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LEADERSHIP IS A PROCESS OF SOCIAL INFLUENCE, WHICH MAXIMISES THE EFFORTS OF OTHERS TOWARDS THE ACHIEVEMENT OF A SHARED GOAL.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Today Ed Miliband will have to show he is the leader who can take Labour to victory. His speech to his party conference must convince not only his party faithful, and faithless, but the country at large. This is the moment when he needs to prove that he possesses sufficient Ed cred to rally doubters and disciples to his side. Mr Miliband must show today that he has the vision, passion and ruthlessness to go it alone. It is imperative to demonstrate that he has a leader's rhetoric and a leader's steel. The line between being a unifier and political Plasticine is narrow. Flexibility, the new leader's signal strength, could also prove his greatest weakness. Enemies will be eager to caricature Red Ed as a man in thrall to the unions with a brother's blood on his hands. If Ed Miliband is to succeed, and it looks increasingly likely that he can, he must show that he is daunted by nothing and in thrall to no one. "I am my own man," he has said. Today he has to prove it.
Warranted high self-esteem, which has always been important psychologically, is a critical factor in economic well-being, too.
A book called The Power of Self-Esteem: An Inspiring Look At Our Most Important Psychological Resource, by psychologist Nathaniel Branden, points out that a workforce lacking confidence in its ability to think and cope with life's challenges won't be very productive or competitive in a demanding global environment.
Branden reminds supervisors and managers to help employees stretch by supporting training and workshops, and to tolerate mistakes if people learn from them. He also counsels listening to employees as if they have something worthwhile to say and asking for their help as ways to stimulate new ideas, as well as building confidence by giving lots of sincere compliments and encouragement. Of course, there's more to it than that, and personal development training for managers as well as for those they manage is usually a wise investment.
In the final analysis, we can't have a workforce that's any more confident than the individuals who compose it. Let's embrace positive leadership and give each employee every chance we can to be the best he or she can be.