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The Leadership Problem You Must Solve before You Succeed

When you hear people talk of leadership, you notice that ultimately followership is mentioned. It's never a coincidence that leadership always go alongside followership. But the big question is, how do you lead people, making them obey what you say without imposing it on them?
Humans are the most difficult entities to lead because they have their own will with good reasons why they shouldn't do yours. But the ultimate goal of leadership is the overall good for everyone. And so what?

How Leaders Have Once Ruled

Considering how difficult it can be for humans to be led, leaders had once used coercive methods to lead. They ensured that all decisions were directly imposed on the followers so that their autocratic and authoritarian status is perpetually protected. Would you blame them for that?

Effective leadership is often a mix of tolerance and action. Whereas on hand draws in love and peace, a leader may sometimes switch into a more powerful mode where the followers see a combination of rage and self-control.
Modern methods of leadership describe leadership as an ability that can be developed to the point where the people naturally follows the leader without the exertion of force or rage. But it must be remembered that humans will always show up their stubbornness and one would expect a show of rage at varying points in a leader's life.
Now, what are the problems of leadership?

Problems in Leadership

The problems of leadership cover a very broad spectrum that cannot be exhausted completely in this single post. It will actually need more than a whole mega library to fully exhaust the topic of leadership and its problems. I would like to x-ray the problems of leadership under two broad sub-headings;
  • The Leadership Abilities
Here, the leader's abilities are brought to questioning. Leadership competence is of the utmost importance when leadership is being discussed. People that have committed themselves to the quest of leadership always realise that leadership development is often a life-long training involving times of very grave mistakes and victories all together. But one thing every determined leader possess is the will never to quit after every or any mistake.
Problems of leadership can be due to the leader's incompetence in handling humans or certain aspects of the index organisation or group. I will not go to list the specific examples of problems that are due to the leader's inabilities but I do hope you already have a grasp of what I mean in this section.

  • The Follower's Compliance 
Followers compliance is often a consequence of the leader's abilities. However, even in the most effective leadership setting, followers rebellions are bound to surface at some point. An understanding of the fact that some problems can be due to the followers' mal-attitude towards the leader or his leadership will be extremely useful in solving some of those problems.
The term "followership" directly complements the "leadership" because there are no leaders without followers. The use of the term "followership" even sounds really awkward. And some scholars and schools of thoughts are beginning to stress a change of terminologies from "leaders" and "followers" to something somewhat friendly and less opposite. That is to say, it could change from leaders and followers to leaders and supporters.

We are closer to the section that reveals the most important problem in leadership but let me briefly, I mean briefly spell out who exactly the leaders are.

Who Are The Leaders

Have you ever looked at yourself and imagined what position you occupy in the place of leadership? Many times you would look around and place yourself at the followers' stand and you would say that you are never a leader.
In this my earlier post, I talked about how you can always work on your areas of deficiencies. You may not be electorally selected or otherwise appointed as a leader at this time but that does not mean you are not a leader still.
John C. Maxwell simply defined 'Leadership as influence', one of the simplest yet most all-encompassing definitions of leadership. Steven Covey also demonstrated in his book "The Seven Secrets of Highly Effective People", that you can enlarge your circle of influence by acquiring more skills and ability and relationship.
All points to the common point that you are a leader too, in your very own sphere of influence.

The Leadership Problem You Must Solve

This story will help me to explain what I mean by the most important problem you must solve.

A man had two children, a boy and a girl, who were loved fondly by both of their parents. Their mother, Uliha was a deeply dark-skinned African lady who was lovely and always cheerful with no moments of boredom around her. But there are times when her face would become cloudy with no little fold of smiles. She would frown her supposedly beautiful face until the facial markings looked somewhat like a masquerade mask. 
But such scary situations are only induced by the burning heat of the sun hitting her back as she works on her small tomato farm. 

The two children would customarily be distributed accordingly, the boy with the father to assist in his carpentry works and the young beautiful girl would be with her mother on her tomato farm. 
The little girl would always notice her mother's stony face surprisingly and questioned within her if someone offends her mother. She was really observant to notice the masquerade mask on her mother's face each time she worked, but that was not all she noticed. She saw how her mother meticulously tilled the ground and selectively place five seeds into a hole. The precision with which she picked the seeds and accurately drops three into the tiny hole was something she considered amazing. But she would later start planting seeds too, so she just had to learn. 

The truth is, no matter how difficult the task was for her mother, she just preferred to do it anyway until there is someone that can do it the way she wants. 

Now, let's come back here for a short while. Am I saying she can get some rest and be saved from these masquerade looks if she finds someone that can take her place efficiently? That's exactly what I am saying. 

In this new era of politics, the concept of continuity has been unturned and it would take only prepared leadership minds to turn it back. Every true leader knows they cannot lead forever. But the greatest fear of a true leader, not one that wants to benefit in some forms and run away, is that they want their subs' to be able to do it in their stead when they leave. True leaders are those that have
That level of confidence that you'd leave and be sure they are doing it just the way you'd want it. How can you make this happen?

Solving The Big Problem

There is a part of the story I barely talked about. The little girl grew up shortly after and her mother could take some breaks when she is at the farm. How was the mother able to achieve this feat?

Here are some ways of solving this problem;
1. Encourage Them To Watch And Learn.
Observation they say is the mother of learning. By making her feel comfortable, the girl's mother encouraged her to watch, learn and get better. She would let her use a wooden matchet to till the ground sometimes.
Whichever way you want to do it, you must try to encourage active participation of the members of your group that you are leading.

2. Design Ways To Reward Their Success.
When she did something close to being successful, even if it is not exactly the best her mother wanted, she is always motivated by the response she got from her mother. There was a constant reason to do better.

3. Learn To Ignore Subtle Errors.
In the course of experimenting, the young girl had moved on to using the real metallic hoe on a wooden handle. That's not to say that she didn't destroy some plants many times. Her mother simply learned to ignore those subtle mistakes just to make her feel more confident.

4. Make Them Know Their Mistakes:
It takes extreme sensitivity to being able to differentiate between 'subtle errors that should be ignored' and 'those for which disciplinary actions should be taken'. Knowing this will enable you to know when you need to take such actions in other to point out their mistakes, especially when they so underestimate it.

5. Draw Them Back After Scolding: 
A little child does not say you should not scold him but he says when he is done crying, you should not close your arms when he is running back into them.
An older child says you shouldn't scold them at all, but when you have done so, never forget to open up those arms and call them in.
A more matured person tries not to do some wrong, but when he does, he does not need you to tell them about it a thousand times over.

Leadership Is Influence

Leaders must try to make their followers understand the true extents of their status. Followers are not slaves or hired servants(except on occasions where they are actually hired and paid). Leadership cuts across the bounds of hire or fire.
You can be a leader to someone you hired and paid, and they will never forget your impact in their lifetime. Simply being a boss that imposes everything on them makes them work with you solely based on a contract.

Followership is leadership, only in the reverse order. John C. Maxwell once defined leadership as influence, one of the simplest but most encompassing definitions of leadership. Also, Steven Covey in his book "Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People", describes that everyone has a sphere of influence. This sphere can be built up by how much they learn and by what they do. All these go on to emphasise that you can build up your leadership capacity by being determined to make it so.

Conclusively, the problems of leadership are a complex thing. Beginning with how to affect your followers and make them more compliant, to equipping them to be efficient and effective enough to fill your gap when you are not available. This is the ultimate aim of leadership, to produce successors and continuity of purpose. You may not be whole crowned as successful if you have not attained this.

Prosper Yole

I am a lifestyle blogger, I write useful articles on successful life tips and hacks. Posts bearing Prosper Yole as author are either written by the blog author himself or by our various other contributors. Thank you for reading through. I look forward to having you more often. Please subscribe to my feeds below...

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