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What Do People Expect of Leaders?

I began to wonder how the group participants would identify “good” or effective leadership. From the discussion, I was able to conclude that the participants expect leaders to be able to communicate a clear direction for where the organization is headed and how their individual responsibilities or positions fit into that direction. There was also an expectation that leaders were present when needed, but not overwhelming (controlling) or micro-managing.

Does Being in a Leadership Position = Leadership?

The most prominent aspect discussed was the issue that individuals in leadership positions do understand that they need to be able to show the way or provide a vision for the organization or the company. What they don’t understand, or at least fail to demonstrate, is that they need to be able to communicate that vision is such a way that the followers see it or “get it”.

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The Leader as a Human Being

The one factor that I believe to be the single most influential factor about these leaders is that they were first and foremost human beings trying to do the best job they knew how without creating any more damage or pain to others than was necessary. And when they did create that damage or pain, because it was needed or unintentionally, it was done with compassion and humility.

Leadership - Knowing the Emotional Self

An area that has been overlooked in leadership development in the past is that of emotional intelligence. However, recent investigation in this arena indicates that effective leaders are individuals who not only know how they feel, but they are capable of capitalizing on those feelings. They utilize their emotions and the understanding of others’ emotions to build a more harmonious workplace and create a stronger sense of team.

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The Human Aspect: The Lost Leadership Element

Perhaps what people mean by “no leadership” or a “lack of leadership” is not that there are no people in leadership positions, but that the people in those positions are unprepared or ill prepared to be able to provide leadership. Perhaps leadership is less about position and more about working with and influencing others. Perhaps leadership is less about technical knowledge and more about understanding human dynamics.

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