Yesterday’s “A Case for Inspirational Leadership” blog post by Roshan Thomas did my heart good. Even though “inspirational leadership” normally has a slighly different undertone, posts like his motivate us all to become betterÂ leaders, thereby creating a healthier and happier working environments for those that we are called to lead.
Some mayÂ believe that anyÂ leadership style that inspires is “inspirational leadership”, andÂ in some way it isÂ true.Â Scholars and practitionersÂ of leadership, normally equate the inspirational leadershipÂ to something more specific – somethingÂ that has beenÂ christenedÂ charismatic or visionary leadership (see “Management and Organisational Behaviour” by Laurie J. Mullins, p. 382). ItÂ is characterized by high emotional involvement on the part of the leader and the follower, where the charismatic leader inspires and motivates his/her followers “to do more than they would normally do, despite obstacles and personal sacrifice” (see “The Leadership Experiences” by Richard L. Daft, p. 359). Inspirational leadership isÂ almost entirely aboutÂ “striking the right chords with people at the right time”. ThisÂ “involves elements as elusive asÂ ‘peronal chemistry’ but, at a more practical and fundamental level, it is about relating to people in ways which give them confidence, belief and faith in themselves, as much as in the leader” (see “Mastering Leadership” by Michael Williams, pp 58-59).
The type ofÂ leadershipÂ described byÂ Roshan in his above quotedÂ post is more of a synergy between the inpirational and interactive leadership. The latter is a style of leadership where moreÂ personal relationships are developped between the leader and the followers, and such processes as the sharing of information, empowerment, andÂ ehnancing others’ feelings of self-worth are taking place.
I like the 7 points RoshanÂ lists asÂ the things to do to inspire your team: (i) create sense of pride, (ii) spread positivity and ethusiasm, (iii) show respect, (iv)Â provide for aÂ two-way communication, (v) show your care and thank people sincerely, (vi) emplower and equip peopleÂ to achieveÂ the vision, and finally (vii) “walk the talk”. All of these, without exception,Â can beÂ beneficially appliedÂ in the context of [affiliate manager] – [affiliate]Â relationships as well. I would only like to add three more “i”sÂ (learned from the above-quoted volume by Richard DaftÂ aboutÂ half a year ago)Â that I believe to be especially important in the context of affiliate program management:
- Idealized influence or when the followers identify with the leader, trust and respect him/her for maintaining high standards (especially important in the ethical dimension – something that affiliate marketing suffers from more and more)
- Individual consideration or treating each follower as an individual, and developping vertical relationships with your followers
- Intellectual stimulation or challengingÂ your followersÂ to think in new ways
Much moreÂ can be written about the applicabilityÂ of leadership to affiliateÂ program management.Â I personallyÂ promise you many more blog posts on this topicÂ in the course of 2009, and beyond. IÂ hope you will find them ofÂ practical value.