A Precis on Leadership

A Precis on Leadership


There is a basic problem with the style of leadership advocated in this article in that nearly every historic "Leader" one can name has had a completely different approach; Machiavelli did not advocate being a caring Protector as a means of becoming a great leader but rather that a Prince ought to be happy with "a reputation for being cruel in order to keep his subjects unified and loyal". Your situation, however, is a little different. You do not have the power to execute, nor even to banish. The workforce is rapidly gaining in sophistication as the world grows more complex. You cannot effectively control through fear, so you must try another route. You could possibly gain compliance and rule your team through edict; but you would lose their input and experience, and gain only the burdens of greater decision making. You do not have the right environment to be a despot; you gain advantage by being a team leader.


A common mistake about the image of a manager is that they must be loud, flamboyant, and a great drinker or golfer or racket player or a great something social to draw people to them. This is wrong. In any company, if you look hard enough, you will find quiet modest people who manager teams with great personal success. If you are quiet and modest, fear not; all you need is to talk clearly to the people who matter (your team) and they will hear you.


The great managers are the ones who challenge the existing complacency and who are prepared to lead their teams forward towards a personal vision. They are the ones who recognise problems, seize opportunities, and create their own future. Ultimately, they are the ones who stop to think where they want to go and then have the shameless audacity to set out.


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