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领导的艺术  

2007-06-20 00:11:49|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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The best leaders are adders and multipliers—through theiractions and decisions, they give of themselves and enhance thelives of others

领导的艺术 - liblog - Liblog 第九传媒

Last month when Jerry Falwell died, television news programscovered the story, and newspapers around the country publishedarticles and obituaries attempting to characterize his life. Somecalled him a righteous man who made a positive impact. Othersasserted that he was narrow-minded—or worse, a huckster.

Whenever a high-profile leader dies, people immediately attemptto summarize that person's life in a sentence. Often, critics andcommentators get caught up looking at the leader's style, or whichpolitical or philosophical camp they represented. My naturalinclination is to look at leaders purely in terms of leadership.The bottom line for me is what influence they had and whether theyused it to make a positive impact.

The interaction between every leader and follower is arelationship, and all relationships either add to or subtract froma person's life. If you are a leader, then you are having either apositive or a negative impact on the people you lead. How can youtell? Ask yourself these questions: Are you making things betterfor the people who follow you? Are you adding value to their lives?Or are you taking from them and giving less in return?

Depending on the impact they make, I believe there are reallyonly four types of leaders: Adders, Subtracters, Dividers, andMultipliers. If you want to evaluate the lives of leaders, you canstart by determining the kind of leaders they were.

1. Some leaders add to others—we enjoy followingthem

Good leaders make a contribution to others. They add value byworking to make things better for the people who follow them. Nobellaureate Albert Einstein asserted, "Only a life lived in theservice of others is worth living." That is the key. Goodleadership is characterized by service.

How do leaders serve their people? They may pay good wages andtreat employees with respect. They may seek public office to try tomake things better for their fellow citizens. They may care for thesick or feed the hungry. The specifics depend on the leader'svision, talent, skills, and organizational context. But theintention of good leaders is always the same: to add value toothers.

People who add value to others do so intentionally. I say thatbecause to add value, leaders must give of themselves, and thatrarely occurs by accident.

2. Some leaders subtract from others—we toleratethem

In William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Cassiusasserts: "A friend should bear his friend's infirmities, But Brutusmakes mine greater than they are."

That's what subtracters do. They make things more difficult forthose who follow them. Not only do they not bear others' burdens,they make heavier the ones they already have.

The sad thing about subtracters is that their effect on othersis usually unintentional. They don't know how to add value toothers. They're not even aware that adding value should be theirgoal. They think that making life tough for their people is simplythe cost of getting the job done. And they often don't recognizethe negative impact they have on others.

3. Some leaders divide others—we avoidthem

When leaders who are subtracters don't change their ways, it'sonly a matter of time before their impact on others goes fromsubtraction to division. This is the worst kind of leader.

Where subtracters fail to help their people, dividers go a stepfurther. They intentionally make things more difficult for them.They hoard power and protect their position, and as a result, theydo whatever it takes to keep themselves on top. They're like thecompany president who sent his personnel director a memo, saying,"Search the organization for an alert, aggressive young man whocould step into my shoes—and when you find him, fire him."

Dividers seek to make themselves look or feel better by makingothers feel worse. They damage relationships, fracture teams andorganizations, and create havoc in people's lives.

4. Some leaders multiply value in others—we valuethem

Great leaders don't just make the workplace better. They don'tjust make the team a winner. They make the people better. True,they help them to succeed, but they do much more than that. Theyhelp people to make the most of their talent and to reach theirpotential. And they raise up other leaders by giving of themselves,by training and mentoring, and by giving people responsibilitiesand opportunities to rise up in the organization. Sometimes thateven means stepping aside so that a better leader they've developedcan pass them by!

Any time you want to measure the contribution of aleader—living or dead—use leader's math to do it. More important,if you are a leader, use it to measure your own contribution.Here's the good news: Anyone who wants to can become an adder. Ittakes only a desire to lift people up, basic leadership skills, andthe intentionality to follow through.

But I encourage you to take your leadership to a higherlevel—to become a multiplier. To do that, one must be strategic,skilled, and highly intentional. It doesn't happen accidentally.But if you do add value to others, you won't have to worry abouthow others will characterize your life when it's over.

John C. Maxwell is an internationally recognizedleadership expert, speaker, and author who has sold over 13 millionbooks. His organizations have trained more than 2 million leadersworldwide. Every year, Dr. Maxwell speaks to Fortune 500 companies,international government leaders, and organizations as diverse asthe United States Military Academy at West Point and the NationalFootball League. A New York Times, Wall StreetJournal, and BusinessWeek best-selling author, threeof his books, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership,Developing the Leader Within You, and The 21Indispensable Qualities of a Leader have each sold more than amillion copies. His latest book is titled Talent Is NeverEnough.

 
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