I laughed and laughed and then became very concerned when reading that a learned international institute has reduced leadership to a checklist! If you can tick them off, you’re a leader, apparently!
The boxes to tick are:
Know your team
Consider the context
Share best practice
Continue to evaluate
They’re all good items. By paying attention to them one can raise their external awareness of a situation, BUT leadership also comes from within.
We at The Leadership Foundation have noticed that there is a simplicity to leadership that lies within. Four things are happening in the moment when a leader draws in their breath to speak words that lead or tenses their muscles ready to take a leadership action:They bring to bear all their awareness of the world around them and their place in it.They consciously bring forward their learning, thoughts and experiences that are relevant to that moment. (This is a most important piece; it requires genuine assessment of whether the leader considers themselves followable.)They bring an intention to move the situation forward: this is the very essence of leadership.They marshall deep care for the people they propose to lead and a reasonable assurance that those they lead are prepared to follow.
Now, these points might look, at first glance, like a checklist too! But the difference is this: The Leadership Foundation’s approach requires the development of a strong foundation of thought, reflection and a certain amount of courage. We can’t lead others until and unless we understand ourselves and how knowledge of ourselves can enable the leadership of others.
If you have a moment right now, compare these two approaches and consider which one you think will produce the more effective leadership outcomes.
Leadership is not a product, like a set of accounts, to be ticked off.
Leadership requires more than competently performing a series of steps. Leadership is the result of contextual and inner awareness, a genuine commitment to make a difference and a deep care for the people one would propose to lead.
At The Leadership Foundation, we provide opportunities for leaders from all walks of life and at every stage in their leadership journey with the opportunity to contemplate, reflect, review, get support and refresh their leadership to go forward. Come to an event. More details are available at www.theleadershipfoundation.com.au or contact Ben Baldwin on 0400 743 170