It's All Coming Together

I didn't think there would be a time within the first quarter itself where I'd piece together insights from the various readings, into one big picture. With my last reading for Leadership that milestone has been reached! Surprise, Surprise! “Effectiveness can be learned and must be learned,” says Peter Drucker, as his concluding statement in What Makes an Effective Leader. That opinion is loaded with hope and his article effectively outlines ways to make that goal a reality. He breaks down the traits that he believes comprise an effective leader into their various components so that you aren’t just being told to “Take Responsibility for Communicating” or “Make Meetings Productive” but are also told what specific actions must be taken to achieve those ends. His approach seemed to take a page out of our previous reading, ….Meaningful Feedback by Sloan Weitzel, which advocated that feedback is meaningful only if behaviors and attitudes are dissected into their components and then shared. His point about effective managers focusing on opportunities rather than problems was also reminiscent of "The Art of Appreciative Inquiry" which emphasizes focusing on what’s going well and unleashing energy to achieve the various possibilities. From ‘Effective Meetings’ to ‘Taking Responsibility for Decisions’ to Knowledge Sharing, Drucker wisely chooses to address the most likely ‘bumps’ to be encountered, irrespective of the size or industry of an organization. What he leaves out, whether it’s about formal procedures for group decision making or pertaining to the psychology of people, have been covered in "Why It’s So Hard to Be Fair" and the other readings we have done so far. While Collins’ findings on Level 5 Leadership may not resonate with every reader, it does seem plausible that a leader who doesn’t seek to hog the limelight, distributes credit to his team for successes and looks to himself when there are failures, could be an effective leader. When you distribute credit to others you are, in effect, bolstering their own sense of pride in their work. The resulting impact could be similar to that experienced by staffers when appreciative inquiry is employed. When you are looking inward and holding yourself responsible for failures, it goes back to the ideas espoused by Senge, to first evaluate how our actions and choices may affect the choices and actions of others, rather than holding them responsible, by default, for things gone awry. Together, the selection of articles complement each other well. All in all, an insightful read for those beginning to look at organizations and their inner workings.