NCCCFA 2013 Keynote: Unlocking Your Leadership Potential with Pat Akers

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NCCCFA 2013 Keynote Presentation: Unlocking Your Leadership Potential

Pat Akers has been training leadership in the business and the community college communities for over 30 years.

This presentation began by discussion different leadership styles and the effectiveness of those styles. Various leadership styles can be effective in different situations. A leader needs to evaluate a particular situation and choose the style that best fits that situation.

Style Characteristics When Effective When Ineffective
Authoritative
  1. Tells others what to do
  2. Limits discussion on ideas and creativity.
  3. Keeps group from experiencing teamwork
  • Time is limited
  • Individuals lack skill or knowledge
  • Group does not know each other
  • Control is important
  • Goal is to develop sense of team
  • Members have some degree of skill or knowledge
  • Group desires spontaneity in work
  • Goal is to develop sense of team
  • Members have some degree of skill or knowledge
  • Group desires spontaneity in work
Participative
  1. Involves group in planning and carrying out activities
  2. Asks before tells
  3. Promotes teamwork
  4. Leader makes final decision with input.
  • Time is available
  • Group is motivated
  • Sense of team exists
  • Some degree of skill or knowledge exists
  • Group is unmotivated
  • No skill or knowledge
  • High degree of conflict present
  • Group is unmotivated
  • No skill or knowledge
  • High degree of conflict present
Delegative
  1. Assigns tasks
  2. Offer little or no opinion
  3. Trust employees
  4. Leader does not seem to be in charge
  • Team possesses high degree of skill and motivation
  • Sense of team exists
  • Routine is familiar
  • Low sense of team or interdependence
  • Low degree of skill or knowledge
  • Group expects to be told what to do
  • Low sense of team or interdependence
  • Low degree of skill or knowledge
  • Group expects to be told what to do
Examples and Factors Affecting the Choice of Style
Factors that effect the choice of a style TimeKnowledge and skills of you and your staff

Conflict

Stress

Type of task

Using all three Student Services VP tells his/her staff that the process for handing out Pell Checks is not working efficiently and a new one must be established (Authoritative). The VP give them the new process to implement. OR Ask for their ideas and input on creating a new process(Participative). OR Delegate tasks in order to implement the new procedure (Delegative).

 

In setting aside these materials, Pat Akers stressed the importance of becoming a transformative leader, someone who crosses the issues and builds the team into something more than the sum of the parts. Together, we discussed 10 characteristics of a transformative leader, and the steps that might be required to achieve these characteristics.

 

Characteristics Of A Transformative Leader

1. Let go of things others can do.

  1. Let go of tasks and responsibilities that will help others develop.
  2. Let go of authority to make decisions about the work.
  3. Know what others in the group can do and want to do.
  4. Build people’s skills to take over by involving them in the work.

Area of strength for me          Area in which I would like to improve

 

2. Encourage initiative, ideas, and risk taking.

  1. Actively seek ideas and suggestions from the work group.
  2. Allow people to run with an idea, even if it might involve some risk.
  3. Reward and recognize ideas and initiative through compliments, formal recognition, and, whenever possible, tangible rewards.
  4. Are careful not to put down or discount ideas.

Area of strength for me          Area in which I would like to improve.

 

3. Ensure that people have goals and know how they’re doing.

  1. Encourage the work group to take a lead role in setting goals and assessing their own performance.
  2. Ensure that goals are clear and understandable.
  3. Let people know how they’re doing in meeting goals and provide the guidance and support they need to meet them.

Area of strength for me          Area in which I would like to improve.

4. Delegate to challenge, develop, and empower.

  1. Delegate to challenge and develop people.
  2. Delegate authority to make decisions about the work.
  3. Provide a clear understanding of the responsibility, amount of authority, expectations, and constraints.
  4. Support the delegation within and outside the work group.
  5. Set up controls that keep themselves apprised of progress but aren’t seen as restrictive.

Area of strength for me          Area in which I would like to improve.

5. Coach to ensure success.

  1. Coach before the person begins the task or assumes the responsibility and along the way as needed.
  2. Make coaching a regular part of their jobs.
  3. Are good coaches-their coaching sessions guide and instruct, while maintaining or enhancing the self-esteem of the person being coached.

Area of strength for me          Area in which I would like to improve

6. Reinforce good work and good attempts.

  1. Use verbal praise frequently.
  2. Know the kind of reinforcement that works best for each person.
  3. Provide tangible reinforcement whenever possible (for example, recognition letters, awards, or gifts).
  4. Remember to reinforce what someone does well even when his or her work has a few flaws.

Area of strength for me          Area in which I would like to improve

7. Share information, knowledge, and skills.

  1. Meet with the group regularly to share and update information.
  2. Make sure people have the information they need to succeed in a task or responsibility or know where and how to get it.
  3. Share their insights, knowledge, expertise, and skills.

Area of strength for me          Area in which I would like to improve

8. Value, trust, and respect each individual.

  1. Show, that they trust and respect people by encouraging them to take control of their jobs with the authority to take action.
  2. Take every opportunity to compliment people for good work, creative ideas, and contributions to the group.
  3. Listen to people and empathize with their problems and concerns.
  4. Are careful never to put people down or minimize their contributions.

Area of strength for me          Area in which I would like to improve.

9. Provide support without taking over.

  1. Understand that support is essential and know when it’s needed.
  2. Know techniques for supporting others, such as coaching, reinforcing, preparing for resistance, and gaining others’ commitment.
  3. Resist the temptation to take over when things go wrong.

Area of strength for me          Area in which I would like to improve.

 10. Practice what you preach. 

  1. Let go, but also support people through the rough spots of a new assignment instead of punishing them for mistakes or taking over.
  2. Ask for ideas, but also empower people to implement their ideas– especially those that involve some risk.
  3. Tell people they’re important and show them through actions.

Area of strength for me          Area in which I would like to improve.

 

Just like there are several characteristics of a transformative leaders, there are several types of team players. Finding out which one you might be and how you can best affect the team in a positive manner

 

Team Player Styles

Style Seen as… Behaviors
CONTRIBUTOR Information Focus

Task

Oriented

  1. Enjoys providing the team with good technical information and data
  2. Does his or her homework
  3. Pushes the team to set high performance standards and to use their resources wisely
  4. Is dependable, responsible and organized
  5. Has a clear set of priorities
COLLABORATOR Big Picture PersonGoal

Oriented

  1. Focuses on the vision, mission or goal of the team
  2. Is flexible and open to new ideas
  3. Is willing to pitch in and work outside his or her defined role
  4. Is able to share the limelight with other team members
  5. Is visionary and cooperative
COMMUNICATOR Positive People PersonProcess Oriented
  1. Is an effective listener and facilitator of involvement, conflict resolution, consensus building and feedback
  2. Builds an informal, relaxed climate
  3. Communicates with enthusiasm
  4. Helps team members get to know each other
  5. Receives feedback without becoming defensive
CHALLENGER Candid and OpenQuestioner

Oriented

  1. Questions the goals, methods and even the ethics of the team
  2. Is willing to disagree openly with the leader or higher authority
  3. Encourages the team to take well-conceived risks.
  4. Raises questions about the teams’ goals
  5. Outspoken, ethical and principled

Pat Akers spent the remaining portion of our professional development discussing how leaders “connect” with their team members.

 

Connecting is the ability to identify with people and relate to them in a way that increases your influence with them.”

 

Leaders today face the challenge of influencing people from all sides of an organization. Yet, many managers with leadership responsibilities feel that because they are not the main leader, they cannot influence their bosses, peers and subordinates. From this comes the understanding of 360 degree leadership. Becoming a 360 Degree Leader is not easy. By becoming a better leader… one who can influence others… you add tremendous value to your organization.

 

“The true measure of leaders is not the number of people who serve them but the number of people they serve.”
John Maxwell

 

Pat ended by requesting that we identify the people in “our” college environment whom we will influence in working to become a 360 Degree leader. Identify ways that you connect with these people in your environment, and make our changes to improve things.

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