Have you ever had a boss, an organizational director or maybe even a church leader who were just not friendly? I have had this experience more than once. It is extremely difficult to follow someone you do not like. There are a lot of people out there that are not “friendly leaders.” The tragedy to this type of behavior is when the one who is the “boss” or “leader” does not have a clue as to how destructive their actions are to a team member.
The operation of any organization depends upon the resources of human beings. Computers and machines are extremely helpful but without the creative leadership of people behind them these tools are basically worthless. That is why leaders of all types must understand that a team member is their greatest resource to accomplish their tasks.
Elton Mayo and a group from Harvard conducted a study between 1927 and 1931 at the Western Electric Company that yielded some very interesting information about human relationships. This publication and research found that leadership behavior was extremely important for a group’s success or failure regardless of how dynamic the team itself was.
The actions of leadership is critically important for any organization. Every team member has some basic needs and to ignore those needs is counterproductive. According to the Harvard study team leaders should know that every team member in their group does their best when these facts are recognized about people:
- The importance of friendly leadership
- The desire for association with others
- The need for acceptance
- The yearning for security
- The longing for stability within the team.1
This same study showed that when a team member trusted and believed in the one who was leading their team that the results were very productive.
Successful organizations are created by those that the team has a great deal of trust to follow. When team members trust their leader they will find him or her to have four strong character qualities. They believe that their team leader is
Those four points may sound very simplistic but it will be very difficult for someone to lead a group if even one of the four is missing. Leadership can be very powerful for any organization if the leader does not drop “friendly” from his or her title.
1 William J McLarney, Management Training: Cases and Principles, (Richard D. Irwin, Inc. 1964) p. 366.
2 Management Training: Cases and Principles, p. 366.