Wow - thanks for all your comments.
Firstly, I think there is a definite distinction between a leader and a manager. In my view, a leader defines the way to go, and a manager will deal with the logictics of getting there. Stephen R Covey gives a good example where a manager heads up a group of troups that are ploughing and hacking their way through a jungle. At some point the leader climbs a tree and shouts "Wrong Jungle". Good leadership will obviously avoid this scenario, and therein lies the debate - "What makes an effective leader?", and furthermore, it is my view that we all in fact need to be leaders in our own right.
The workshops I am running do not really touch much on what I would call the technical skills to be an effecive manager, such as the running of a technical or customer services department, I think there is already a plethora of course material available for that sort of thing.
I can whole heartely agree with you, bobg, in that an effective leader, and indeed an effective manager must be able to develop and establish sucessful relationships. And I think most of what we cover applies to so many aspects of our lives, eitehr communicating with others or indeed ourselves. Our ability to establish a compelling vision of the future, either personally or within a group, provides mogivation for action. Our ability to communicate what that compelling vision is, either to our managers, peers, subordinates or ourselves, will determine how sucessful we will be at achieving that future.
Its important to establish what that future vision, in any situation, will be like for the person who is imagining it. On teh workshop we use the example of one business leader asking a manager to "Go increase profits". The manager promptly makes half the sales team redundant, reducing costs. The leader expects an investment in the sales team to increase sales. The simple question, in this example, from managar to leader, "What will it be like when...< there is an increase in profits>.. What will you see/hear/feel?"
This is perhaps an extreme example, but it highlights the problems when we communicate with others and assume that their own model and understanding of the world is the same as ours. Of course, it is not and can not be, since our own models of the world, our own understandings are based on our own very unique experiences.
Once managers, leaders, any one who communicates with another person, recognises this and makes a conscious effort to learn to understand what the other person's view is, only then can real sucessful relationships begin.
Even in our own personal lives, how many times do we have to say "I didnt mean that..." ?
So, if we learn how to articulate our own vision of the future, and communicate that in a way that those we are communicating with will understand and be able to imagine, then we are on our way to becoming true leaders with an ability to create a compelling vision for everyone involved.
This really only touches on the communication aspect of leadership, personal leadership and professional leadership. Naturally there are many other factors which affect our ability to be a great leader, a great communicator, a greate "relator".
Leadership Trainer & Life CoachLink Removed