Effective leadership fundamentals aren't about big things; it's about the little things. Consistency is key. Over time, the little things become second nature, like playing an instrument. Playing a musical instrument requires fundamental fundamentals, and playing a leadership role is no different. By consistently practicing the fundamentals, you will become instinctual in your leadership role.
Dr. Bob Wood's leadership career
Robert Wood was born in Jonesboro, Ark., in 1928. After graduating from Cornell University in 1951, he served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. Wood then attended Yale University as a graduate student and served as an instructor for two years. He earned a Master of Engineering Mechanics in 1955. Wood is currently a board member of the Christian Learning Center in Greenville.
He went on to work for Boeing in the aerospace industry. From 1975 to 1985, Dr. Wood managed the aeromechanics section at Hughes Helicopters, Inc., which eventually became McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company. In that role, Wood oversaw the work of forty engineers and played a key role in the design of the AH-64A Apache attack helicopter. After that, Wood moved into academia and became a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.
If you want your team to follow your lead, you must foster trust at every level. People with a deep level of trust in their leader are much more likely to follow orders and make their best efforts. Without trust, a leader can easily sabotage a project by micromanaging and infuriating the team. It also can lead to backbiting, credit-grabbing, and duplication of efforts.
Trust is one of the most important currencies needed for effective leadership. It's the bank account for individual and team effectiveness. Trust is a foundational currency in today's Army and it's an essential part of leadership. People who have a high level of trust in their leaders are motivated to be the best version of themselves, and they are also more likely to produce the best work.
If you want to be effective at leadership, you must build credibility. You can develop your credibility by taking action, not just by talking. Credibility is based on trust, and people won't follow someone they can't trust. To build credibility, you must take action and stand behind your words.
Research on leadership has proven the importance of credibility. The most respected leaders are respected by others. This is why people follow them. Moreover, credible leaders inspire trust in those around them. Therefore, leaders need to establish credibility by demonstrating the traits and behaviors that people like. This is not easy. There are several ways to do this.
One way to lose credibility is to make promises and don't deliver. People can smell a half-truth or false promise. Half-truths and false promises do little to build credibility. Therefore, leaders should avoid making promises they can't keep.
Leadership requires persuasion in order to motivate and influence people. Persuasion can be done by appealing to people's emotions and logic. It also requires a high level of credibility, which can be achieved through relationships and expertise. Effective leaders understand how to persuade people to follow their lead and are masters of the art.
Good persuaders cultivate a good understanding of their audience's emotional state and match the strength of their arguments to their audience's capacity to respond. They also cultivate relationships with key individuals and actively gather information in informal settings. This helps them create credibility, build rapport, and influence.
Persuasion is a process that rarely yields shared solutions on the first try. It involves listening to other people, testing the other side's position, incorporating compromises, and making repeated attempts. But when the results are long-term, the effort is worth it.