Modern Machine Shop

OCT 2018

Modern Machine Shop is focused on all aspects of metalworking technology - Providing the new product technologies; process solutions; supplier listings; business management; networking; and event information that companies need to be competitive.

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Page 29 of 147

COMPETING IDEAS MMS OCTOBER 2018 28 Manufacturing Management Six Points on Effective Leadership WAYNE S. CHANESKI | COLUMNIST Anyone placed in a leadership position must ultimately develop their own leadership style. These points will help that development. Thousands of books and arti- cles have been written about leadership claiming to deliver useful information about what it takes to lead others to a desired outcome. John C. Maxwell is probably one of the most accomplished authors on the topic, having written such best-selling books as "Leader- ship 101" and "The 21 Irrefut- able Laws of Leadership." Any publication can describe the basics of leadership, and many even share examples of how people have led others to achieve great things. However, anyone faced with the need to lead must ultimately develop their own leadership style—one that will allow them to achieve their own desired outcomes. The following points should be consid- ered as you develop your personal leadership style. • Learn leadership. Maxwell advocates learning about leadership by reading books, attending sem- inars and classes, and having patience. Patience is required, as it takes time to become a good leader and even longer to become a great one. Like many things, the more opportunities in which you put your leadership skills to use, the more e…ective you will become. Do not get frustrated if early leadership experiences do not put you in the same class as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill or Alexander the Great. With practice, self-awareness of your strengths and weaknesses, and a little patience, there is a good chance you will learn the skills needed to compel others to follow. • Do not blame others, and do not make excuses. Good leaders do not place blame or make excuses; however, many in management do. It is disheartening to hear people blame their employ- ees when things go wrong, but this habit may be so ingrained in some people that they do not even realize they are doing it. Still, blaming employees is a glaring example of a manager's incompetence. After all, it is ultimately a manager's responsibil- ity to get their employees to achieve results, so blaming employees is really exhibiting self-blame. Likewise, regularly making excuses for things not happening demonstrates an inability to overcome obstacles, a sure sign of managerial weakness. • Know the environment. A company's envi- ronment can vary between departments and at di…erent times. Because of this, it is essential for a leader to regularly check the "pulse" of his or her environment. If it is such that there is little employee cooperation, rampant passive aggres- sive behavior (watch out for that hole you just fell into), or a reward system that is out of sync with performance, it will be di"cult for anyone to lead. Such behaviors must be identified and actions taken until the environment transitions to one in which respect, open communication and collabo- ration are the norm.

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