Articles, advices and tips for professionals in the United States of America


Effective Leadership Skills Are The Keys To Success In The Corporate World

I'm one of those rarest of all creatures in a large American corporation: someone who has succeeded in middle management in spite of being intelligent and qualified.  Since starting to work at this business, I have had an endless sequence of bosses, and each of them have been idiots.  I entered as an entry level editor, and worked my way up because my strong skills in grammar, composition, and layout.  Eventually, they rewarded me for this diligent work by elevating me to a position where I was unable to use my skills.  Now, you see, I am a manager.  The problem is, I lack what my boss would call effective leadership skills.

I suppose effective leadership skills means the inclination and ability to tell grown men how to do the job that they were hired to perform.  I suppose I do lack effective leadership skills, because I am unwilling to micromanage.  As a result, I was sent to a leadership skills training seminar.  My boss had read some articles on leadership that said that this was the best way to turn an independent man like me into a team player.  The thing he doesn't understand is that I already was a team player.  To me, a team player is someone who does his job professionally and without complaining.  Apparently, this holds very little value in American corporate culture.

My training in effective leadership skills started with a seminar.  The speaker, a man with all the charm and vacuity of the best con artist, told us that our training was not just about effective leadership skills, but about life.  He claimed that all the skills that worked best in corporate culture would also work best in personal life.  I don't know about that though.  My personal life is flawless.  Unlike my boss, I am without complaint.

The training in effective leadership skills seemed to mostly consist of psyching us up, role-playing situations, and feeding us hot and cold running jargon.  We were taught how to delegate authority, how to avoid responsibility, and how to phrase the most cold-blooded and cynical personal attacks under the guise of constructive criticism.  Perhaps my bosses have been intelligent, thoughtful people before they went through training for effective leadership skills.  I recognized many of their trademarks in the self-actualization dogma of our trainers.  Whatever their purpose, I hope my effective leadership skills don't sneak into my personal conversations.  I would not like to start losing friends.


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