November 29, 2005

Defining Leadership

There are many characteristics that define effective leaders. Today in class, we had a discussion on leadership and listed some characteristics of effective leaders This list included, but was not limited to, being able to motivate, communicate effectively, make changes through people, create a vision, lead by example, being charismatic, proactive, fun, enthusiastic, knowledgeable, actively engaged, respected, trustworthy, optimistic, diplomatic, and grounded. I think that these are good descriptive characteristics of an effective leader. As I was leaving, I began thinking about the question that I asked during class - "is a hands off approach a method of trying to make future leaders?" Well, I was given the quick answer of NO and thought this was very interesting.

After I thought about it for awhile, I was actually able to come up with an example of when this is true - that it is not an approach to create future leaders, but rather an attempt to get the incentive involved (money, benefits, and job security). This summer I had an opportunity to work at the Super Target in Shoreview, Minnesota. It was an awesome experience, but I do not think that the leadership was that great. Yes, I realize that there are various styles of leadership but this seemed to be more of an attempt of the supervisor just wanting to basically get through the day and as stated in class "just come around when there were issues or problems in the department".

In this case, the individual did not have to have the knowledge to lead because he had team members who were more knowledgeable, he was unable to give direction and although the department did well in sales, I would never say that it was based on his leadership abilities. So, I guess the question is, was his inability to lead because of the fact that he was uninterested in the position and was in it for the money? You know, it seems strange that he is even in this position, because of the many people at Target in the Grocery Department; he was one of few with a 4 year degree.

Easy task, for easy money, and a lot of money at that!!

Posted by at November 29, 2005 2:28 PM