Term Paper: Leadership Styles My Leadership Style: Human Relations

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Leadership Styles

My Leadership Style: Human Relations Specialist

You catch more bees with honey than with vinegar." If I had to sum up my philosophy as a leader, perhaps this statement would best express my character as a human relations specialist. While it is easy and perhaps tempting to think that leading means shouting, stomping, and giving orders like an autocrat, ultimately the true purpose of leading is to get the job done by using the skills of others, and encouraging people to work to their maximum capacity and level of excellence. Ideally, leadership means inspiring others to do what they never knew they were capable of doing.

And to get the job done, and to get the job done well, means everyone must be on board, and willing and able to devote their time, energy, and resources to an assigned task. Excellence as an organization can be measured by stacking up many small, perfectly executed tasks in a way that makes a greater whole, and serves a common mission. People will feel more invested in a process, if they get to give input into how the process is executed and to how that mission is framed.

Early on in my career, I noticed that people often complained if a directive came down from management, even if it was relatively minor, if the directive was framed as an autocratic order without consultation from the staff. But if people had been solicited for input about the matter, even in something as simple as a time schedule change, they were more willing to go along, and were less resistant. Why do people stay late at work debating the decorations for the office Christmas party? Perhaps it is because at some offices, this is the greatest sense of autonomy workers feel over their daily lives. Channeling that craving for an investment in something larger and purposeful into the daily routine and workday is the goal of a human relations specialist.

While pursuing this leadership style, I have found that often subordinates have excellent ideas about how to increase efficiency. After all, in a restaurant, who knows better how to get the food fast to the table or through the take-out window than the cooks and cashiers? An MBA strolling through the store one day, armed with theories may have little knowledge of the idiosyncrasies of the layout of the store, the customer's traffic shifts, and the moods of the staff. He or she may be less aware of what really needs to be done than members of the community themselves. It is they who must be consulted, along with the 'experts.'

Hierarchies must be transcended when it serves the greater good. Also, a human relations specialist-type leader is always willing to roll up his or her sleeves and 'pitch in' with everyone else, when the going gets tough. A sign of this willingness, to do what the leader is asking everyone… [END OF PREVIEW]

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