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Paula Marshall's Blog

The musings of a female CEO, trying to change the way business is done.

One of the things most sorely lacking in today’s business climate is true leadership. There’s enough management to fill all the cubicles in all the world, but leaders? Leader is a much more intimidating word.
Managers tell subordinates what to do and how to do it. Leaders show their team how to behave, what their roles are, and how they can all work together to make their customers lives’ better.
Organic leadership involves cooperating with other members of the organization, listening to everyone, and valuing every contribution. One of the core principles of Organic Leadership, and the one that is the hardest for most people, is confrontation. Most people in our society today  fear daily confrontation so much, that they avoid it until an issue grows into an elephant in the room. They vent to their spouses, friends and other coworkers about issues in the workplace that could have been resolved with a small conversation.

Leaders take daily confrontations and turn them into the possibility to educate and learn. When someone is making a small mistake, take that opportunity to confront them early on when the problem is first noticed. Don’t reprimand the person, but explain the problem and the solution. Explain why it is better for the customer if the task is performed this way. Use the confrontation as a learning opportunity. Don’t use it as a power trip, or an excuse to demonstrate your superior knowledge, but as a way to share your knowledge with others and listen to others.

So much of Management Principles are about group dynamics and Organizational Behavior. These principles still apply to leadership, but they become much more simplified when one principle is understood. People are not born under whelmed, removed and checked out. The natural state of the human mind is to be contributing, creating and engaged. By listening to and valuing our workforce, we can return them to this natural state of participation. When a workforce is heard and respected they become uplifted and ready to fulfill their tasks to the highest of their ability. This removes the necessity for complex competing relationships in the workplace. When workers are bored and removed from their jobs, they search for workplace drama and gossip to fill the void. When problems are neutralized from the beginning, and everyone is involved in the teaching process, because they all want the best for the customer, then there is no room for excess drama. 

In closing, here are the core principals of becoming a leader in the Bama Companies, regardless of your position: 

1. Willing to listen to others.

 

2. A belief that everyone in the organization wants to make a contribution.

 

3. Positive, optimistic attitude towards others and an interest in their well-being.

 

4. A conscious effort to point out what others do correctly.

 

5. Willing to involve input from others and be open to diverse ideas.

 

6. Sees mistakes as an opportunity to correct and improve operations.

 

7. Motivates through encouragement and appreciation.

 

8. Focuses on cooperation instead of competition.

 

9. Appreciates how others perceive situations instead of just my own point of view.

 

10. Recognizes that people take pride in their work when they feel good about themselves and what they are doing.

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