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LETTER: What is and is not leadership?

The following is a letter to the editor submitted to the Park Rapids Enterprise by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Park Rapids Enterprise. To submit a letter, email sgeisen@parkrapidsenterprise.com or mail it to Park Rapids Enterprise, 1011 1st. ST. E., Suite 6, Park Rapids, MN 56470.

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Park Rapids Enterprise
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Working in a variety of fields from retail, fast food, mental health, nonprofit victim services and more, you begin to learn effective leadership to non-effective leadership.

We walk into new opportunities with the preface the leader (who often interviews you) is just as good at their job as they are interviewing. I recently read an article on LinkedIn that talked about doing a reverse interview and asking why people are leaving the organization or agency. At first, attempting to think from a leadership perspective, that question would be answered with the positive statements versus negative feedback given.

Of course, we want to fill the empty seats, but often those excited and optimistic employees coming in can get the sense or feeling something is off. Most often employees leave because of leadership, a.k.a. in negative terms “management.” So, we shall explore what leadership is and is not.

First off, leadership teams are often in the background doing the meat and potatoes of the work, such as grant management, budgets, policy and procedure, to helping fulfill the organization's mission through outreach (leaders to leaders). Yes, leadership is the “face” of the organization; however, when in leadership sometimes you must step aside and let your employees have that spotlight.

Employees depending on their comfortability may not want the spotlight and that’s okay. This isn’t dedicating someone to employee of the month; however, it is allowing them to be in the spotlight in the community. The employees doing the groundwork deserve just as much if not more recognition than leadership. They will continue that “awesome” work you claim they are doing if this is done effectively.

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Second, leadership offers insight as needed to the day-to-day or week-month work at request or when redirection is needed. So, when is it micromanaging? When leadership needs to oversee the smallest detail without utilizing the supports already put in place, such as middle management/leadership. That middle leadership role is meant to reduce the work of the CEO or executive director (or highest-up leader) so they can focus on the bigger needs of the organization or agency. NO ONE likes or wants to be micromanaged. Leadership must have faith in their team to do the work needed and/or required.

Third, leadership also requires consistency. When you have your middle leadership person telling you one thing and the leader of the organization or agency telling you another thing, it’s hard to know who to listen to. Therefore, consistency is required when communicating with everyone.

Fourth, leadership requires the absence of nepotism. Nepotism is the downfall of any organization. Therefore, most organizations and leadership roles have a no-fraternization rule. Favoritism is hard especially when employees may have goals to be in a leadership position. If your employees must fight for attention, leadership is creating a toxic work environment due to the favoritism in the organization or agency.

Finally, leadership must understand the mission or the agency or organization. If they follow the mission or vision, the communities they are serving are receptive to the services being provided. Leadership must understand community needs, wants, and what they don’t want.

Kori Nelson is a public administration master’s student at Purdue Global University.

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The following is a letter to the editor submitted to the Park Rapids Enterprise by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Park Rapids Enterprise. To submit a letter, email sgeisen@parkrapidsenterprise.com or mail it to Park Rapids Enterprise, 1011 1st. ST. E., Suite 6, Park Rapids, MN 56470.

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The following is a letter to the editor submitted to the Park Rapids Enterprise by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Park Rapids Enterprise. To submit a letter, email sgeisen@parkrapidsenterprise.com or mail it to Park Rapids Enterprise, 1011 1st. ST. E., Suite 6, Park Rapids, MN 56470.
The following is a letter to the editor submitted to the Park Rapids Enterprise by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Park Rapids Enterprise. To submit a letter, email sgeisen@parkrapidsenterprise.com or mail it to Park Rapids Enterprise, 1011 1st. ST. E., Suite 6, Park Rapids, MN 56470.
The following is a letter to the editor submitted to the Park Rapids Enterprise by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Park Rapids Enterprise. To submit a letter, email sgeisen@parkrapidsenterprise.com or mail it to Park Rapids Enterprise, 1011 1st. ST. E., Suite 6, Park Rapids, MN 56470.
The following is a letter to the editor submitted to the Park Rapids Enterprise by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Park Rapids Enterprise. To submit a letter, email sgeisen@parkrapidsenterprise.com or mail it to Park Rapids Enterprise, 1011 1st. ST. E., Suite 6, Park Rapids, MN 56470.