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Leadership - How to Challenge an Organization

Aug 17, 2007
A good leader can take a team and accomplish things that no one believed was possible. In order to do this they must make incremental changes that are challenging, but not impossible. By giving their organization a string of successes they will build momentum and attitudes that will help them overcome even difficult situations in the future.

Good teachers take their students far beyond what the students think is possible in a short period of time. A good leaders do the same.

Teachers break the overall semester goals into smaller weekly goals and arrange them in a logical order. The best teachers I have had plan their assignments out for the entire semester and include it as part of the syllabus. Going into the class you look at the assignments and it is overwhelming, but the first one looks doable, challenging and interesting.

In the process of completing the first assignment you learn several things that make the next assignment a little more possible and so one. By the time you've completed 4 or 5 assignments you have confidence. A leader must take the same approach as a teacher when it comes to improving his organizations confidence. As a leader you may not always be able to arrange tasks in the best order for your team to learn. This makes it difficult to create a series of goals where every time you achieve one you are more equipped to achieve the next.

Professors have the distinct advantage of being able to teach the same class year after year. Since most teachers get a new class every semester, they have the opportunity to start fresh. Any miscalculations about the complexity of certain assignments can be changed the next semester and any opposition on the part of the students is not cumulative. To manage these risks a leader must advance toward their first goals very carefully.

Staring with simple easy to accomplish goals helps build momentum and gives the leader a better idea of what his people are capable of accomplishing. By making the goals informal a leader can learn these things while reducing the risk of creating discouragement.

Over time a leader must communicative formal goals and plans. Some leaders don't want to tell anyone what the organizational goals are because they don't want people to get disheartened if they aren't achieved. While this might be beneficial for a short period of time, if a leader is incapable of sharing goals and plans after a year, it will be damaging to the organization. Teamwork can only flourish when there are clear goals.
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Please visit www.leadership501.com to find out more about challenging an organization and other leadership topics.
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