at some point or unforeseen circumstance, they get to taste THEIR own medicine. And so instead of incorporating strong leadership qualities, they end up incorporating a bitter and vindictive spirit of rebellion.
How then does one incorporate Strong Leadership Qualities within Their Staff?
#1 Learn to be Diplomatic in Decision Making
The biggest mistake that bosses make is to consistently execute decisions without consulting their staff. What this does in effect is to turn your staff into working zombies that simply do your bidding. But with diplomacy, you not only win favour, but you also make them realize that their opinions do matter. And if you appreciate and reward useful ideas, then your staff will find it worthwhile to go the extra mile and outdo themselves in their daily endeavours. This self-drive subliminally curves out leaders within your staff that might prove to be handy connections in their future careers.
#2 Polish up on your Social Skills and Emotional Intelligence
Recent research has shown that women make better managers than men. And that’s because they first assess the emotional atmosphere within staff quarters before executing any decision. But still, emotional intelligence isn’t enough unless it’s combined with the right social skill which will prove to be quite useful when connecting with different personalities in the workplace. Use these two as an excellent combo pack and with time, your staff will likewise follow suit in relating with their boss. They also get to learn the leadership culture that pertains to the human aspect of the workplace. In any case, it’s not like you’re controlling a bunch of robots via remote control right? Last but not least...
#3 Use an Unbiased Reward System in Occasional Delegation
Every boss has a favourite within staff quarters, but that should remain within social circles. When it comes to occasional delegation of authority, let those who’ve earned that privilege through consistent and innovative hard work savour the position. It would also be wise to operate a revolving door policy because as we all know, when some staff members clinch leadership positions, they might end up executing their personal vendetta on others. All in all, you’ll have given your staff members a fair platform through which they can exercise their leadership qualities.
From what we’ve discussed above, it’s quite obvious that the quality of your leadership is reflected by the resulting qualities of your staff. As John Quincy Adams once said, "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then you’re a leader."
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