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    Entries in Efficiency (3)


    How to Lead: Influence By Relationships

    Leadership is influencing and motivating others to work towards an established goal that furthers their organization and/or movement. Where there is any strong leader, there is a group of followers willing to be led. As such, it is the leader ‘s responsibility to establish goals to measure the progress of their leadership, in turn allowing those being led to evaluate themselves within the context of the group.

    The use of autonomy and ownership harness group enthusiasm and allows group members to work towards a mutually established goal rather than the goal or solution assigned by the leader. Motivation allows leaders to use the skills within the group, freeing them up to oversee the group and cast a continuous vision as progress is made. A leader is ultimately measured by is effectiveness, and because of that, the team surrounding them must be equipped and managed to support the goals of that leader.

    The act of managing fulfills many principles of leadership. Motivating and mobilizing workers, bringing out team strengths and working through team weakness ‘ are just two small aspects to the role management undertakes. The role of the manager can often be overlooked in the name of team leadership, as teams breakdown barriers and help to balance the disbursement of duties. Although effective, teams without a central vision and visionary behind it risk losing focus and developing large inefficiencies.

    One of the key oversights that leaders fail to release is their responsibility to cast vision and set organizational goals. Although managers require leadership skills to motivate subordinates to complete the task at hand, leading as a concept maintains a much more macro view of any given situation of conflict.

    The responsibility of a leader is to maintain a ‘trailblazing ‘ attitude, paving the way for others to follow, casting vision that sets the direction for organizations ranging from 10 to 10 million people. Leaders must have a diverse skill set and have the ability to prioritize and conceptualize solutions in order to maximize and define their role as a leader, differentiating themselves from managers who focus more on keeping teams on track and motivating employees. Servant leadership essentially elevates others to greater levels and motivates the team as a whole, increasing employee moral and developing inter company relationships.


    Stress Is Inefficient

    The issue of stress in the workplace is becoming a growing concern amongst managers and organizations everywhere. Workloads are on the rise, and in order to accommodate, so are the hours being put in by employees. Organizational structure prevents managers from addressing stress in high levels outside of the realm of the organization.

    By increasing workflow and communication within the organization, managers can limit workplace stress, attempting to isolate employee stress to issues within their personal life. Maintaining a low level of workplace stress is vital to the success of an organization practically in that is minimizes health concerns of employees, saving the organization potential heath benefit costs and lost hours to allow for recovery. By minimizing both physiological and psychological symptoms, managers can work with employees to address the issues at the source, breeding relational community at multiple organizational levels.

    Managing the needs of employees (both at home and at work) is vital to the longevity of any organization. Designing programs to help alleviate workplace stress, and assist in employee efficiency is a necessary step to successful management and a healthy workplace. As each employee comes from different situations and circumstances, it is important that these programs take into consideration the varying degree of employee values and expectations. The degree to which employees embrace the ideals of a healthy workplace directly relates to the ability to the organization to decrease workplace stress and increase productivity.

    One of the keys to minimize workplace stress is instilling order within the organization. It is important for management to take the initiative in breeding a stress-free work environment, using both programs and positive reinforcement to break stressful habits and encourage workplace community. Lower levels of workplace stress decrease employee turnover, boost morale and increase productivity, essentially helping organizations to become better equipped to run much more effectively. Career planning is a commonly utilized management tool, as it removes the barrier that upper-management often faces between their employees, and allows for a sense of worth an importance to be maintained at every level of the organization.


    Set a Plan, Walk the Path

    It's so easy to throw out New Years Resolutions: "Lose Weight" "Work Less" "Shed Debt" but how often do we look at our January 1st pledge in October and legitimately say, "I've done well."

    So many bloggers write posts about how the next year will be different, where they went wrong in the past year or how they plan to change.  Last year, at about this time, I developed a list a 9 goals...3 personal, 3 spiritual and 3 professional...but ALL measurable.  These goals weren't "lost weight" but rather "lose 10 pounds."  They didn't say, "be nicer" but rather said "foster relationships with 3 people that you aren't initially drawn too."

    These examples, are just that; examples...but you get the point.  Being specific is critical to measuring any objective.  When you're setting the company budget for the year, I'm sure your boss wouldn't be appreciative if you said your top 3 objectives were to: Increase Sales, Improve Efficiency & Lower Costs.  Although each of these are great goals...when you get to December can you measure them?  If sales increase by $50...were you successful?  If you lowered costs by $7.45, did you achieve what you set out to do?

    If you worked at JMA, the answer would be no.

    Set tangible, measurable goals that will allow you to at anytime measure how successful you were and track the growth towards your objective.