Dan Puett

Manager - Sales Support

Lessons in Leadership – It’s that Time Again

Every four years, citizens seem much more interested in public elections, for obvious reasons, I suppose. I hope everyone has the opportunity and takes the time to vote. Voting is all it is said to be, a privilege, a right, and an obligation. Moreover, I believe a vote deserves and requires strong thought and consideration before it is cast.

One of the key considerations, I believe, is the candidates’ leadership ability and skills. Many times political position may be hard to pin down. Leadership traits are pretty obvious if you just look. Consider the eleven principles of leadership as defined by the U.S. Army in 1983.

  1. Know yourself and seek self-improvement – In order to know yourself, you have to understand your be, know, and do, attributes. Seeking self-improvement means continually strengthening your attributes. This can be accomplished through self-study, formal classes, reflection, and interacting with others.
  2. Be technically proficient – As a leader, you must know your job and have a solid familiarity with your employees’ tasks.
  3. Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions – Search for ways to guide your organization to new heights. And when things go wrong, they always do sooner or later — do not blame others. Analyze the situation, take corrective action, and move on to the next challenge.
  4. Make sound and timely decisions – Use good problem solving, decision making, and planning tools.
  5. Set the example – Be a good role model for your employees. They must not only hear what they are expected to do, but also see. We must become the change we want to see – Mahatma Gandhi
  6. Know your people and look out for their well-being – Know human nature and the importance of sincerely caring for your workers.
  7. Keep your workers informed – Know how to communicate with not only them, but also seniors and other key people.
  8. Develop a sense of responsibility in your workers – Help to develop good character traits that will help them carry out their professional responsibilities.
  9. Ensure that tasks are understood, supervised, and accomplished – Communication is the key to this responsibility.
  10. Train as a team – Although many so called leaders call their organization, department, section, etc. a team; they are not really teams…they are just a group of people doing their jobs.
  11. Use the full capabilities of your organization – By developing a team spirit, you will be able to employ your organization, department, section, etc. to its fullest capabilities.

These are powerful principles that should apply to the selection of leaders in all organizations. Too often, seniority, personality, sometimes just luck of the draw are deciding factors when leaders are chosen. This should not happen to us as voters. We need and can elect leaders, not just bosses.

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