Tuesday, August 27, 2013

DEVELOPING LEADERSHIP SKILLS Part 4: Do you want Recognition and Achievement or just Achievement?

Do you want Recognition & Achievement
or just Achievement?

Some leaders require that they get recognition for what they have done and some only want the mission to succeed.  Again, this is less about being the right type, though you need to know how to do both, but more about what type of leader you are.

This is not a moral choice, nor is it a good, better, best type of thing.  You just need to know if you are the type of leader who needs to be recognized for your achievement or the type that just needs to know that you have achieved or satisfied the mission.  You also need to be aware that this may change over time.  Do not get confused when you approach this section, thinking things like, “Pride precedes the fall,” and needing recognition is prideful; or, “without recognition, what does it matter?”  This is just a fact finding type of thing.  If you know what your optimal leadership style is, you will be able to be a better leader than if you listen to what others think everyone’s optimal leadership style is.

Finding out if you work better with feedback about your success or effort is important, and somewhat soul searching. Here is an exercise that will help you find out which you are, if you don’t already know.

The class leader has a basket with tasks for you to accomplish in your group in the next 2 minutes.  For example, you might be asked to make sure everyone knows what time a particular class, seminar or event is.  Your job is to get everyone in your class, and building if it does not interfere with what they are doing, to know the time for that event. Once you have your task, you will be told to Go.  You have 2 minutes to get it done. You must organize your team, or do it yourself, and when you are done, return the task slip to the class leader.  Then answer the questions below as quickly as possible.

1) Did you do it by yourself?     Yes   No

2) What did you say, or did you have your team say, to get the task done? 


3) How were you received by the people you were talking to or by your team?


4) How successful were you? _______________________


5) How did you feel about the exercise? _______________


6) Were you worried about succeeding?  Yes   No

7) Were you worried about how you looked to others during the exercise?  Yes   No

8) At the end of the exercise, when everyone has done it, the leader will pull the tasks out, and ask “Who was in charge of this?”  You do not answer.  Listen to what others say. _____________________________________________


Now, review your answers above, with a teammate, and find out if you needed to be recognized for your effort as you achieved success, or if success was all that mattered. 

Remember, it does not matter which type of leader you are. ou just need to know which makes you the most comfortable.

What did you discover ______________________________



When I sold life insurance, I had a friend that was going to be fired if he did not sell enough within the next two weeks. He was terrified.  I was out on a call with him, and one of his prospects, who would have made his required quota, wanted to think for a few weeks.  So I told the guy that I needed a decision so I was not fired.  They guy respected that, so he chose to buy the product right then.  On the way out, the other sales person asked why I had said what I did.  I told him that he asked me to come out and help him keep his job.  I noticed that they guy was just yanking our chain, so I opted for the truth, so to speak.  The salesmen than asked if I wanted credit for the sale along with him.  I said no.  If I got any credit, he would still be short.  I did not need to credit, he did.  So we were successful.

At another time, I was teaching a class a few decades ago, and one of the students was bored.  I did not want him to think less of me, the junior instructor, or worse yet quit, so I tossed the lesson plan I was required to teach out of my mind, and taught what he needed to learn to stay motivated. At the end of the class, he came up to me and said, that was the best class I have ever had.  What did you do differently? I told him I tossed the required lesson plan out.  He told me to do that more often.  I asked him to tell my instructor that. I needed the recognition.  At different times in our lives, we need different things.


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