Leadership has been described as,”a process of social influence in which a person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task”. Some understand a leader simply as somebody who people follow, or as somebody who guides or directs others. Others define leadership as motivating and organizing a group of people to achieve a common goal. Not long ago I stumbled across a very interesting article by John P. Kotter, a renowned Professor of Leadership at the Harvard Business School. The article revised the process of successfully implementing a broad changes in large corporations such as moving towards using a new ERP system. The topics that he covered were about handling all the difficulties along the way and workingthrough 8 major errors that need to be avoided by the company’s administrative backbone. I chose to concentrate on 3 of these errors.
Take Lebron James (NBA basketball star and a walking brand on and outside of the court) for example. LBJ’s situation can be compared to a typical CEO, Chief Of Staff or Office\Department Manager, basically every man who has employees working for him. I do not claim to be an N.B.A expert but looking at Lebron in action, I feel it is safe to say he definitely has the rest of the players on his team working for him (even the coach for that matter). A lot can be discovered by examining how exactly these types of people manage to create an environment that gives them the mandate to lead, but one thing’s for sure, talent is without a doubt one of the main qualities. The top 3 thumb rules below should help readers best suit my wish to show the importance of top leadership during major process of an organization-whether for Lebron to take his team to the finals, or for the CEO and his co-managers to flawlessly implement a new ERP system (obviously)
Rule of Thumb #1: Creating the Vision
Create a fully comprehensive Big Plan that helps direct those who follow and onboarding them with whatever needed, according to the desired strategy. Lebron needs to a light fire in his team-mateswhen an important stop is needed the same way a manager needs his employees cooperation to sustain a predicted drop in a company’s stock value for example. Managers want thier workers to quickly respond to events- such as a stock drop , and will come up with their utmost intensity and poise. Vision is crucial for that cooperation claims Kotter. Therefore, a transition as large as installing new widespread software across all departments has to have a clear vision of why this is being made, how and in expense of what-so that employees will onboard easily.
Rule of Thumb #2 – Communicating the Vision
A leader needs to communicate with his subordinates so they’ll get onboard with whatever’s going on. This can be achieved by creating a guiding coalition that will endow such needed principles on the hearts of its subjects. In a company this is a job for the administrative backbone. In the N.B.A it is known nowadays that for a team to significantly increase its chance to win a title, it has to have a “Trio”-meaning, 3 top players who together play as role-models for the rest of the team, thus improving them when implementing an ERP system- concentrated days should be devoted for communicating to the workers, via films, lectures, tours around the ERP supplier’s factory and every other thing that will help them understand the transition.
Rule of Thumb #3 – Empowering Others to Act on the Vision
This directly connects to the second rule and, basically, is the form of utilization of it. In plain words, giving the others the chance to show that they can execute the vision, and in our own context-letting workers experience the software and be a part of the process.
It is no coincidence that all three address the part of the vision, since without a proper one, there is no chance for anybody-leaders or commons, to succeed in delivering their assignment, complex like ERP implementation and simpler tasks for that matter as well. Call me Old-School if you want to, but there is a good example that I think emphasize perfectly the difference between a Manager\Supervisor and a True Humble Leader… MJ, you are still the best that ever played this game.