Leadership & Human Behavior 3

Leadership & Human Behavior 3:

Leadership advice is easy to find these days: workshops, conferences, and private coaching sessions, often for a hefty price, on how to leap from executive to leader. Yet those who have proved their ability to inspire rarely say they were guided by formal instruction. Instead, they point to life experiences that were pivotal in helping them recognize a capacity to make things happen and to get others behind them.

In the last edition, I discussed two of the four types of frameworks: Structural and Human Resources. Today I am highlighting the remaining two; Political and Symbolic.

Political Framework:

In a practical leadership situation, the leader is an advocate whose leadership style is coalition and building. While in an ineffective leadership situation, the leader is a hustler whose leadership style is manipulation. Political leaders clarify what they want and can get; assess the distribution of power and interests; build linkages to other stakeholders, use persuasion first, and then use negotiation and coercion only if necessary.

Symbolic Framework:

In a practical leadership situation, the leader is a prophet whose leadership style is an inspiration. While in an ineffective leadership situation, is the leader a fanatic or fool whose leadership style is smoke and mirrors? Symbolic leaders view organizations as a stage or theater to play specific roles and give impressions; these leaders use symbols to capture attention; they try to frame experiences by providing plausible interpretations of experiences; they discover and communicate a vision.

Late David L. Dawson, a former Navigator, a first-class Disciple-maker, and the founder of the Equipping the Saints, gave an acrostic P. O. L. E. to the tools a leader uses. P. O. L. E means:

  •    Planning
  •    Organizing
  •    Leading
  •    Evaluating

Each tool of a leader shall be briefly discussed here:

Planning is our work to determine what we must do to accomplish our objective. It is the vital first step of any accomplishment. It involves deciding what to do, how to do it, when, and who is to do it. It is how we get from where we are to where we want to go. There are skills involved in planning. These skills are:

  • Estimating
  • Establishing Objectives
  • Developing Policies
  • Programming
  • Scheduling
  • Budgeting and
  • Establishing Procedures.

Each of these skills is basic to planning. The best planners tend to be men of vision with the ability to think conceptually and analytically. The following tool used in leading people to accomplish the objective is organizing.

Organizing is the work of effectively relating the people on the team to the jobs necessary to fulfill the objective. Organizing is essential both to the leader and his followers for the following reasons:

  • It increases Efficiency
  • It helps the entire team
  • It establishes lines of authority and communication.

The two activities that are basic to organizing are:

  1. Developing an Organization Structure, and
  2. Delegating to Subordinates

The three keywords in the delegation are:

  1. Responsibility
  2. Authority, and
  3. Accountability

The five Basic aspects of Good Leadership are:

  1. Decision-making
  2. Communication
  3. Motivating
  4. Staffing
  5. Training

Another tool of a leader is Evaluation.

Evaluation is the work of appraising performance to see that the maximum progress is being made in the pre-arranged plan. There are three elements of Evaluation and Performance Standards, Quantitative and Qualitative. The “L” in the acrostic P. O. L. E. stands for Leading and deals with one of its subcomponents, motivating.

Motivation inspires others to wholeheartedly employ resources and exchange their lives to fulfill the objective.

Motivation is at the very heartbeat of leadership, for unless a leader can reproduce incentive toward the objective so that his followers live by it and reproduce it in others, he cannot ensure the ongoing of the vision.

All leaders can recant crucible experiences. Crucible experiences have a way of testing us. They bring out aspects of our personality that we do not know exists. We can think of them in other words (for example, adversity). In each case, they help build our character, whether as individuals or in the workplace. All in all, the crucible experiences are character-building. While going through these experiences, we may wonder why it is happening to us. Each of our lives is the sum of our experiences. As Albert Einstein said, the only source of knowledge is experience. When we add to that Benjamin Disraeli’s quote, “There is no education like adversity.” When we take them together, then crucible experiences are life’s step functions: each taking us to a new, higher level, as long as we are willing to learn.

Ten years of research by Emmett C. Murphy, Ph.D., the author of Talent IQ (Adams Media; March 2007). provided these 15 areas of dysfunctional behavior and how they manifest in organizations:

  1. Procrastinator – fence sitter; dislikes investing own energy; avoids commitment.
  2. Martyr – avoider; accusatory; self-righteous; blames others for own inadequacies.
  3. Gossip – hostile; critical of others; spreads lies; intends to harm others.
  4. Manipulator – contemptuous; deceives others by inventing/distorting information; convinces others to shun those they wish to harm.
  5. Backstabber – irresponsible; fakes relationships and deceives others for a slanderous and surprise attack.
  6. Narcissist – fence sitter; outwardly arrogant and self-absorbed; inwardly insecure and anxious.
  7. Deer in the Headlights – avoider who appears to be in a state of paralysis or shock; unwilling/unable to engage others or respond to requests.
  8. Black Hole – hostile, unresponsive, unproductive.
  9. Fetalist – inwardly contemptuous; severely withdrawn; displays zombie-like demeanor.
  10. Suicide – irresponsible and self-destructible; often resigns from a position either formally or by failing to show up; may express repressed anger.
  11. Stonewaller – fence sitter; obstructionist; challenges legitimacy or need of another party for info or support.
  12. Curmudgeon – an avoider; makes others pay for every encounter.
  13. Bully – hostile, attacks someone’s character or the quality of their work; threatens employees with dismissal if they don’t comply with demands.
  14. Bomber – contemptuous; destroys others’ self-confidence; publicly assaults others; undermines others’ value in the eyes of the team.
  15. Predator – irresponsible; feeds off others’ securities; uses or destroys others to increase personal power; feels confident that they can hunt and destroy at will.

I will like to end this piece with some exciting Quotes:

George Washington Carver: 

“How far you go depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong; because someday in life, you will have been all of these.”

Albert Einstein:

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts, and his feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our desires and affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and


 “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

William Sloane Coffin: Senior Minister, Riverside Church, NYC:

“In life, you can either follow your fears or be led by your values and passions.”

Harvey Fierstein, 1992 Bennington Commencement: 

“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.”

Patrick Overton:

“When you come to the edge of all the light you have and must take a step into the darkness of the unknown, believe that one of two things will happen to you: either there will be something solid for you to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.”

Leave a Reply