(LFA) Leadership opportunities present themselves in almost every aspect of our lives from childhood to old age. In sports teams there are coaches and team captains, in a family there is a man and a woman caring for the children; the oldest sibling may be appointed by the parents to be the responsible care giver in their absence, in school the teacher is the educational leader of the classroom and reporting to the school principal, in politics there are politicians we elect to make decisions affecting our communities, in the workplace we have supervisors and management directing business affairs, in the military there are levels of ranking officers responsible for their troops, and on it goes in many other facets of our lives. What then are we to expect from our leaders? What are the responsibilities of an effective leader?
1- Accomplishing the unit’s mission.
2- Ensuring subordinates welfare to include physical, moral, personal, and professional well-being.
3- Effectively communicating vision, purpose, and direction.
4- Setting and exemplifying the highest professional and ethical standards.
5- Building cohesive teams.
6- Empowering subordinates.
7- Developing their own and subordinate leaders’ skills, knowledge, and attitude.
8- Building discipline, while stimulating confidence, enthusiasm, and trust.
9- Anticipating, managing, and exploiting change.
10- Solving problems.
11- Acting decisively under pressure.
12- Evaluating and accepting risk to exploit opportunity.
13- Treating subordinates with dignity, respect, fairness, and consistency.
Short Leadership exercise:
Think about a specific area in your life where you are in a leadership role, be it a parent, teacher, manager, group leader, whatever position you are in where responsibility is in your hands over subordinates. The number of men, women, or children under your care is not important, it applies to mentor and apprentice relationships as well as to being a Prime Minister of a country with millions of subjects to oversee. Now read again the above thirteen responsibilities keeping the following two points in mind: a) identify how you successfully accomplish each responsibility on a regular basis, b) think how you could improve your leadership skills in each area.
Finally, write down on a piece of paper these thirteen leadership responsibilities so you will not forget what you have learned. These simple points may be a guide to your work ethic values, and are a noble concept to teach kids to build respect and self-esteem among their peer groups. Study your notes so you remember each point and you will be well on your way to becoming an effective leader in any endeavor your life may take you.
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