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Friday, September 9, 2022

Lean Quote: Eight Leadership Functions to Improve Ability

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"Leadership is essentially another-centered activity not self-centered one.  —  John Adair

John Adair (b.1934) is one of Britain's foremost authorities on leadership in organizations. Adair identifies eight leadership functions all leaders need to be able to perform, each of these must be constantly refined and developed:

1. Defining the task – this should be done using SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound)

2. Planning – leaders should be open-minded, positive and creatively searching for alternatives

3. Briefing – team briefings by the leader are a basic and essential function to foster teamwork and motivate individuals

4. Controlling – leaders need self-control, good control systems in place and effective delegation and monitoring skills

5. Evaluating – leaders must constantly assess the consequences of actions taken, evaluate performance and appraise and train individuals

6. Motivating – Adair identifies 8 basic rules for motivating people that include setting realistic but challenging targets, creating a motivating environment and treating each person as an individual

7. Organizing – good leaders must be able to organize themselves, their team and their company

8. Setting an example – the best leaders naturally set a good example for their teams, if this is forced, leaders will become complacent.

Adair considers that these leadership functions need to be developed and honed to constantly improve the leader's ability.

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