Cultural Power Vs. REAL Leadership: Whose Side Are YOU On?

Kimberly Alyn focuses on the need of new recruits for strong leadership models and outstanding training.Be prepared for a new generation that will be entering the fire service in the next five to 10 years. This generation is inundated with music, movies...


Kimberly Alyn focuses on the need of new recruits for strong leadership models and outstanding training. Be prepared for a new generation that will be entering the fire service in the next five to 10 years. This generation is inundated with music, movies and television that all send mixed...


To access the remainder of this piece of premium content, you must be registered with Firehouse. Already have an account? Login

Register in seconds by connecting with your preferred Social Network.

OR

Complete the registration form.

Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required

Temporary Power Principle 3: Keep Others in Suspended Terror -- Cultivate an Air of Unpredictability

The concept here is to never allow people to become comfortable with anticipating your moods or actions. If you are calm and controlled at one time and raging out of control another, people will live in fear of you. They will never know what to expect and will therefore walk on eggshells around you. Followers tend to be extra accommodating for fear they may be the catalyst for the next bad mood. It puts the leader in a more powerful position over the follower.

The Real Leadership Principle: Keep Others Trusting You -- Cultivate an Air of Consistent Predictability

Over the long term, effective leadership requires integrity. Many people define integrity as "doing the right thing when no one is looking." I agree with that. I also believe that integrity is doing what you said you would do, when you said you would do it, and how you said it would be done. Being unpredictable does not fit that definition, and therefore lacks integrity. Real leaders show consistency in their behavior. They are predictable when it comes to their values, beliefs and vision. They show congruency between their actions and values and people see them as authentic.

Temporary Power Principle 4: Be Royal in Your Own Fashion -- Act Like a King to be Treated Like One

This law perpetuates the concept of "fake it 'til you make it." If you want people to treat you like royalty, then you had better start acting like it. If you want people to treat you like you are powerful, then you need to act powerful and show others that you are the one in power.

The Real Leadership Principle: Be a Servant to Others and They Will Treat You Like a King

This is one of the hardest concepts for some supervisors to comprehend and embrace. Many managers and supervisors think that their subordinates or followers exist to serve them. Real leaders understand that they exist to serve their followers, and by doing so, everyone wins. Real leaders don't have to flex their power at others. Margaret Thatcher put it succinctly when she said, "Being in power is a lot like being a lady -- if you have to tell people you are, then you aren't." Real leaders positively influence others and serve others. As a result, people want to follow. When you exalt yourself, people tend to want to humble you. When you humble yourself, people tend to want to exalt you.

Temporary Power Principle 5: Play on People's Need to Believe to Create a Cult-Like Following

The idea here is people need to believe in something. If you practice this law and play on this need in people, you can get them under your thumb in a cult-like following, especially if you can be persuasive enough. People who practice this law of gaining power try to prey on the weak first and then work their way to the stronger people in the group. Once they have their following, they can keep people under that thumb.

The Real Leadership Principle: Be the Role Model Leader that People Can Believe In

The fact is, people do want to believe. They want to believe in other people. They want to believe in leaders. They want to believe in the vision and direction of the leader. Real leaders give people positive things to believe in. Instead of preying on the need to believe, real leaders fill that need. They serve as role model examples of honesty, integrity and trust and followers believe in their leadership abilities.

What's YOUR Choice?

Take a look at your own leadership style. Do you practice some of the Temporary Power Principles instead of Real Leadership Principles? Maybe some of the things you do are more subtle than what I am listing here, but may still be pushing people away from your leadership style. If you want to be a more effective leader, you need to focus on positively influencing others by consistently practicing Real Leadership Principles.