Leadership is a popular area of research. It is also a practical skill which covers the ability of an individual or organisation to “lead” or guide other individuals, teams, or entire organization’s. Leadership books have a tendency to focus on what makes an exceptional candidate. Studies of leadership have produced theories involving:
- situational interaction,
- vision and values,
- charisma, and
This is all well and good but what about the rest of us? It’s clear that the number of leadership styles on offer is both exhausting and exhaustive. But I’ve yet to hear an expert provide tips on how to be an effective subordinate. This omission seems a little strange and incongruous. Surely if it’s worthwhile studying how to be an awesome leader, or manager, then why not take the next logical step. Why not try to define how everyone else in the company should behave and act?
Here’s a couple of suggestions:
- Great subordinates aren’t necessarily keen to rise and progress in the company. These employees may have talent but they feel fulfilled in the jobs they have. They don’t want to focus on corporate life, or on career development. Just doing a good job that they enjoy is reward enough.
- More junior members of staff should take responsibility for a team. And not only that, but for their relationships with leaders. There should be no barriers preventing them from telling the boss what is going on at the coal face. This should be true even if the news isn’t all that great. Just be careful, not to frame it as a problem. Leaders really hate problems without at least a handful of ideas as to how to fix it.
Of course, all of this is easier said than done. But maybe the real secret to being a good leader is to have subordinates who have self-respect and self-esteem, regardless of how well (or badly) the leader does or acts.
What do you think? Leave a comment below: