Reflecting on my last post, Surviving in Transformational Times, it seems that an essential element for survival is the emergence of a strong leader. What makes someone a strong leader? What do they need to do? How can they support their people?
Not all leaders are created equally – there are different types and styles; each with their own strengths and challenges. According to John Gardner, “the first task of a leader is to keep hope alive,” and that’s exactly what transformational leadership does. Leaders with this style have integrity and a clear vision; they encourage, support, and inspire others (see http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_84.htm for full details).
There’s a difference between leaders and managers. Good leaders aren’t always effective managers and vice versa. According to the Mind Tools article, good leaders focus on inspiring others and providing vision (i.e., transformational leadership activities), whereas mangers focus on the details and logistics of implementing that vision (i.e., transactional leadership activities).
For helpful tips on leadership and supporting individuals see 10 Tips for Supporting People.