Articles From the April 1994 Unification News
Fundamental Issues In Leadership
by S. B. Stacey
The ideas here are based on the book "13 Fatal Errors Managers Make" by W. Steven Brown. Since almost all people will at some time in their lives be in a position of leadership, we have a chance to give the position of leadership a good name. Good leadership is something we can all learn, if we work at it and if we study and reflect.
Five elements are essential to any organization's success: (1) A quality or unique product (Divine Principle) (2) Proper timing in introducing the product into the marketplace (the Last Days) (3) Adequate capital (4) People resources (well-educated members) (5) Effective management.
However, without the last, effective management, the others do not function.
Below are presented 13 areas which need to be looked at and acted upon:
1) The need to accept personal accountability.
In time, good leaders can create a successful organization if they lead correctly. There is no real excuse for failure save our own inability. As leaders we should dedicate ourselves to acquiring the knowledge necessary to liberate people to do their best work, to achieve and succeed.
- Two actions in life, to perform or to make excuses, to blame yourself or to blame others.
- It has been noted in many studies that people fail in direct proportion to their willingness to accept socially acceptable excuses for their failure.
2) The need to develop people.
Members will generally perform at the level you expect them to. They will generally not exceed your expectations. We need to see the untapped 90% in any person's potential capability and develop that.
a) There is a need to develop your members to the extent that they can take over from you if you are away. You must develop and encourage them to put forward their best effort. Try to understand what members need to learn so that you can leave the center/department in their care, make a list of these thoughts and teach them step by step, one thing at a time. Ask yourself the question, "What could my members not do if I left for a month?" and then, "What ways can I help them develop?"
b) Members have beliefs around themselves as to what they can or cannot do. Part of leadership is helping a person over each of these limitations. This may take hard work but it is what a good leader does, whether he likes it or not.
c) The development of people is not achieved through you solving all their problems. When a person comes to you with a problem: i) Stop what you are doing. ii) Look at the person. iii) Listen with your eyes as well as your ears.
iv) Make sure you clearly understand the problem and the member's attitude to it. v) Advise and counsel, give guidance on where the member might find answers to his or her problem, BUT make sure your member carries the problem away with him or her, with the knowledge of where to find answers to the problem.
3) The problem of trying to control results rather than influencing thinking.
Results increase inasmuch as leaders increasingly understand the human factor and effectively deal with attitudes, fears, motivational blocks, and phantoms lurking within the minds of people. As leaders we face a major challenge reforming the attitudes of those who believe a mission or development is beyond them.
- A successful person is one who has developed the habit of doing the things unsuccessful people do not do. The question we need to ask then is "How do people develop successful work habits?"
- The most important point to understand here is that "performance improves in direct proportion to mental discipline": Increasing results is the direct result of thinking.
- Two essential points form the basis of our thinking:
a) Can we engage in an activity long enough for it to become a habit?
- Our ability to succeed is based very much on whether we believe we can succeed. If we believe something is too far above us, we won't even try to attempt it, even if others believe it is easy.
- However, if the member is given new training, new ideas, new information, etc., in time he will come to believe that he can perform on a higher level.
b) Are we determined to face new challenges and constantly try to improve the quality of our work?
- It's a fact that generally people only work hard if they believe something is in it for them. In some organizations money is one motivator, but in an advanced working environment, self-development and self-esteem are more important. If a person derives self-esteem from learning new habits, he will overcome the barriers and develop.
- Therefore, a mission needs to be a challenge for the person, and it has to have some meaning for them to continue to work hard and develop and take pride in what they do.
4) The disaster of accusing higher leaders in front of members.
Rather than noting that you now stand as part of the leadership, you act as a Cain-type member. Loyalty to fellow leaders is important. Loyalty means not that I agree with everything that is said, or that I believe that my leader is always right. It means that I share a common ideal with him, and that regardless of minor differences, we fight for it, shoulder to shoulder, confident in one another's good faith, trust, constancy and affection. There must exist a chain of command and respect for structure.
- Only one pronoun should be used when speaking of any part of your organization: WE (not THEY).
Even if you secretly agree with another member's complaints, keep this to yourself. There must exist a chain of command and respect for the structure and the decisions made by people in the structure. Failure to accept this will mean that things will no longer move smoothly. If you can't stop complaining to people in the firm about your leader's decisions, then you should look for help and spiritual guidance. - To help people who are promoted from within an organization to change from a them/us mentality to a WE mentality takes time, education and often a gradual transition of responsibility.
- Leaders or future leaders, therefore, must watch their pronouns, must watch out for any separatist-type thoughts, must not team up with members who find it difficult not to criticize, and must not lay the blame on others for their own failure to take full responsibility.
S) The need to manage different members in different ways.
Deal with your members one by one. Do not criticize a member in front of the group. Be aware of employees' difficulties and be available for them to talk to. There are several types of leadership, but often democratic management works best. This means letting other people participate in the decision-making process, and gaining their support through voluntary action.
- Though group meetings are necessary, they are not an effective way to manage members:
a) Some leaders attempt to deal with the member's problems together with other problems in a monthly/weekly meeting. However, by this method they do not manage effectively.
b) Rather than face an individual personal confrontation, some leaders accuse some members in a general way at a meeting, but all leave the meeting feeling accused.
c) At regular meetings, some leaders publicly accuse the member who is out of line. This only creates more problems as well as the loss of respect from the rest of the membership.
d) If people are late for a meeting or have to leave early, believe they have a good reason for doing so. If they do this regularly, then a one-to-one talk might be necessary.
HOWEVER, leadership is a one-to-one proposition. Personal contact allows you say what you want to say to a person, and allows for discussion on the problem to develop.
a) Deal with members one-to-one,
b) Be Aware and be Available: place your office in a position where you can be most available and most aware. Remember you were given the position to deal with people. It is to be noted that in general there are four different leadership styles:
i) Autocratic-the manager draws from his own strengths: sometimes necessary, with some people and in difficult situations which need a quick leadership response.
ii) Bureaucratic-by the rules: for some people this works, since some people enjoy regimentation. For others, it kills their creativity.
iii) Democratic-letting people participate in the decision-making process: this allows the manager to see the problem from several different angles. It also makes people feel important. When they receive such respect they can respond tremendously. However, this does not work in every case.
iv) Idiosyncratic-dealing with each person differently, in ways which motivate and help that individual person to develop and achieve.
6) The need to remember the importance of an actual result. Failure to keep our clear goal leads to the death of any organization.
- Running a church organization is like juggling with five balls named quality product, witnessing, public relations, people development and world salvation. However, you can sometimes drop one ball, but you can never drop the world salvation ball. Without world salvation, the rest is meaningless.
- Every single part of the organization should be tied to achieving world salvation, whether the department be Publications or MFT.
- All departments should continually think world salvation
- All new activities should be allowed to run for a predetermined period of time. However, if they are not helping to lay the foundation for world salvation, learn from your errors and select another course of action.
- Every part of an organization should ALWAYS clearly know how it contributes to world salvation.
- Every person needs to have a clear idea in their mind as to how their actions help in the attainment of world salvation, since this will help people become more efficient.
- We need to ask: "What actions do my members take on a daily basis?" and "How do these affect the providence?"
7) The need to concentrate on objectives rather than problems.
Problems are not problems but opportunities to develop with creativity. Do not keep focusing on an insurmountable problem, but think of other creative ways of going forward. The lifeblood of any living organization is new ideas and creative thinking, NOT doing. This is mainly the leaders' task.
- Many leaders spend as much as 90% of their time dealing with problems which only influence 10% of their results. This is because they get so involved in small issues that they lose sight of their overall objectives.
- Creativity is the ability to understand your environment or conditions and use these factors to your advantage.
- "Nothing is as dangerous as an idea when you only have one."
- Always need to think HOW I can use a situation to my advantage: the use of HOW presupposes success.
- When a qualified person lacks performance, do you seek a reason for this or do you judge?
- If you have a judgmental attitude, this automatically destroys our confidence in an individual and really affects their ability to perform. We let the person see this lack of belief in a thousand unconscious ways-this can quickly destroy a person.
- Leaders should never manage anyone whose success would surprise them. Failure alone should surprise us. If you believe a person is destined to fail, then move the person or you will kill all his potential.
- Instead of concentrating on problems by asking yourself, "What is wrong with this person?" consider another option: "What conditions affect this person's performance?" The true cause may have nothing to do with personal fault. So don't judge! Find the source of the problem and find creative ways of going forward.
8) The need to be a leader rather than a buddy.
Being a leader involves working with people, and the resolution of problems through a vertical connection.
A leader promoted within the firm has to be very sensitive. No longer a buddy to his old friends. Needs to sit down with them and make the new relationship clear.
a) Promise to try not to make the same mistakes which other leaders made with them. b) Promise to treat them fairly. c) In return he asks that they do their best to support him, for the best possible vertical relationship.
9) The need to set standards.
Properly presented standards tell new members exactly what caliber of people they associate with. These standards can be a source of pride in an organization. These standards however are only effective when the leadership practices what it preaches. These standards need to be clearly understood. Standards, whether written or spoken, should exist in all areas of morality, dress, ethics and performance. These should be thought out clearly by leadership, and lived by leadership.
Letting the standard slip for one person allows it to slip for others. If mutually agreed upon standards are in place and enforced, the organization grows stronger and stronger in unity. Ones ability to keep good people increases in direct proportion to the expectations of our membership. If people have no pride in the organization, they will not stay. If people are not meeting that standard, they should be educated until they can change. You don't bend a rule when you accept lower standards from someone, but you make a new rule which others follow. The rules apply to all.
Standards are a covenant between members and True Parents, ones based on faith and commitment. Therefore, there is a need for clear standards, positively worded.
10) The need to train your members.
- There exists a leadership barrier-some members believe that you are just going to use them. You may believe that you have an idea which will be good for them, but they will see this idea as something which you are imposing on them. We therefore must overcome the resistance which exists to leadership. This is done by showing our members that we don't want slaves but a mutual relationship with them, where all are involved in the development of the church, and where all can develop their own needs.
In any organization, a member needs to know clearly what is required of him or her in order to function well. If a member is not functioning well, there are three possible reasons.
a) The member doesn't know clearly what the job is. b) The member doesn't know how to do the job. c) Something or someone interferes with their ability to do it.
Solving these problems:
a) Clearly write out or explain what the mission involves. b) When a new member first joins, or a person gets assigned to a new position under your dominion, do their thinking for them. Guide them very closely in their activities to show them exactly what is expected of them and how they can be successful. Even assign a person to help them directly at first. Meet with the new person every day at first, less later. Discuss events, reactions, etc., to the activity being learned. Guide the person, reinforcing good developments, showing by this exactly what it is that you want the member to learn.
Always check that the new directions you gave were fulfilled. Don't set accomplishments too far above a person's ability. People do not attempt to succeed if they believe they cannot succeed, or if they fail to see the value of striving hard to succeed.
c) Train the member, step by step, not too much at once, with guidance or practical advice. Role play, case studies, drills, etc., can all be of help. However, NEVER punish a learner. Ignore mistakes but praise good points and progress. Behavioral change comes about through increasing one's strengths, through a confidence-building process. Weaknesses then fade from the picture. Try and help the person realize by their own discovery that they have made a mistake (egos can accept self-criticism better than criticism from others). This avoids a fault-finding environment. (Later, reprimands might be used if a person is not living up to what they used to do.)
The educational method of "show and tell," watch and positively reinforce, continues in any activities until they reach an acceptable level of performance.
d) Coaching is an endless task. Not completed after one month or year. Later, send the person to take courses. Bad habits change only after much education. People succeed or lose on the basis of their habits. A leader's job is to help people learn good habits to function well and bring about a successful life.
11) The need to do something about incompetence.
When a person starts to lapse from a previously held standard, firmness as well as fairness is needed. Confronting incompetence requires skill and timing. Never confront in anger. Confront a lapse earlier rather than later, since this stops the situation from worsening. Confront privately. (No one else should know it has taken place.)
Be specific about what has been done wrong. Support your statements with data. Be clear. Don't attack the individual. Let them know how you feel, share your frustration, and tell him why their behavior evokes these emotions. Provide clear direction as to what you expect should be done from now on. Make sure that the member thoroughly understands what is desired, obtain a commitment, and a time frame for when the correction will occur. Do not mention the confrontation again-just reinforce the desired behavior. Compliment the specific behavior which they've done right, not just a general statement about how wonderful they are. If after training, education and support, a person still fails to bring a result, one might consider changing their mission to something they might be more suited to.
12) The need to recognize more than just the top performers.
The organization is a team. Others who have worked hard to contribute also need praise. There is a need for the personal touch, where each person in the organization feels respected and cared about. Individual monthly goals are of help and a member should receive personal recognition for attaining their personal goal. The prize or gift may be small and given at any time, but everyone should have a chance to win. Let everyone set their own goals. Those who set unrealistic goals-let them do it; they'll become realist;c with time. Respect and recognition (equality of love) are the food of the spirit.
13) The problem of manipulating people.
Three methods of leadership:
a) Fear: Has no real place in building a lasting organization.
b) Rewards: Useful at first, but its use dies after a while.
c) Belief building: People produce because of their inner strengths, built up through years of good guidance and success. Build healthy pride in members, a healthy vision and an organization which members can be proud of. Help people to get on in life. Develop a organization philosophy: a set of ideals and practices that all members in your organization can believe in.
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