Leadership and Authority
Part 1 – Leaders Have Power
Tom was a seasoned general manager within his organization. He had been with the company for nearly fifteen years, and his team experienced consistent growth through his leadership until this year. This year, however, Tom’s team is struggling. He is experiencing higher turnover rates from his department heads. Moreover, because of fear (of losing people), he is allowing key team members to push their agenda and propagate a negative attitude. Tom is failing at a significant part of Leadership, Authority.
What Authority in Leadership Looks Like
Look at the four keys a leader with authority can accomplish. First, the leader who exemplifies healthy authority understands the Mission and Vision of the organization and how they fit within it. Second, leaders with healthy authority know their strengths and weaknesses. They play to their strengths and delegate to their weakness. Third, the healthy leader has developed a “grown up” sexuality, meaning they can work with the opposite sex and the relationship not become sexual (this deals with the fact that as a leader, they have developed an authority over themselves). And fourth, the healthy leader understands that there are five aspects of authority and can use them properly.
I will share the Five Aspects of Healthy Authority in Leadership in the next five blog posts. I will include the links to all five posts below for easy navigation. Let’s look at the first Aspect; Leaders Have Power.
ASPECT 1 – Leaders Have Power
There’s an old cliché in Leadership, “the buck stops here.” Meaning that leaders, at the end of the day, make decisions. That’s what they are paid to do. Too often, however, leaders fail to be decisive. Instead, they develop analysis paralysis, gathering more and more data to justify a decision (and in the end, they never make a decision) or procrastinate (they stay stuck in fear of failure, so they seldom take a risk and make a decision).
This is not so with a leader who understands the power of their leadership. This leader can leverage their authority by gaining insight into the decision, giving commands to the team about the decision, and ultimately, they can get the project done.
Example of Power
I recently watched a football game where a coach had to make a tough decision at a critical part of the game. It was fourth down, a minute lift before the half, no timeouts, and they needed seven yards to make a first down.
What does the coach do?
He went for it!
After the play, the announcer talked about the head coach’s relationship with the rest of the coaching staff. During the 40 seconds of the play clock, the coach communicated with his “analytics coach” (the coach who crunches numbers to determine what type of play to run) and the offensive coordinator. Based on the coach’s communication, the head coach had about 20 seconds to decide. He then has 5 seconds to send in a play to the team. The team has about 15 seconds to communicate the play to each other and hike the ball. In this scenario, the risk worked. The team made the first down and, ultimately, a touchdown before halftime. The entire sequence came down to the head coach being able to gather relevant data and then make a decision.
Leaders have the power to make decisions and to be decisive.
- What decision have you been putting off?
- What decision are you afraid to make?
- Who is on the team that can help you make a wise decision for the health of your organization?
Links to the Series
(Note, links 2-5 will not be activated till November 18, 2022)
Aspect 2: Leaders Are Experts
Aspect 3: Leaders Oversee
Aspect 4: Leaders Are Influencers
Aspect 5: Leaders Will Submit