Teaching Leadership LO7072

jpomo@gate.net ("jpomo@gate.net")
Tue, 30 Apr 1996 09:26:04 +0000

Replying to LO7055 --

On Mon, 29 Apr 1996 19:55 Bill Hobler wrote -
[Quote of prev msg trimmed by your host...]

> Under these assumptions I don't believe that the leader has to know more
> about the work. In mentoring or coaching the leader must be aware of the
> risks of failure of the effort and the early indicators of failure. Then
> the leader can stand back from the issues and take action only when the
> project is going wrong. Why, failure is distructive to the organization
> and the people involved.
> As for coaching, the leader need only ask and answer questions. The best
> answer to questions, is a question. The goal is to get the coached person
> to clarify their thinking. When the question is, which of these options
> should I take - the answer is 'the best one in your opinion.'
> The issue in this is not demeaning the coached, the issue is to provide
> the atmosphere and opportunity for questions. This atmosphere is not
> developed in a day, or month.
> The leader must be able to know when his or her people are really sure of
> their position. I guess the question is, have they done their homework?
> Two illustrations, I had a leader ask me why we should take some drastic
> action, my answer was that I had a gut feeling that we were being taken
> for fools. He agreed, signed a letter that was both controversial and
> correct. We avioded a monitary disaster. This same leader would approve
> new projects if you could justify it on a 5.5 by 8.5 inch sheet of paper
> (that had a letterhead). We had to do our homework.
> Good leadership does not try to encapsulate all expertise in the leaders.
> They must make it possible for their people to use their creativity while
> avoiding disasters.
> Can this leadership be taught - You bet. The large companies do it every
> day.

Bill' comments were right on the mark. I would like to add a little -

A leader asks questions rather than provide knowledge in order show
respect for their juniors and to ensure that they are taking charge and
acting responsibly. Good leaders know that giving direction may be the
single most destructive thing a boss can do because it leads people to be
robots, not self controlled team players. Good leaders know that their
best people love to demonstrate their knowledge and are open to learning
more from anyone who can add to or correct their own knowledge. Good
leaders know that asking questions is the only way to find problems and
help the work toward success through providing or helping to get whatever
is needed to achieve high standards of performance. There are always
obstacles for which the authority of the boss or the power of his/her
position is a necessary element in achieving success and the good leader
asks questions in order to find these opportunities.

The good leader stands back from the "doing" and continuously assesses
what's needed for success - morale, tools, material, planning, direction,
discipline, training, knowledge, procedures, peace of mind, teamwork, et
al - and works to provide those elements when they are below the highest
standards. The good leader is prepared to provide correction of a team
member's negative attitude, help for a substance abuse case, correction of
a purchasing deficiency caused by a group outside his/her organization or
developmental training in leadership skills for junior bosses. The good
leader may not be able to personally provide what is needed, but is able
to assess a need and arrange for effective correction.

I could go on for hours but better stop here.
Regards, Joan
Joan Pomo The Finest Tools for Managing People
Simonton Associates Based on the book
jpomo@gate.net "How to Unleash the Power of People"


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