Leadership Tips to Live By

An Interview with Dave Herda Sr.

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During a college course on leadership in the workplace, one of our assignments was to interview a prominent leader of any organization. At the time, I worked for Ameritech when Dick Notebaert was CEO. I tried to get in touch with him, but to my disappointment (and his) he would be in Europe on vacation for several weeks.

There are leaders all around us. They don’t have to be the president of a large corporation, or have a big title. What they do need is the experience of being a good leader in which their reputation attests time and again that they are worthy of recognition and greatness. Therefore, I chose to interview David Herda, superintendent of the Northern Illinois Gas Company.

Below are 8 interview questions on leadership that I asked Mr. Herda.

1. What is your philosophy on leadership?

“To lead by example. You can’t ask subordinates to do something that you wouldn’t do.”

“You can’t compromise your scruples or morals.”

“You must encourage your subordinates and support them.”

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Recipe for Great Leadership

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When it comes to leadership quotes, one site I recommend is Henrik Edberg’s 25 Great Quotes on Leadership. Thank you, Henrik for the leadership quotes you compiled on your site.

To quote Henrik, “One of the more fascinating topics of life is the leaders of history and how they shaped the world.” Imagine being any of our presidents of the United States, Vince Lombardi, Aristotle, Mahatma Ghandi, or Helen Keller, just to name a few.

What comes to mind when you think about leadership in the workplace? What qualities must a true leader possess? Is it someone who is handsome, charming and charismatic? Is it someone who makes persuasive speeches? Or is it someone who leads by example? If the people follow and do what is asked of them with a happy, healthy attitude, then there is good leadership. Do your people have a healthy attitude? What is that secret recipe for great leadership?

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Great Leaders Build Others Up

iconGreat leaders must be able to tap into the skills and resources of those around them. Yet, establishing collaborative relationships is sometimes challenging because people have different backgrounds and experiences.  So, make it a point to recognize each team member’s strengths and weaknesses, understand their capabilities, and continue to nurture and support in a way that allows each to achieve their individual greatness.

Recognize that not all great ideas come from your office but from others on your team.  Tap into the varied skills and wider perspectives of others in order to strengthen organizational goals and objectives.

When you allow people to provide input rather than just tell them what needs to be completed, it builds consensus around goals and is the quickest way to gain success.  Ask your employees, “What are we trying to accomplish?” or “What would you do to accomplish this goal?”

Lead relentlessly, surround yourself with great people and continually build them up!

 

Recognize Employees to Motivate and Boost Productivity

TNS TIP of the Week:  Recognize Employees

CertificateRecognition is a very important motivator for employees because it encourages productivity and helps to drive top performance among employees. TNS research has consistently shown that organizations that provide their employees with recognition on a regular basis outperform organizations that do not engage in a regular recognition program.

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Leadership Starts with You!

6-6-2013Are you a leader who’s willing to roll up your sleeves, get your hands dirty and dive into any challenge?

If you really want to lead successfully, you must demonstrate that you are committed to being part of the team.  Be willing to dive in and do whatever you would ask others to do, regardless of the task.  A key driver of employee engagement revolves around the front-line supervisor or leader.  It lies in their ability to handle the basics well. It’s the simple things that make a difference – showing up to meetings on time, treating others with respect, valuing their opinions, etc.  In high performing organizations, leaders treat their employees with respect and dignity almost 90% of the time. (Source:  TNS 2013 High Performing Company Benchmark)

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Modeling Engagement

http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=download&id=1016872For anyone who works in a position of authority, employee enagement is a difficult concept to tackle and develop in one’s staff. To even begin thinking about creating an environemnt for employees that is more engaging, one must take much time to plan and assess the needs of the department or organization. So how does a manager or supervisor even begin to engage his or her employees when there’s barely enough time to get the essential day-to-day tasks done? Model engagement. Continue Reading →

Is There a Difference Between Management and Leadership?

Management and leadership are often thought of as very similar concepts.  One of the most important observations to be made is that organizations need both good managers and good leaders to be successful.  Both management and leadership are given power. It is believed that good managers and leaders will use their “socialized power” to benefit employees by encouraging energy and enthusiasm in the workplace.  And on the other hand, management and leadership can abuse the power by bullying employees and causing physical and psychological stress. Continue Reading →

What went wrong?

It is an inevitability that individuals leave their jobs. Sometimes leaving a position is a result of dissatisfaction with something within the organization (e.g., the manager, the hours, the tasks were too difficult/easy for the employee’s skills, etc.) and sometimes it’s a result of external factors such as a spouse’s job relocation or better opportunities elsewhere. There are many reasons why an employee may terminate his or her employment and often times this information is not well utilized by supervisors. Information regarding employee turnover can be evaluated to improve the work environment for current and future employees if leaders find that an organizational deficiency does exist. Continue Reading →

Emotional Intelligence: Necessary for Leadership?

Emotional intelligence, the ability to regulate one’s mood in the face of difficult situations, has become a hot topic in the realm of leadership.  Possessing high emotional intelligence levels has long been considered a necessity for a strong leader.  It is believed that the best leaders have the cognitive ability to regulate his or her emotions depending on the situation. Continue Reading →

Leadership Gone Wrong

Of course we all want to focus on the positives of leadership. Leadership is an important part of organizations and can have such a great or bad impact on employees. Poor management or leadership can dampen employee’s efforts and stomp out creativity. What are other consequences? Continue Reading →