My Article Database: Free Articles for Teaching and Studying English as a Foreign Language in China - by Paul Sparks




 Homepage
 About Me
 Teachers
 Students
 Lessons
 Photographs
 Links
 World News
 ICQ Chat
 Contact Me
 Articles
 
My Article Database:

 

Accounting
Acne
Adsense
Advertising
Aerobics
Affiliate
Alternative
Articles
Attraction
Auctions
Audio Streaming
Auto Care
Auto Parts
Auto Responder
Aviation
Babies Toddler
Baby
Bankruptcy
Bathroom
Beauty
Bedroom
Blogging
Body Building
Book Marketing
Book Review
Branding
Breast Cancer
Broadband Internet
Business
Business Loan
Business Plan
Cancer
Car Buying
Career
Car Insurance
Car Loan
Car Maintenance
Cars
Casino
Cell Phone
Chat
Christmas
Claims
Coaching
Coffee
College University
Computer Tips
Cooking
Cooking Tips
Copywriting
Cosmetics
Craft
Creative Writing
Credit
Credit Cards
Credit Repair
Currency Trading
Data Recovery
Dating
Debt Relief
Diabetics
Diet
Digital Camera
Diving
Divorce
Domain
Driving Tips
Ebay
Ebook
Ecommerce
Email Marketing
E Marketing
Essay
Ezine
Fashion
Finance
Fishing
Fitness
Flu
Furniture
Gambling
Golf
Google
GPS
Hair
Hair Loss
HDTV
Health Insurance
Heart Disease
Hobbies
Holiday
Home Business
Home Improvement
Home Organization
Interior Design
Internet Tips
Investment
Jewelry
Kitchen
Ladies Accessories
Lawyer
LCD / PLASMA
Legal
Life Insurance

Return to Articles about Careers

A New Age Of Small-Unit Leadership

by: Brent Filson
PERMISSION TO REPUBLISH: This article may be republished in newsletters and on web sites provided attribution is provided to the author, and it appears with the included copyright, resource box and live web site link. Email notice of intent to publish is appreciated but not required: mail to: brent@actionleadership.com

Word count: 828

===========================================
Summary: Brent Filson asserts that the key to organizational success is not just a function of large movements of capital, people, and infrastructure but in a single, priceless aspect, small-unit leadership. He offers suggestions on how to develop and institute small-unit leadership in your organization.
===========================================
A New Age Of Small-Unit Leadership
By Brent Filson

Recent mergers in many industries remind me of a point that
Gen. Dwight Eisenhower often made, "Generals move the pins on a map," he would say, "but the front-line troops have to get the job done."

And the key to the job is leadership, small-unit leadership, leadership of the most basic units or teams of an organization.

Without good leadership in front-line units the squad leaders and platoon commanders or their business counterparts, the supervisors and first-level managers organizations stumble, no matter how skillfully the pins are moved on the map.

Yet in bringing leadership programs to many businesses in a variety of industries during the past 20 plus years, I've seen many companies neglecting small-unit leadership.

Time and again, I have seen technologists promoted right off the lab bench to become team leaders; I've seen assembly workers promoted off the line to be supervisors; and salespeople made local managers and yet they were not helped in substantive ways with their leadership skills.

Instead, their employers were focusing on the pins and maps, the re-engineering, acquisitions and divestitures.

Sure, the stocks of those businesses got quick boosts, but I wonder how well-positioned the businesses are to achieve consistent earnings growth over the long haul without skilled, small-unit leadership.

Consistent earnings' growth is linked to consistent top-line growth. Such growth rests on a tripod. One leg is strategy, the pins on the map; the other leg is resources; and the third leg is execution. Small-unit leadership is the execution leg.

So I submit that in the coming years, businesses will come to realize the importance of small-unit leadership to top-line growth and earnings' growth.

In fact, the coming years will reveal an exciting new age in small-unit leadership. Businesses that champion such leadership will be tremendously competitive.

Here are a few ideas on how to make it happen.

First, the CEO and senior executives must recognize the vital importance of small-unit leadership. I'm not talking about their simply paying lip service but having instead a passionate conviction that small-unit leadership is indispensable to growth.

Senior executives must encourage small-unit leaders. Celebrate their achievements. Help them overcome their failures. Measure their leadership performance. Develop compensation that stimulates them to advance as leaders.

The Marine Corps, an organization with a robust tradition of small-unit leadership, has institutionalized high-level commitment to small-unit leaders. For instance, in chow lines in the field, the lowest ranking troops eat first, the highest ranking last.

(How might the cultures of some organizations start to be changed for the better if, for instance, its executives gave small-unit leaders parking perks, while they, the executives, took their chances in the main lot?)

Top leaders who demonstrate commitment to their small-unit leaders will have committed small-unit leaders.

Without top-down commitment, effective small-unit leadership will not flourish through the whole business but instead in relatively ineffective, scattered islands.

But top-level commitment, though necessary, is not sufficient. A passion for small-unit leadership should soak the entire culture of the organization. Everybody must catch the spirit of and contribute to maintaining a culture of small-unit leadership excellence.

The word culture comes from the Latin root meaning "to cultivate." To grow small-unit leaders, everybody in the organization must cultivate them. Spot them early. Bring mentors into their lives. Set their expectations high, not only for themselves but for their colleagues and leaders above them. Encourage them to develop leadership in others.

A successful executive told me that his career was changed by a small-unit leader. At one time, the executive was a high school dropout working on the assembly line.

"During breaks," he said, "I always had people gathered around me. I had this knack of getting them interested in what I had to say. One day, my supervisor told me something that changed my life. He said, 'I've been watching you with people, and you're a natural leader. With more education, you could go far.'"

The executive said, "Until then, I had never looked at myself as a leader. Suddenly, I had a vision in life. I was something I didn't know I was: a leader. I finished high school, went to college, and came back here.

"That supervisor 's passion for leadership defined my career.. He was always spotting potential leaders and helping them become leaders. His teams consistently racked up the numbers because of his leadership. He had me understand that his level of leadership is tremendously important in our company."

Finally, the business that is serious about small-unit leadership must systematically develop them through well-thought-out, comprehensive training programs.

In the coming New Age of Small-Unit Leadership, leadership development people will have extremely important roles to play. They will be seen as some of the most important leaders in the organization, since their interaction with small-unit leaders will be contributing directly to top-line growth, to having people get the job done where ever the generals place their pins in the map.

=============================
2005 The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
=============================
The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He is founder and president of The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. and has worked with thousands of leaders worldwide during the past 20 years helping them achieve sizable increases in hard, measured results. Sign up for his free leadership ezine and get a free guide, "49 Ways To Turn Action Into Results," at www.actionleadership.com

About the Author

The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He has worked with thousands of leaders worldwide during the past 20 years helping them achieve sizable increases in hard, measured results. Sign up for his free leadership ezine and get a free guide, "49 Ways To Turn Action Into Results," at www.actionleadership.com

 

New! Watch Online Articles with YouTube for Free:

 

 

 

 

Click Here to Return to Top of Page