Alexwalsh's Blog

Just another weblog

Getting it done.

leave a comment »

Not that I need a reason to post that picture, but this post is about leadership. Leadership is a skill that anyone who is willing can learn. If ever you have got something done with the help of others, something that would have been impossible alone, then you will have been using leadership skills.

The image of leadership tends to get mixed up with charisma, certainly a charismatic person can be persuasive, and everyone enjoys a good speech, but the reality is more mundane.

To be a leader, you must have an aim. A place where you are leading to, something that needs to be accomplished. That requires planning, planning means paperwork. Charisma doesn’t get the paperwork done.

Underneath, a leader is an administrator, someone who has prepared, who knows what needs to be done, and has planned a way to do it. That is the first stage. And that is where John Adair comes in. John Adair came up with a way to be a leader and help others get things done. It wasn’t a rousing speech like the one William Shakespeare imagined King Henry the 5th gave on St Crispin’s day, but it was thoroughly effective. Here are 8 points from his theory.

1.Defining the task: Using SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Constrained) to set a clear objective.

2.Planning: An open minded, positive and creative search for alternatives. Contingencies should be planned for and plans should be tested.

3.Briefing: Team briefings by the leader are a basic function and essential in order to create the right atmosphere, foster teamwork and motivate each individual.

4.Controlling: Leaders need self-control, good control systems in place and effective delegation and monitoring skills in order to get maximum results from minimum resources.

5.Evaluating: Assess consequences, evaluate performance, appraise and train individuals.

6.Motivating: Adair identifies eight basic rules for motivating people in his book Effective Motivation (Guildford: Talbot Adair Press, 1987). Adair also created the 50:50 rule which states that 50% of motivation comes from within a person and 50% from his or her environment and particularly the leadership they encounter.

7.Organising: Good leaders need to be able to organise themselves, their team and their organisation.

8.Setting an example: The best leaders naturally set a good example. If effort needs to be made it will slip and a bad example is noticed more than a good example.

This methodical and studied model goes a long way towards taking leadership out of the fantasy ideal and into a more achievable reality. As a modest and averagely charismatic man, I find that assuring.



Written by alexwalsh

October 25, 2010 at 9:49 pm

Posted in Leadership

Tagged with ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: