Still the most challenging topic most companies face in maintenance and reliability is one of leadership. Many organizations feel that they are not achieving the effectiveness and efficiency they believe they should due to a lack of understanding of leadership. The one thing that has stood out in my recent visits to organizations to help with this challenge has been the lack of a fundamental of leadership – managing. The interesting part is that each organization recognized they needed work on things like motivation, inspiration, involvement, engagement etc. but none recognized that their structure and systems for managing were broken. If we don’t have the systems in place to manage and control how do we expect to demonstrate those afore-mentioned traits of leaders? We need to remember that a good manager may be a good leader, but good leaders MUST be good managers. Too often we think of leadership in the philosophical terms that were mentioned but as the leadership guru Peter Drucker’s “Effective leadership is not about making speeches and being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.”
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So, what are the things that need to be in place to allow us to manage effectively and at the same time provide the opportunity to demonstrate leadership skills?
- Goals – for everyone, cascading from Strategic to shop floor
- Expectations – around how we achieve these goals
- Communication – how, what, when and to whom do we communicate
- Resources – are they in place and not just people but the right people
- Delegation - how, what, when and to whom do we delegate
- Change Management – not just change
- Measure – the performance along the way
- Realities – face them and adjust if necessary
- Accountability – the key to successful management and leadership
- Celebrate – the successes – no matter how small
Under each of these topics there are tools, tasks and methodologies that will help us ensure we are managing the right things in the right ways and so allow us to become the leaders we can be.
Are there other points you consider essential to this list for leadership skills? We would love to hear from YOU!