Management and Leadership

Character development is how you are going to sustain the success of reaching the top of the leadership ladder.

If a person has a lot of influence with you, it doesn’t mean they will automatically have the same amount of influence with somebody else. Or, they may have a lot of influence in a particular field and have no influence in another.

As I stated in an earlier article, influence is leadership and leadership is influence. Every person on the planet has the ability to influence another person. But, the level of influence a person either increases or decreases with different people and in different fields.

1. A Person’s Ability

What do leaders have? Followers. Who has the ability to influence another person or people? Everybody. Who has the ability to lead another person or people? Everybody.

We are all followers, and we all have the ability to be a leader. When we are a follower, we choose who we follow because we want to. We choose our leader because they are influencing us in a positive way.

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At the same time as being a leader and a follower, we are all managers too. Managers manage processes, procedures, policies, numbers and things. Everybody has to do this at the same time as being a leader.

When I say everybody, I mean everybody. From the lowest level of the organisation to the highest level of the organisation, we are all managers, we are all leaders, and we are all followers. Job position, title, rank and experience has nothing to do with it.

How effective your team and the other teams within your organisation will influence how effective your organisation is. Every member of your team will have a level of effectiveness.

So, it is your role to ensure that each team member is in the right role, at the right time based on their ability, and the level of trust you have with each of them.

2. Character Development

Character development is so important when it comes to leadership development as they are both equal. The level of character you and each member of your team has will influence how well you manage, how well you follow and most importantly how well you lead.

Highly effective teams are led by highly effective leaders, who develops highly effective leaders within the team. The newly developed highly effective leaders will then do their best to help the other members of the team to manage well, follow well and lead well.

Eventually developing them into highly effective leaders. The more character we develop, the more positive influence we will have with our teams and others.

We cannot develop ourselves into highly effective leaders and develop our teams into highly effective leaders if we are hoping things will happen for us.

We need to make things happen, not wishfully think things will happen. This is what low performing leaders do, and I have worked with these types of leaders before.

Low performing leaders do not lead people, they manage people. Earlier, we determined that managers manage policies, procedures, process, numbers and things. You cannot manage people and treat them like numbers or things.

This creates a toxic culture within the team and the feeling the team have when at work is very negative. Every person on the planet can work on themselves every day and develop their leadership ability. But does everybody want to? Unfortunately, not.

3. Followers

A follower chooses who their leader is. I have chosen my leader and I know you have chosen your leader. They don’t necessarily have to be in the workplace either. A leader who does not have followers is not a leader.

If you have a position of manager or supervisor and you have a team of people who report into you as their line manager, then that alone doesn’t make you, their leader. You may have authority of your team and influence them to a certain level, but that still doesn’t mean they have chosen you to be their leader.

They may only follow you because they have to not because they want to.

There is a huge difference between following a manager or supervisor because you have to (e.g. to keep your job, to get paid etc.) and following a manager or supervisor because you want to (e.g. they influence you positively and make you feel great).

To change and develop your organisation into the most attractive in your industry, then you need to your values and develop your character. You need to help change the values and develop the character of your team too.

When you look at your organisational chart, do you consider the directors, managers and supervisors to be leaders? A lot of people do because they have the formal positions and job titles. But, you now know that isn’t true. A leader is not determined by their title or position.

An organisational chart is a chart of managers, not chart of leaders. The people you see on that chart are responsible for managing policies, procedures, processes and things.

They are not the people who are going to make your organisation the most attractive in your industry. It is the leaders who will do that, and that includes you and your team.

Not everybody in your organisation is being developed into a highly effective leader, which is a huge shame because everybody within your organisation is already a leader.

4. Leadership Development

Due to the lack of leadership development of most of the people, it is highly likely that they are influencing your culture in a negative way rather than a positive way. It is imperative that these people are developed in such a way that they change, and influence your culture in a positive way.

When you influence the people in the organisation to develop their leadership ability, you will see and feel the culture change into a highly effective leadership culture. You will see and feel the positivity within everybody.

This is how your organisation will become the most attractive in your industry. People from outside will be spreading positivity about your organisation because of the influence you are having on them.

Leadership development of everybody is where it must begin, and I mean from the lowest levels of the organisation to the highest. Every single person within your organisation needs leadership development.

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Only then will everybody within your organisation say positive things to the people outside, and attract more great people to want to a part of it. Highly effective leadership culture is where your organisation must reach if you want to have highly effective teams.

You cannot develop a highly effective team on a normal or average culture that is sometimes positive and sometimes negative.

How well your team manage policies, procedures, processes and things is just as important as how well they lead themselves and others.

It is also just as important how well they serve the people outside your organisation and develop positivity within the community. The more positivity you and your team can develop outside, the more attractive your organisation will become in your industry.

An organisation has the ability to be the most innovative, most adaptable and be the most positive in their industry. They can only do this if they have a highly effective leadership culture and develop the leadership ability of its people.

I welcome hearing how this post has influenced the way you think, the way you lead, or the results you have achieved because of what you’ve learned in it. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below.

Check out my other articles by Clicking HERE

All the best,

Tom (LeadGrowInfluence)

8 thoughts on “Management and Leadership

  1. Thank you for a great article. It was a good reminder to learn that leadership is not automatic, just because you are a manager doesn’t make you a leader as people did not choose to follow you. I needed that reminder. One has to develop themselves for such. Thank you very well put.

    1. Hi Thabo,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on my article.

      You are absolutely right, being a manager doesn’t automatically make you a leader. There is a lot more work required to grow into a leader from a manager’s position.

      Keep working on yourself and helping your people to work on themselves to grow into leaders too.

      All the best,

      Tom

  2. Hi Tom,

    I am intrigued by your articles on how to grow your leadership and I wondered if you have any background in management studies or education? Or have you developed all this knowledge on your own? I will surely check out your e book for more information, thanks!

    1. Hi Lizzy,

      Thank you for your comment and great question.

      I don’t have a specific education/teaching background. I have written books and created online courses on the topics from my own study and experiences. I am working on building a new mentorship for Engineering Managers, as I have a longer background in engineering along with leadership and I would love to give back.

      If you would like to talk more on this topic then please do get in touch.

      All the best,

      Tom

  3. Tom, your insights into character development and leadership are spot on. You’ve highlighted the critical point that leadership is not merely defined by titles but by the positive influence one has on others.
    I’m curious, how do you suggest organizations effectively implement leadership development from the ground up, ensuring that everyone in the team contributes to a highly effective leadership culture?

    1. Hi Carl,

      Thank you for your inspiring words on your comment.

      I appreciate the specific areas that resonated with you and how you have shared that. Organisations must implement leadership development from the ground up from the top of the organisation. A new change and vision like that must come from the leader of the organisation, and he/she must share that vision with everyone.

      It is not an easy task that will happen overnight. It is a programme that must involve everybody.

      All the best,

      Tom

  4. Character development to me is the foundation of how successful we become in all departments of our lives. Our character determines how much we are trusted by others and how effective we are in our communications and interactions. Thanks, Tom, for these many insights.

    1. Hi Joseph,

      I appreciate your comment.

      You are right, character development affects all parts of our lives and that is why we need to but a lot more emphasis and focus on developing ourselves.

      Keep working on developing your character and helping your people to do the same.

      All the best,

      Tom

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