So What Do REAL Leaders Do? Greg L.Thomas | Category: Articles

Leaders provide their team with the tools, advice and encouragement to tackle and solve problems. People flourish when they feel respected and secure in their roles. People who feel they have permission to solve problems become more creative and are able to overcome insurmountable difficulties.

Leaders are agents of change when old ideas no longer work and new ones are needed!

Overcoming Resistance


• The way to overcome resistance to needed change is to first engage with other’s attitudes or mindset before the change is introduced. When a leader has first worked to create a fresh positive environment of “creative thinking”, we prepare others to support rather than resist needed changes.

Leaders & Followers


• Both exist with each other. Leaders are also followers in some areas while followers are leaders in certain areas.
• Neither can function without the other. Leaders need followers and followers need leaders.
• Both are conditioned by their thinking process and individual behavior.

Common Leadership Mistake


A common mistake of leaders is to launch an idea or mission before spending enough time developing support and overcoming resistance. This may require the time needed to educate and build consensus with the followers. If this is not done first… resistance will slow or derail the mission.

Four levels of leadership participation


Good leaders recognize there are four levels of participation in decision making and will use all four depending on the circumstances and time available to make a decision. A leader who uses only one or two of these levels may be prone to poor decision-making.


• Autocratic decisions: Decision is made alone without asking for opinions or suggestions of people. Followers have no direct influence on the decision. Will cause alienation of followers if used often! Considered the most effective in crisis or emergency situations.

• Consultation: Followers are asked their ideas and opinions, then the decision is made alone after seriously considering their concerns and suggestions.

• Joint Decision: Leader meets with others to discuss problem and make decision together. The leader has no more influence over the decision than any other participant.

• Delegation: Leaders give an individual or group the authority and responsibility for making a decision. Leader usually specifies the limits in which the decision must fall.

Continuum of Decision Procedures


• Autocratic – no influence by others
• Consultation – little influence
• Joint Decision – equal influence
• Delegation – high influence

Benefits Of Allowing Greater Influence By Others


• Increase the quality of decision because others have information and knowledge the leader lacks.

• Greater influence = greater commitment by others. Provides a sense of ownership.

• Develop decision-making skills of other by giving them experience to analyze problems and evaluate solutions.

• Encourages “team building” and conflict resolution among participants.

Encouraging Participation


• Encourage others to express their concerns.
• Describe a proposal as tentative.
• Record ideas and suggestions
• Look for ways to build on ideas and suggestions.
• Be tactful in expressing a concern about an idea or suggestion
• Listen to dissenting views without getting defensive or visibly angry.
• Try to utilize suggestions and address the concerns of others instead of ignoring them.
• Show genuine appreciation for others.
• Use symbols to build teamwork and pride.