Original Post by Elizabeth Dowling:
Manning and Curtis discussed 11 qualities that can be utilized to influenced others (Manning, 2014, 31-32). These qualities if possessed by a leader gives the team the right feeling to be committed. The ones that stood out to me the most from my personal background are ability, vision, and enthusiasm. Ability is interpreted as the leader knowing the job and without may turn into disrespect from the team. I’ve seen this in my past work where a young leader new to the company was quickly alienated when the team did not think the leader knew what they were doing. Without the ability, this weakens the tasks a leader must do like decision making and providing big picture details.
Another quality a leader can utilize to influence is vision. A vision provides a strong sense of purpose. Manning and Curtis further details that a vision can rally the group for the greater cause. When I was 19 and researching black bears, my manager and the wildlife biologist described the multi-dimenisional project and all the facets this program would touch down on. That greater vision, made me excited to work even on my most tired of days.
Enthusiasm is a skill I’ve been told I’ve had a lot of while working on any project. It’s described as a form of persuasiveness that causes other to become interested and willing to accomplish. I’ve noticed and received the feedback that my entusiasm is contagious. While a team can be tired or dealing with the many stressors in life, the enthusiasm from a leader can captivate one’s attention directly towards the goals, and reigniting the passion in the work.
Manning, George. 2014. The Art of Leadership. New York: McGraw-Hill
I agree a leader knowing the job is necessary for him/her to gain respect. If the leader does not know the job, there is a tendency for the followers to build resentment as they may think the leader is not involved enough in actualizing the vision. Also, the followers may feel as though the leader is choosing to do the easier tasks and turn a blind eye to those who are doing the not-so-glamorous work to keep the wheels turning. A leader knowing the job is an element of understanding his/her followers which is needed to establish trust and subsequently influence them. One way I have seen leaders communicate that they know the job is by wearing multiple hats as they continue to do a variety of jobs across the organization even after they are established in a high position of authority. I have also noticed leaders will hold conference calls with specific departments and speak about the tasks in detail to show that they understand how it is to be in that position. As you mentioned in the post, it is also important for a leader to show confidence and capability in completing tasks within his/her own position. Oftentimes, followers will be doubtful about whether the effort that they’re putting into their work is worth it if the leader seems disorganized and the company is unstable. Followers also need to feel as though the leader is equipped for his/her position so that they do not get frustrated about not being in a position of higher authority if they feel that they could do better than the leader. Also, I love your idea that establishing a clear vision can bring consistency to the followers’ production because they will work hard even on tougher days. It reminds me that tired days are going to happen, So, a leader must understand how to generate commitment and see challenges as opportunities so that the followers are influenced by that and do the same.