Nicole Monturo is an accomplished executive and leadership expert.

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How to Lead Unwilling Followers to Success

There are many ways to lead followers to success. Depending on your line of work or the reason you are leading a group of followers, will determine what type of leadership style you are going to take on. Some consider there to be good leadership styles and some consider other styles to be bad and not beneficial for anyone involved. Regardless of style, how do you make someone follow you when they are not willing to?

One of the first things that needs to be done is to get down to the level of the follower and determine why they are unwilling in the first place. Does the follower not agree with the way you are leading them? Are there other external factors that are taking them in a different direction than you would like?

According to Dr. Karen Keller, a clinical psychologist, there are about five common reasons for your employees to not follow you: being frustrated with how they are being treated, feeling rejected, unsupported or misunderstood, feeling scared, angry, or powerless, possibly they are experiencing personal problems, and lastly that they are impatient.

How do you combat these issues from happening or continuing to happen? Everyone has a different way of connecting with their followers and getting them to trust you; this guide will show you some of the more common and effective ways to take control of your followers.

Lead with passion.

Followers want to be lead in the right direction. But they aren’t just going to follow anyone that comes through the door. They want to be certain that their leader understands and is passionate about the work that they are doing. If a leader shows passion for their work, it will in turn rub off on the followers, who will hopefully become passionate about the work as well.

Take a stand.

While it is important to be mindful of the your followers and hear their requests and their ideas for improval. Followers don’t want a leader who is going to fold under pressure or have their mind changed all of the time. They want and need a leader who is going to hear them out, but ultimately take a stand and make the decision that is best for them.

Lead by doing.

The worst thing a leader can do is bark orders at their followers, without either showing them what they are doing or doing the task with them. Unwilling followers need to be shown why they need to do something rather than just being told to do it in the first place. A common saying is that a boss will shout orders from the back, while a leader will be at the front showing the followers the way to success.

Be Trustworthy.

Lastly, and one of the more important ways to get a reluctant to follower to be on your side, is to be  trustworthy. It’s possible that the reason they are resisting your leadership in the first place is because they have experienced leaders who were dishonest with them in the past. Being trustworthy and following your word is the best way to gain your followers trust, which will in turn have them follow you willingly and passionately.

10 Leadership Philosophies

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to leadership. Every person and every situation is different, so it stands to reason that each individual leader would attack leadership with a different approach.

Think back to great leaders throughout history. Think of Martin Luther King Jr., with his awe-inspiring speeches; think of Winston Churchill who commanded a nation amidst global turmoil; think of Margaret Thatcher, the first female prime minister of Great Britain. Throughout history, great leaders have demonstrated a number of different leadership styles that have proven effective for the given time. There will be periods that require a soft hand and a gentle voice to lead you; there will also be times when a stern discipline and firm hand are necessary to elicit change. There are no “right” and “wrong” ways to lead. Rather, there are effective methods and ineffective methods for tackling a certain problem.

Let’s break down the fundamental differences between these different leadership philosophies.

Participative Leadership

  • This leadership philosophy is characterized by allowing input from all levels of team members across the company or group. There are four subsets of participative leadership: autocratic, collective, consensus, and democratic. The authority for making the final decision lands differently for each style as these each have their own characteristics and nuances.

Autocratic Leadership

  • Also called authoritarian leadership, this participative philosophy of leadership has a single figure in charge who is solely responsible for all decision-making for themselves and for the group. While typically severe, this style is most effective when order needs to be restored in the face of chaos. This includes completing important tasks with urgency and navigating situations that do not allow for the time necessary to discuss moving forward.

Collective Leadership

  • Collective leadership, as the name suggests, is a style of participative leadership in which a number of individuals convene in order to bring about a certain result. Because of the necessity of input from every demographic, the very nature of this philosophy style is inclusive to all people.  There are four principles of collective leadership that help guide groups in their decision making processes. They are 1) preparing, 2) planning, 3) implementing, and 4) sustaining.

Consensus Leadership

  • In consensus leadership, the leader relinquishes all power and control, leaving all responsibility and decision-making on the group.  Then, as a whole, the group must consider the input and opinions of each member and then come to a majority decision. While consensus leadership can be great for placing accountability directly on workers, it can often marginalize part of the group and lead to discontent. Since the decisions are made by the majority, the minority can feel as though their opinions and contributions aren’t valued.

Democratic Leadership

  • This final style of participative leadership is one that is great for keeping your whole team engaged and active. Here, the idea of involvement on every level is crucial. The inputs of individuals are all considered and valued, and influence the ultimate goals of the organization as a whole. Demographic leadership is excellent for completing day-to-day tasks, but on the whole can be less effective than some other styles when the pressure is on and quick decisions need to be made. Since the emphasis is placed on discussion to reach a common agreement, when it comes down to the wire there can be a lot of confusion and misunderstanding.

Delegative Leadership

  • Also known as laissez-faire leadership, the delegative philosophy involves a very hands-off approach and is generally found to have the lowest rates of productivity among members of the team. Here, the leader has very little to do with the decision-making of the team, and rather provides the resources necessary for the group to make its own decisions. While it can be effective with a strong, well-built team, the reasons delegative leadership typically fails is a lack of clear instruction to an inexperienced group and a lack of cohesion among the members.

Servant Leadership

  • Servant leadership is perhaps the oldest philosophy of leadership, dating back more than two millennia. This style is one that cannot be easily taught but rather comes from within. In his iconic essay, The Servant as Leader, he describes a servant leader as one who feels compelled within his or her being to serve others, and serve them first. The best test, of course, is to look at what the leader and team both are getting out of the relationship. Do those lead by the servant leader gain knowledge and understanding and grow as individuals? Is the leader him or herself better for having served others? Greenleaf writes about how the servant leader, a servant by nature, is bestowed with the powers of leadership. The servant leader has a desire to serve and a calling to lead.

Charismatic Leadership

  • The charismatic leader is one who whose focus is typically more holistic. While other leaders want to induce change within a particular group or team, the charismatic leader seeks to make change on a large scale. Think of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and how he strove to improve the status quo with his moving rhetoric. Here, the leader holds a lot of power in influencing their audience and followers.

Transformational Leadership

  • Transformational leaders are also called quiet leaders, because they lead by drawing out the best in others. They lead others by connecting with them and engaging with them through empathy and compassion. Rather than pushing their team to excel, they guide their team along a path to excellence, helping them develop internally to perform their best externally.

Situational Leadership

  • The Situational Leadership model teaches leaders the importance of flexibility and adaptability when it comes to handling stressful situations. It operates through four core leadership competencies: diagnose, adapt, communicate, and advance.

Leadership Quotes I Live By

“Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” – William Shakespeare

I love this quote. No matter who we are, where we’re from, or the path life has us on, it is possible to achieve greatness. For me, I feel that the greatness I experience in my life has been the experiences I’ve had helping and guiding others to actualize their full potential.

It’s not the only leadership quote that I love, either. There are some words that are spoken in such a way that they touch you at your soul and inspire you to be more than you are. Throughout my life I’ve heard and read different quotes that have struck a chord and stuck with me. To help others find inspiration in these words, I’ll share them with you!

  • “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.”John Quincy Adams
    • Not all leaders see themselves as such. Not all leaders aspire to be leaders. This quote from our sixth President reminds us that it’s not our positions that help lead others but rather our actions that inspire others to look towards us.
  • “You don’t lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case.”Ken Kesey
    • This quote illustrates the confusion that many people see between leadership and power. People in leadership positions sometimes assume their roles purely for the power that they perceive comes along with it. However, this quote illustrates the fundamental difference. People with power can just point to things and make them happen; people who are leaders are the one down in the trenches, guiding and showing others the way to make things happen.
  • “A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.”Rosalynn Carter
    • The idea of leading others to greatness is inspiring. However, in practice, being a leader is more often difficult than it is rewarding. It requires you to see more in others than they do and help them actualize their potential, even when they’re resistant to the path.

Why Positive Reinforcement Matters

Treats, candy, ice cream, pats on the back, and compliments. These rewards probably bring a puppy or child to mind, which are the audiences most commonly affected by positive reinforcement. Not as common, is the concept of rewarding in the workplace. Those holding managerial levels should take note from parents and pet owners, as the benefits of positive reinforcement can move mountains when it comes to employee satisfaction.

Giving praise and even rewarding, when deserving, has the ability to not only make an employe smile but ultimately gives them a sense of self-worth. The Houston Chronicle specifically highlights giving praise in areas previously needing improvement. Such actions allows the employee to realize that any strives they have made in enhancing their work has been recognized. Alleviating any self-doubt presumably creates a healthier work environment for the employee.

In particularly tedious jobs, creating and maintaining morale amongst team members is often difficult to achieve. When they see hard work being praised or rewarded, often times a trickle down effect takes place. Similar to dominos knocking down one another, when one employees receives positive reinforcement, others are likely to follow their lead and take actions they know are appreciated. Specifically when a working environment requires teamwork and reliability from employees, positive reinforcement can become a driving force behind the coexisting nature of the group. Not only can morale become affected but levels of productivity are prone to improvement as well. Good luck finding a boss who isn’t satisfied with higher levels of productivity!

Engaging an employee by opening lines of communication in regards to work performance gives them confidence they may not have previously possessed. With the newly added confidence, an open relationship can come to light between supervisor and employee.

Empowering employees at all levels of the company gives even the most entry level position a voice. There are countless stories of world-renowned innovation coming from the lowest tier of a team, all due to the boss having faith in his employees and allowing their creativity to flow.

As a leader, it is important to remember the hardships it may have taken to get where they are and the support system needed along the way. Positive reinforcement is crucial in maintaining work morale, productivity and innovation. Employees feel more inclined to dedicate their efforts and time to an organization when they feel their work is being recognized and appreciated. The power of positive reinforcement goes a long way for just a little bit of effort.

How To Develop A Leader

Contrary to the common idea that people are “born leaders,” many who hold leadership roles needed some kind of support prior to being given their role. There may be no secret formula to magically make a person become a strong figurehead of a business or group, however, there are practices best suited to help  develop an individual into a leadership role.

Communications and Networking

Regardless of whether one is leading a company or a sports team, a good  leader must possess excellent communication skills. Having the ability to express a single idea to a large group of people can pose a challenge. A successful leader knows their audience and best practices for effectively communicating the message across the board.

The ability to network is also a key component of what constitutes a strong leader. Having the confidence to approach strangers in any scenario benefits not only the leaders but the group they oversee.

A contributor for Forbes shared their experience attending networking events, stating though boring at times, they ultimately benefit others in the future.When coaching a team member to fill a leadership role, networking remains a fundamental skill to teach.

Experience

The transition of power between one leader to an emerging one can be done in various degrees of success. Ideally, the veteran leader takes the time and energy to support his replacement:

this may include a variety of tasks and training to make sure they are adequately equipped to properly fill the role.

Here, experience comes into play. By providing them with a vast amount of experiences in many different areas as gives the trainee the best chance to succeed. Alongside experience, having knowledge of the ins and outs of the entire organization also benefits a new leader, as they are able to sufficiently assist in all areas required.

A great deal of knowledge regarding leadership can arise from participating in training sessions. There is a large assortment of training styles from online sessions to exercises that can take place right in the office. Some companies provide an in-house training course, while other outsource and send team members to an off-site assembly. The Muse provides a few examples of training courses to participate in during free time. Consequently, being proactive and completing such courses shows a superior a possession of motivation and determination. Both are  examples of great leadership qualities.

Challenges

As any supervisor in any field would share, overseeing a group of people likely presents challenges on a regular basis. Knowing how and when to handle obstacles is an important skill a leader should possess. As a current leader, looking for ways to challenge future leaders is a great way to put their potential to the test. Creating intricate problem-solving scenarios and only assisting when absolutely necessary creates a great challenge. Allowing an up and coming leader to oversee and complete a project from start to finish gives them the motivation to prove their competence.

Being a natural leader is definitely not a trait all people are born with, and becoming a great leader takes effort. Having the ability to communicate effectively and network elegantly are strong stepping stones on the path to success. Paired with Not only does a great deal of experience help to prepare upcoming leaders, but facing them with challenges along the way ensures building of confidence and readiness to take on a leadership role.

3 Powerful Female Executives

It’s no secret that, when it comes to success in business, women have more hoops to jump through than their male counterparts, and it shows. Of the Fortune 500 companies, only 4% — a grand total of 21 — are run by women, and of the 29 companies that were new to the list in 2016, only one is headed by a female. Although there are numerous obstacles and roadblocks women must circumvent to reach the top, it hasn’t stopped the driven women who have climbed their way up the ladder and earned their place as powerful female executives here in the United States. Let’s take a look at some of them.

  • Sheryl Sandberg
    • This social media mogul is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Facebook, where she has helped the revenue increase 66-fold since 2008 when she first stepped into the role. She is a passionate supporter of women in business and women in general, and her book Lean In, which was inspired by a TEDTalk she gave in 2010, calls for us to change the way we view women in general and instead look for ways to help them succeed. She is an outspoken opposer of the current government administration, and has pledged a portion of her $1.4 billion fortune to help women progress in the world.
  • Beyoncé
    • It’s unlikely that there’s a person in this country who’s not familiar with the name of this entertainment giant. TIME Magazine’s runner-up for Person of the Year in 2016, Beyoncé’s industry shattering visual album Lemonade brought to the foreground issues that the black community faces throughout their lives that often get swept under the rug. She has a personal net worth of $265 million and, together with her husband Jay-Z, the couple is reportedly worth $875 million and was the highest paid couple of 2016. Aside from her performance career, Beyoncé is also the founder of Parkwood Entertainment, a recording label which she hopes to use to level the playing field of the music industry which is currently dominated by men.
  • Susan Wojcicki
    • There is a lot of competition out there when it comes to social media and streaming sites, but Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, has kept the business not only afloat but thriving. Susan first got into the tech game in 1998 when she joined Google as its 16th employee; the business actually operated out of her garage for a time at its inception. She was also behind the 2006 Google acquisition of YouTube for $1.65 billion and, 8 years later, she took the place of CEO for YouTube in 2014 where she has worked wonders for the business. This feat is all the more impressive when you consider that she is a mother to 5 children.

4 Best Blogs on Leadership

The internet is a wonderful thing. It provides us with boundless resources on any topic you can conceive all available with the press of a finger. However, this is just as much a curse as it is a blessing, because with boundless information comes the burden of sifting through irrelevant, poorly written, and dishonest content until you find what you’re looking for. That’s why I’d like to make your lives (a little bit) easier by sharing a few of my favorite blogs that cover the topic of leadership. While this is only one subject and there are millions out there for which I cannot offer any assistance, leadership is something about which I am very passionate and well-informed. If you are interested in reading more about leadership, check out a few of the blogs on leadership that I regularly like to read!

  • Great Leadership
    • If you’re looking for a go-to resource for information and opinions regarding leadership and management, Great Leadership is your answer. The blog was created by leadership development expert Dan McCarthy who sought to share his 20+ years’ worth of knowledge with other, aspiring leaders. For the past two years, he has earned the honor of being named among the Top 10 Digital Influencers in Leadership. His expertise makes for one informative read.
  • Michael Hyatt
  • Leadership Now
    • At Leadership Now, they’re seeking to change the narrative that “leaders” are people we only see in professional settings to one where leadership in all its forms is recognized and celebrated. The site is run by Michael McKinney, who wants to tear down the notion that the only people who can lead are figures of authority, and his blog offers tips on how to look outside the context of yourself and lead those around you.
  • Extreme Leadership

Monkey See, Monkey Do: Why Your Employees Follow You

Have you heard of the term “leading by example”? It essentially means how leaders intentionally or inadvertently set the standards in their business. As the leader, their leadership style filters down to their employees as they adapt to their surroundings — and sometimes mirror their leader’s actions for various reasons. The phrase “monkey see, monkey do,” is highly applicable here. Most bosses lead by example, without them even realizing it! So why does it seem like your employees are following you? Below are some reasons why.

Your Employees Want to Fit In

Say for example someone new starts in the office. They don’t know anyone, they don’t know how to act in their new surroundings, and they’re probably quite nervous. The first instinct to kick in would be to find a way to fit in — and the first person they will look to will be their leader. To fit in with the rest of the office, employees may:

 

  • Copy dress. Does the boss wear a fitted shirt, dress pants, and no tie? Or does the boss wear jeans to work every day? Regardless the type of dress the boss wears, employees will wear likely wear the same. “Fundamentally, fashion is about relating to each other in groups,” says Julia Twigg, professor of social policy and sociology at the University of Kent. “Most people are very concerned at the idea of not fitting in.”
  • Adapt to Talking Styles. Does the boss speak eloquently, or does the boss use curse words in the office? Is there a phrase the boss often says, like “cool beans”? Bosses set the tone in the office, and that also includes speech patterns. According to The Telegraph, human brains imitate the speech patterns of other people without meaning to. It’s a subconscious action because as people interact with one another, they mimic each other’s speech patterns to “empathise” with their conversation partner. And yes, that even includes employees who have a different accent than their boss, then will adapt their speech style!

Your Employees Want to Be Liked

Call it brown-nosing, call it sweet-talk, or call it kissing up, but employees want to be liked by their leaders. In fact, in a survey conducted by Debenhams, two-thirds of managers admitted to a “heightened awareness” of staff with a similar style to themselves — and may give kudos to employees who are similar to themselves.

Your Employees Might Be Looking for a Promotion

And if employees are trying hard to be liked by their bosses, they might be looking for a promotion. “Bosses often appoint and promote people who are like them,” says Dr. Karen Pine, a psychologist from the University of Hertfordshire. “Boards are renowned for electing members that resemble existing ones.” Employees want to find commonality with their bosses. This can include ways of dress and speech patterns, and even going so far as to having the same tastes in food or hobbies.

nicole monturo humility

Why Humility is an Important Trait for Leaders

Leaders are everywhere you look. There are leaders in government, leaders in the workforce, and even leaders among groups of friends. Quality leadership requires certain traits that make followers support a leader. The power of a leader resides in ethic, performance, ability, strength and more. However, behind all of those traits lies humility.

Humility is important for leaders for a multitude of reasons. It protects a leader’s credibility. Building credibility takes time and effort, but caught in the wrong and that can all diminish.

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think like that, you’ll do things differently” – Warren Buffett

The spotlight is on leaders constantly. One mistake and there’s potential for disaster to strike. Humility among leaders shows that a leader can admit when they’re wrong. By human nature, people make mistakes. Owning up to it takes strength and humility.

To be humble, one must know when others are right. Not that a leader may be wrong, but when it comes to a matter of opinions, humble leaders accept ideas and explore possibilities other than their own perspective. This also shows that a leader doesn’t have a tight grip on control. Often leaders get caught up in control that they lose part of their ethics or dignity. Sometimes a leader has to take a step back, and to do so it takes humility.

Successful leaders need humility to keep them in check. If a leader gets too confident it may hold them back or slow down their progress. A humble leader accepts success and continues to look at the bigger picture.

Humbleness also allows a leader to take a step back and ask for help. Leaders can seek expert opinions in areas beyond their own to combine knowledge and wisdom to get the job done in the most effective way.

Think of a leader you look up to and trust. What makes you like them and believe in them? Most people look up to leaders because of their quality, what they have to offer to their followers, their sincerity and compassion towards others.

A humble leader doesn’t shy away or put themselves down. A humble leader shows dignity and confidence while remaining thankful for all their accomplishments. Although humility can be hard to learn, the trait is a great quality for any leader to attain.

How to Define a Great Leader

According to vocabulary.com, a leader is the one in the charge and the person who convinces other people to follow. But they define a great leader as one inspires confidence in other people and moves them to action. There are many ways to define a great leader — just ask Entrepreneur, Inc. and Forbes! Below is a short list what being a great leader means to me.

A great leader is accountable for their actions.

When something goes wrong, great leaders take responsibility for everyone’s actions by putting it upon themselves for the company’s failure, and they don’t put the blame on anyone else. To alleviate the problem, leaders jump in with their subordinates to help find a solution and get business back on track as soon as possible. Even when business is smooth sailing, great leaders give praise when it’s appropriate, look for ways to improve their company, and consistently check on their employees to see there are any small issues that can be addressed before it becomes a bigger problem.

A great leader believes honesty is the best policy.

Leaders who are ethical and honest with their subordinates believe in the golden rule: treat others the way you want to be treated. Leaders want the whole truth, and nothing but the truth from their employees, regardless if it’s good or bad news. Leaders set the standards by being completely honest and ethical with everyone so their employees will reciprocate the gesture. By building a relationship based on trust, openness, and ethics, great leaders believe honesty is the best policy.

A great leader is empathetic to their employees.

Great leaders keep the thoughts and feelings of their employees in the back of their mind, and are understanding to their employees when personal or family emergencies arise. If an employee’s work performance suffers because of an external factor, great leaders may privately inquire about the employee’s personal life, and are often supportive.

A great leader sets clear guidelines.

Nothing is worse than a leader who doesn’t set clear expectations — it sends their employees into a frenzy! A great leader sets guidelines from day one, follows through with said guidelines, clearly communicates what they expect, sets deadlines, and doesn’t give anyone special treatment. Clear guidelines will minimize frustration and confusion among employees, and they will feel more at ease and confidently do their jobs. Clarity is the pathway to solid results.

A great leader is approachable.

Everyone has different communication styles. Some employees come from a different cultural background and their people skills might be different than what you’re used to. Some employees might not speak your language as fluently, and therefore have difficulty understanding workplace expectations. Some employees may have different personality than you. Some employees may respond well to a certain leadership style, while others may not and feel pressured. Regardless of the differences, a great leader is approachable and shows flexibility. Leaders who adopt the “door is always open” policy are viewed at the most approachable leaders.

How do you define a great leader?

 

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