The book entitled Successful Leadership by, Carol O’ Conner discusses seven areas that are essential for successful leadership. Developing Awareness, understanding people, power and authority, communication, decision making, creating a vision, and taking charge are important leadership requirements and skills. Seven chapters in this book are based on the seven concepts just mentioned.
Chapter 1 Developing Awareness covers four aspects of the development of self-awareness: leadership basics, self – assessment, following the leader, and personal development. Three common beliefs about leadership are leaders are born to their role, certain qualities make a leader, and situations create leaders who emerge to meet the needs of a specific group, time, or place. When the task is complete, these leaders retire from their roles. Leaders need to assess their own performance first. This offers a baseline against which colleagues’ comments, considered carefully, may be set. A leader can judge whether or not their coworkers comments are helpful, appropriate or signal a need for a change in behavior by using their own strong, self-image, personal goals, and high performance standards. Effective leaders are able to practice self-assessment by being honest with themselves and not trying to create a fantasy image. People are more willing to follow someone who exhibits positive leadership behaviors rather than negative ones. A positive leader shows fairness, listens well, exhibits integrity, motivates team members, and knows project thoroughly. On the other hand, a negative leader is impatient with slow thinkers, shows favoritism, gives unclear directions, does not share information/knowledge and chooses friends regardless of their skills. Assessment of both positive and negative leadership behaviors provides a basis for improved performance. Positive and negative items can be organized into three areas for development, which are skills, knowledge, and experience. A plan of action uses these three areas and goals are set to improve upon these areas.
Chapter 2 is called Understanding People. Topics related to this theme are motivation, rewards and values, and inspiration. Individuals are motivated to satisfy different needs at different times. One pioneer in the study of motivation is Abraham Maslow. He proposed there is a hierarchy of needs with five different levels. As individuals satisfy all of the needs on each of these levels, they are then naturally motivated to progress and satisfy the needs on the next level. The hierarchy of needs is generally presented in the form of a pyramid. Meaning, purpose is at the top, next self-confidence, creativity, individual achievement, then family, friends, caring relationships, followed by personal safety and a source of income, and at the bottom is food, clothing, and shelter. This model suggests motivation develops in a sequence. Leaders need to recognize each individual’s...