Roles of a Leader

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The role of a leader is to help people solve problems, to offer respect and to empower individuals to do the best that they can. Find out how leaders show be graceful in loss with insight from a business management consultant in this free video on leadership.

Part of the Video Series: Leadership Skills
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Video Transcript

I'm going to talk to you now about the roles of leaders. Now, I could do this by looking at what the guru's say about leadership and leaders, and what have you. I'd prefer to do it by mixing that up with popular culture, indeed rock music and these ideas come out of my book Sex, Leadership and Rock and Roll. So I'm just going to take a few examples out there because the rolls of leaders can't be defined by one approach. So, for example, if you take Simon and Garfunkel's classic Bridge Over Troubled Water, my warped translation of this is that the leader is a team coach, and someone who helps people solve problems rather than somebody who simply directs and forces things along. From Aretha Franklin you can learn the idea of respect. If you give respect, then you will get respect back, that's the basic principal, although in some cases it may take several repetitions of that to gain back what you're looking for. The idea of empowerment that leaders aren't necessarily dictorial, that they empower others to do their best comes from Sting's classic, If You Love Someone, Set Them Free. Now, leader's can't set people free to say, do what you want. They do set a general direction and the vision, but the smart leader sets the direction, then lets people go about setting how they're going to achieve that. So the smart leader sets the direction, leaving the journey up to the employee. Finally, the song Stand By Me, for me, talks about the, the difficult area where things go wrong at work. Leadership's easy when people are doing their best and it's all going right, but it's much more important for leaders to be supportive when things go wrong. I'm not suggesting that if things go wrong repetitively that you should continue to be supportive, but everyone who's any good at anything makes mistakes. And a test of a leader is when things go wrong, that in fact they do stand by the person. So I think there's a great deal you can learn from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, rather than consulting all the text books on leadership. Try spinning some records and see what you find.


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