All posts by Nimia Acebes

Welcome to leadfrdheart.com! I am Nimia S. Acebes, a single Mom of two kids and a government corporation executive. I have handled people for three decades. I have experienced the ups and downs of my career and these challenges have helped mold my personality. Presently, I am the Regional Director of the Philippine Postal Corporation, Region XI, with official station at Davao City, Philippines. I love to travel and explore new places. I love to read books of John Maxwell, Stephen Covey, Norman Vincent Peale and Dale Carnegie. I also love to read articles written by Brian Tracy, Jim Rohn, Philip Humbert and Dennis Waitley. I'm beginning to read writings of other authors, too. My blog shall dwell on leadership, career and people development. Believing that leadership and development shall be more successful if everyone is healthy, I shall also write on Health And Fitness and other useful tips which could improve everyone. John Maxwell says that everything rise and fall with leadership. Follow me at http://twitter.com/nimia_a Connect with me at facebook http://profile.to/nimiaacebes/

The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership

James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner in their book, The Leadership Challenge, said that when getting extraordinary things done in organization, leaders engage in these Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership:

  • Model the Way  – Titles are granted, but it’s your behavior that wins your respect.  Exemplary leaders know that if they want to gain commitment and achieve the highest standards, they must be models of the behavior they expect of others. Leaders model the way. To model the way, a leader must have integrity, that is, his words and deeds match up.

Modeling the way is about earning the right and the respect to lead through direct involvement and action.

People follow first the person, then the plan.

John Maxwell said that leaders add infinite weight to their words by incarnating the principles they teach.

  • Inspire a Shared Vision – People always have a dream or a vision of an exciting and highly attractive future for their organization. The dream or vision is the force that invents the future.  Leaders inspire a shared vision.

  • Challenge the Process – Leaders face the challenge of changing from the status quo.  All leaders challenge the process.  They search for opportunities to innovate, grow and improve. They know well that innovation and change involve experimenting and taking risks.  Despite the inevitability of mistakes and failures leaders proceed anyway.
  • Enable Others to Act – To turn dream or vision into significant reality, it requires team effort, solid trust and relationship.  It requires deep competence and cool confidence.  It requires group collaboration and individual accountability.  Leaders have to enable others to act.

In today’s virtual organizations, cooperation can’t be restricted to a small group of loyalists; it  must include peers, managers, customers and clients, suppliers, citizens – all those who have a stake in the vision.

  • Encourage the Heart – The climb to the top is arduous and long which make people exhausted, frustrated and disenchanted.  They’re often tempted to give up.  Leaders encourage the heart of their constituents to carry on.  Genuine acts of caring uplift the spirits and draw people forward.

Many of today’s leaders fail to turn their vision into reality because they do not act as role models to their employees.  By not modeling the behavior they expect from their people, leaders could not influence their people to perform what are required from them.

The Basic Ingredients of Leadership

Warren Bennis, in his book “On Becoming a Leader”, listed down the following basic ingredients of leadership:

First is guiding vision. A leader must know where he is going and be able to convince his people to follow him.  According to John Maxwell, “ Time flies, moral soars upward, heroic stories are told, and commitment is the watchword. Why? Because the leader has a vision….  Without it, energy ebbs low, deadlines as missed, personal agendas begin to surface, production falls, and people scatter.”

Second is passion – the underlying passion for the promises of life, combined with a particular passion for a vocation, a profession, and a course of action.  The leader must love what he is doing as this conveys hope and inspiration to his people.

Third is integrity.  Warren Bennis cited three essential parts of integrity:  self-knowledge, candor, and maturity.

Self-knowledge – until the leader knows himself, his strengths and weaknesses, knows what he wants to do and why he wants to do it, he cannot succeed in any but the most superficial sense of the word.  When a leader knows what he consists of and what he wants to make of it, then he can invent himself.

Candor – is the key to self-knowledge.  It is based in honesty of thought and action, a steadfast devotion to principle, and a fundamental soundness and wholeness.

Maturity – is important to a leader because leading is not simply showing the way or issuing orders.  Every leader needs to have experienced and grown through the following – learning to be dedicated, observant, capable of working with and learning from other, never servile, always truthful.

Integrity is the basis of trust, a quality that cannot be acquired, but must be earned.  It is given by co-workers and followers, and without it, the leader can’t function.

According to John Maxwell, “When I have integrity, my words and my deeds match up.  I am who I am, no matter where I am or who I am with.”

Another basic ingredients of leadership are curiosity and daring.  Leaders wonder about everything, want to learn as much as they can, are willing to take risks, experiment, try new things. They do not worry about failure, but embrace errors, knowing they will learn from them.

In actual situation, vision statements are provided most of the time by the top executives.   Due to non-participation during the formulation, there are some followers who fail to embrace or internalize their vision statements.

John Maxwell said: “Sadly, integrity is a vanishing commodity today.”

Some followers do not trust their leaders anymore because words and deeds do not match and some are perceived to be unprofessional and dishonest.

On the other hand, it is also hard for government leaders to be daring because of government restrictions.  Their actions must always be in accordance with existing laws, decrees and orders.  Failure and errors can cause worries  as their detractors may use their deficiencies in filing cases against them in proper courts.

Leaders Must Touch the Heart

Many become leaders because of their positions.  Most often they use their positions as source of their power and authority.  They issue written memoranda, circulars and orders to ensure that people under them follow policies, procedures and instructions.  Non-compliance to these issuances are properly dealt with. People comply with the written directives for fear of losing their jobs or facing charges in government entities or in the courts.

According to John Maxwell, in his book, Your Road Map for Success, “ One of the most common mistakes people make is trying to lead others before developing relationships with them.  It happens all the time.  A new manager starts with a company and expects the people working there to respond to his authority without question…the leader expects to make an impact on his people before building the relationship.  It’s possible that the followers will comply with what the leader’s position requires, but they’ll never go beyond that.”

To touch the people’s heart, leaders must know the people they are working with well.  They must know their weaknesses and strengths and what they could become.  Leaders must associate with their people.

In his book, The Power Principle, Dr. Blaine Lee listed down the following words a leader shall say to himself to check his knowledge of his people:

Do I understand what they want?

Do I know them? How well?

Can I see the whole person?

Do I know the person outside of this situation or task?

Have I “done my homework” on them as well as on what I want them to do?

How well do I really see them?

Am I willing to pay the price to know them?

The Ability to Lead

Everything Rises and Falls on Leadership – John Maxwell

We attribute success or failure in any endeavor to leadership.  We look at employees performance as a reflection of the one for whom they work.

According to John Maxwell, leadership is influence.  Leadership is the ability to obtain followers.  He who thinketh he leadeth and hath no one following him is only taking a walk.

But, how do we select leaders?

In school, we select group chairpersons or leaders based on how they rank academically in class.  Whether they are good leaders or not, we are not 100% sure as classmates/schoolmates follow them for fear of getting low grades or failing in the class.

At Office, we promote employees to supervisory or managerial positions based on their  very satisfactory or outstanding performance ratings while clerks or subordinates. But, when they assume the duties and responsibilities as supervisors or managers, some of them fail or become unsatisfactory performers and even produce disgruntled employees.  We often wonder why these happen.

These happen because during promotion, we only consider their technical knowledge and skills.  We miss to evaluate  their human relation skill which is needed for leadership.

Presidents of nations are elected by the constituents and some won due to high intelligence and competence as well as impressive credentials.  But, some of them failed as leaders.

The world is becoming more complicated and dangerous, hence, there’s a pressing need for leaders in every organization, community and institution.

Less than three decades ago, there were very few leadership books to refer to, most were management books. Nowadays, thanks to our best authors who produced leadership books.

According to Warren Bennis, in his book, On Becoming a Leader, “The Lone Ranger is dead.  In order to lead a Great Group, a leader need not possess all the individual skills of the group members.  What he or she must have are vision, the ability to rally the others, and integrity.  Such leaders also need superb curatorial and coaching skills – an eye for talent, the ability to recognize correct choices, contagious optimism, a gift for bringing out the best in others, the ability to facilitate communication and mediate conflict, a sense of fairness, and, as always, the kind of authenticity and integrity that creates trust.”