Leadership is a broad word–one that a wide range of people want to adopt and acclaim to themselves. It is a tremendously appealing title to be a leader, but also an incredibly difficult task to be a successful one. So what does leadership really mean and what is the psychological effect of being and working under a real leader? How can a person push others and themselves to be the best and most efficient team possible? Warren Bennis, an American author, and scholar states that “leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” It is the ability to take a vision, and project it, work effectively through it to make it play out in front of you. Here are some psychological genres that every good leader should understand:
Learn the Psychology of Teamwork
Understanding how to get people to work together effectively and productively is a skill that is indisposable to being a leader. You are not a successful leader if you do not have people who are willing to be led by you. Of course, there is a hard line between leadership and dictatorship. Be wary not to be too controlling. Make sure a large part of your power strategy includes putting your team and employees in the best position to succeed.
Maintain and Even Demeanor
Maintaining a level head and even keel is imperative to being a fair and successful leader. This goes hand in hand to allow yourself to take a step back and create distance from whatever you are becoming stressed, frustrated, or angry about. Take a step back and re-approach the information or problem with a level head and a logically driven approach as opposed to an emotionally driven one.
Hold True to Your Values
Something that is a huge challenge is holding true to the values that leadership expect of their employees. It will be impossible to establish a respected and extended leadership if you are making yourself the exception of your own rules, policies, and expectations. You should not look at yourself as above the laws, but instead, you should look at yourself as the prime model of the laws being enacted.
Temple Grandin | Whereas popular wisdom held that autism developed in children from bad parenting, Grandin changed a whole generation’s perspective on the disorder. After proving that the condition is not taught but biological, Grandin went on to develop lessons plans, devices, and coping mechanisms so that young people with autism could learn to live with their condition. Temple Grandin was one of the first adults to publicly disclose that she had autism and credited the disorder for her ability to work so well in the livestock industry, developing techniques for humane treatment of animals destined for slaughter and revolutionizing long-held beliefs about animal behavior. Besides her work in husbandry, Grandin has been a vocal advocate for better understanding of autism and education of the public on the myths and realities of living with it.
Anne Sullivan | Helen Keller wouldn’t be the household name it is today if it weren’t for this incredibly patient and talented teacher. Anne Sullivan herself lost the ability to see when she was a child and attended a school for the blind where she learned the manual alphabet. Helen Keller, who was unable to either see or hear, presented something of a brand new challenge. In the early goings, Keller and Sullivan didn’t get along at all, but in time, they learned to trust each other and spent hours and hours per day telling stories and learning history, mathematics, and science, and more. Sullivan has been memorialized in the hit play “The Miracle Worker,” and many of her best practices are still in use by teachers today.
Nellie Bly |A rabble rouser at heart, Nellie Bly is most commonly remembered for her daring trip around the globe in only 72 days. However, at a time where women weren’t necessarily welcome in journalism, Nellie had to make a name for herself before she was invited to write for any of the big players in print journalism. For her first mission, Nelly disguised herself as a person with a cognitive disability and went undercover at an insane asylum. She took extensive notes about the way she and the other residents were treated, the reasons (of lack thereof) why they were admitted, and the miserable living conditions. Her jaw-dropping expose lead to widespread reforms for homes for adults with disabilities, including stricter legislation and an overall societal change in the way we view people with handicaps.