Leadership

Leadership-Cranes

It is better to lead from behind and put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front like when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership ~ Nelson Mandela

The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant. ~Max DePree

 

By Okello Okello

Over the years, I have believed that business is the most important factor (apart from God) in our lives especially with the metamorphosis brought up by globalization. As I started writing more and more on business, innovation and entrepreneurship, I came to learn that without leadership, there is no success. So before a business is founded, there must be someone in charge. Leadership therefore stands triumphant over all else that pertains to success in our communities.

  • Think of a family set-up, there is always a breadwinner, who is most of the time the leader of the family, children and other members who either form nuclear or extended part of the family fully rely on the leader. These people needs a leader who can provide, take care, protect, support, advice and be a role model etc. It does not matter whether you are from a single family or with both parents, you still need a leader and if you are the leader, then you must be ready and willing to show your team the right way.
  • Leadership is also needed in our faith based organizations. There must be an individual who holds all the responsibilities and can be held accountable for all successes and failures of the organization. I am talking about successes and failures because most of the times, leaders performances are scaled in between the two points.
  • Institutions and community centers also need leaders. People who can report the management and affairs happening in the institution to both the government and the public. They take part in overseeing operations of different projects, and they also plan the future of the institutions they work in.
  • Politicians are also leaders who are engaged in daily errands and affairs of a country. They manage the country’s economy and hold the jurisdiction that governs their nations and states. Political leaders are most of the times the head of their countries security.
  • Businesses also need leadership. For success in the market that is either highly regulated or open, there needs to be a person with strong leadership skills. Somebody who is good with finances understands the market patterns, an organizer, a planner, a manager and if most likely a people person. In general, we cannot live without leadership because leadership transforms chaos into order.

Now that we briefly understand how leadership is important, ask yourself; “What if I was the one to be in charge?” Some people do not consider themselves’ leaders and often times decline a position that puts them in lime light. But can we really hide from leadership? At some point in life, you must be a leader. Either leading an organization, a ministry, a community group or your own family. It is therefore better to familiarize yourself with leadership and be ready to be called upon at any time.

In the history of the bible, God used people who were not considered naturally born leaders, therefore it is never wrong to decline that you are a leader, but if God has anointed you to become one, then what you need to do is to heed his calling.

Think of Moses and how he was anointed. He was a man of no charisma, was not fluent in speech and was the one who God picked and used. David was the last born of Jesse, and we know in our societies today that last born’s are always the spoiled ones. Probably it was the same back in the days and that is who God anointed. It is therefore good to understand that leaders are people who are anointed by God to fulfill a purpose and a need that is affecting His people.

What then is leadership? Here are a number of definitions of the word leadership.

  • Leadership is the ability to give a social aid to a mass of people who come together to achieve a common goal.
  • Leadership is doing the right things. (Peter Drucker).
  • Management and maintaining order in an organization
  • The guidance and direction of a group of people
  • The time when a person holds the position of a leader (Merriam Webster Dictionary).

Leadership is laying yourself down for the sake of other people. Not to say that the definitions above are wrong, but I like to give a different approach and view to leadership. As a leader, are you called to lay yourself down to the people you lead? Are you fully in charge of the situations and ready to be responsible for the good and the worst that your organization might encounter? Are you ready to stand for your employees and be a voice of those who are in need? Are you ready to show love? A leader is a person who considers these questions and tries to live by the standards that uplifts the people they are leading.

As the son of man gave himself to be nailed on the cross for the sake of the world, we should be in a position to stand firm for the people we represent. Some have called this type of leadership “Servant Leadership.” In the history of the world, Kings ruled and reigned, Judges lead and dominated, presidents have expressed and shown power in different ways but very few have been there to lay themselves down for the sake of their people.

In the world today, we should be in a position to differentiate market celebrities and leaders. Most of the people we call business leaders are good examples of market celebrities, they are there to dominate without love, promote themselves and finish their rivals. Where is love? How are they laying themselves law for the sake of the common people?

It is good to understand that there are social leaders, spiritual leaders, business leaders, consanguinity leaders and this work is to generalize all of them to come up with shared traits and also how to empower people to take up the role of leadership with a lot of confidence.

Please if you find this blog informative, share it on your social media, comment, follow, favorite and let other people learn from it too. That is the spirit of entrepreneurship. We are here to support each other. No one knows everything that is why we share, exchange and learn from one another. God bless you.

Building a Team Synergy

Synergy

By Okello Okello

A synergy is a systematic interaction of multiple elements projected to release higher magnitude results than the elements invested in the general output. This is every leaders dream but not so many attain its right formula. Building a synergy is like reacting elements in a chemistry laboratory where you observe the risks and expect the best end-results. So what exactly does it take to build a team synergy?

Self-Evaluation

As a leader, the best thing to do to your organization is to first evaluate yourself, be honest with your self and accept your weaknesses. We are not perfect. Even the most beautiful when asked to change anything on their looks, they will identify a feature that they do not like in themselves.

Being honest with yourself and accepting your weaknesses and strengths is where it all starts. The importance of starting with self evaluation is because you want your team to compliment your strengths. Therefore where you are weak, you find the right fit that can replace your weaknesses with amazing performance. After all why would you higher someone with same qualities as you?

Never Hire a Resume and Forget the Candidate

There are over 340,000  hits you can get if you type “job interview questions” on Google. So why bother waste your time interviewing people who have crammed all the questions  and possible solutions to the challenge? People who have sat in my interviews know and understand that I never ask ordinary interview questions. Job interviews are not high school enrollment questionnaires where you can cram the whole night and succeed in the morning.

As much as it is good to look at the resumes, that should not be the only or main reason why you are hiring. I have a high preference of hiring a high school graduate who is logical than a university graduate or a PHD holder who cannot think on his feet. To make it clear, I also understand that there are different personalities and I factor it all in before I make a final decision. Some of us are thinkers while others who are extroverts can constructively come up with an answer as they talk.

The success of your team and power they unleash highly depends on who you higher therefore take your time and get the right person. Most presidents who newly assume power are always given 100 days to change economy and revolutionize the government operations to the public. This is not possible as no economy in the entire world can change for the better in 100 days of taking oath of office.

However, in small organizations, 100 days is enough for you to understand the strengths of your new recruit. Always give your new recruit at least the a fore mentioned number of days to keenly follow up with the quality of work they do. These 100 days should also cover second chances, learning, correction, and teachings  opportunities. Never fire any employee by stroke of a pen. It is inhuman to do so. Let your employees know where they go wrong, correct them and give them second chances, talk to them, discuss with them your expectations and if they are not the right fit for the job then advise them to resign.

The team you build determines the magnitude of your organizations synergy. In case an employee resigns from your company, call them a month later and ask them how they are doing. Show concern be willing and ready to teach them where they go wrong even if they no-longer work in your company.

Display Positive Image

As a leader, you are a man of the people! Groom your self and build a positive self image. As an entrepreneur, especially start ups, business meetings are not the same as sitting in a classroom lecture. Dress appropriately. The image you display will always give people an idea on how to classify you. If you are not in entertainment or art business that requires you to dress casually, then avoid those jeans with holes on their knees and graphics all over them.

Work on your wardrobe and if possible, have some dress pants or trousers as some like to call them, repair your jackets or suits, get your shoes shining, iron your shirts. Your team reads a lot in you and since you are looking for respect, authority and honor, maintain your outlook and set the image pace.

Personally I am more confident when I am smartly dressed than when I am in casuals therefore it is best for me to attend business meetings and go to work dressed up. Find some cheap stores that offer quality products and invest in your self. Be crispy clean.

Build Impeccable Character

Everybody is important. I am saying everybody because most entrepreneurs and leaders always know how to classify people with importance. God created us equal therefore take your time and listen to people. Create time for people and people will create time for you.

Are you the type that never responds to phone calls? texts? emails? I highly recommend responding to people even if it means informing them that you got their email and they should wait for your detailed response when you are free to do so. A lot of entrepreneurs wake up to full inbox of emails, mails on their desks, texts messages, and missed calls. Try your best to clear them out of your way and remember that someone thought of you and spared there precious time to contact you. Show respect back.

If your team sees how committed you are to communication with all, they will be propelled to keep the standards and pace you set. At worst, respond to messages in 48 hours.

Use Surrender Tactic 

It is an inbuilt feature that comes as part of the package of human being to fight back. The ability to resist this strong urge to revenge and hit back can propel your organization to higher levels. It is about building a synergy therefore never forget to surrender in heated debates. Get me right, always get guidance from the organization chore values. Now this is what I mean; If a customer calls you and they are not satisfied with the work you have done, you really do not have to be rude however insulting they might be.  “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger,” (Proverbs 15:1). Since you exist because of your customer, always remember to tone down your voice. It can also make your customers think that the mistake is  mundane and you are ready to address it once and for all.

The lack of resistance disarms your opponent and keeps you at the fulcrum of the topic.  Since you always want to swing and sway the discussions your way, it is better to keep calm. Tell it to your team and let them serve your customers with respect and dignity. Your customers talk and any little thing that turns them off can spread like a bush fire and ruin your business.

Value Your Team

If you keenly evaluated your self as  described in the first point of this section of synergy, then you probably realize that you are dealing with people with gifts that you are lacking. Nature them. Your team holds the horsepower that propels the organization therefore show them that they matter in your team.

Nothing motivates people like letting them know that they are valued. Have effective communication with them and call them aside when something is wrong. Show them that you care but above all, do not pretend but show them that you really care. Lies can only go so far and they will all be unearthed. Value your team, they hold the potentials of your organization.

Coach Your Team

If you cannot be a coach, then advise your team to find a coach in their lives if your organization cannot afford mentor programs to your employees. Let your team pick their idols and work towards working to their levels. Remember that it is all for the synergy and conjoined success of your organization.

Coaches challenge, train and push people to go extra miles on what they can handle. That is what your organization needs for success. Successful leaders inspire and coach their team to go extra miles. Show people the way and let them walk. As much as you are setting goals and targets for your team, they should set their own goals and break their own records. That is when your team enjoys being part of the organization. As a coach train them to have healthy competition and to go an extra mile.

Have Faith

In a formal introduction I did, after meeting a fellow entrepreneur, I told him that my background extends to Business Administration International Development, Philosophy and Christian Apologetic. His question to me was, “Why did you mix those three contradicting things together? You must be a trouble maker.” In response I paraphrased this verse, “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15 ESV).

It is just not about having faith that your business will do well but to anchor your faith in Christ and being ready to defend your beliefs. It can be great to have a team that share common beliefs with you but if you are not working with believers then use that opportunity to share with them the gospel. It propels your team to greater levels if you all believe in a common faith and goals and expectations that come with that belief.

Build a synergy and catapult your organization to elevated grounds of success.

Please if you find this blog informative, share it on your social media, comment, follow, favorite and let other people learn from it too. That is the spirit of entrepreneurship. We are here to support each other. No one knows everything that is why we share, exchange and learn from one another. God bless you.