Do you know the condition of your flock? That is, your staff and/or colleagues. Do you communicate with them often about them, rather than about work? As their leader do you show that you care about them? Good leaders will know the condition of their flock. They will know if any one of them is suffering from the stress of their work load, or feeling left out of the loop, or feeling anxious about their future, or in fact any number of things that today’s world brings upon us.
Humans are very much like animals in that we live and work in ‘herds’ or ‘packs’. All herds have the same basic structure. Each one will have an Alpha Male figure; a Dominant Female figure; and all the other members.
The role of the Alpha Male, or leader of the pack, is to give leadership and training and to oversee the well-being of the entire ‘herd’. Even though this position is known as ‘The Alpha Male’ ,those filling this role are, of course not always male. In an elephant herd for example the leader of the pack is the Matriarch. It is she who leads the herd to water and new pastures and passes on this knowledge to the younger females. In human herds the Alpha figure is simply the leader, the Boss, the one where the buck stops.
The leader controls the destiny of the whole herd. In the wild if the herd doesn’t follow the instruction of the leader and work together as a team to make the kill thenall members go hungry. In business, the whole team must work together to make the‘sale’ or the whole business will suffer. It is the leader that must have the skills to draw the team together. They must earn the respect and allegiance of the team members, otherwise the team will fragment into sides with different alliances. The leader must learn to be assertive, but not aggressive; to be meek and mild but not a push over; to be able to demand allegiance through mutual respect not fear. Leaders also need to learn how to be assertive in a non-threatening way. They, more than any other member of the herd, must be team players. Whilst the final decision lies squarely on their shoulders, a good leader will always seek to involve the whole herd in exploring solutions.
The leadership role is not for the faint hearted. It is the leader that takes the brunt of criticism from the team. It is the leader that the team looks to for guidance and solutions to problems. Good leaders must learn to delegate, share the burdens, and give opportunity for all herd members to share their ideas. Leaders must be constantly upgrading their leadership skills.
The Dominant Female role in our world is the 2IC. This person not only has their own responsibilities to deal with, but steps up in to the leadership role whenever the leader is absent.(Eg, the Deputy Prime Minister) All 2IC’s need Leadership and Supervisory skills, which must be constantly upgraded to keep abreast of the changing environment of today’s business world.
Those that are fulfilling the role of Second-In-Charge must learn all the strategies of what being a leader is all about. Many of them aspire to be the leader themselves one day. Therefore they must ensure that they learn not only from the current leader about the company they work for but from any and every opportunity that comes their way to be a better leader in all their roles in life. Ongoing training in Leadership and Supervisory skills is essential.