When I woke up this morning, it occurred to me that never has leadership been more important than now: the business and political landscapes have never been more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. Every time you turn on the news there is more-and-more affirmation of this uncertainty. While uncertainty can make some of us act like a rabbit in the headlights, now is the time to act and ensure that your organisation is fully equipped and ready for the future. With the complexity of the business and political landscape, it is easy to forget the importance of building leadership skills. Now is the time to develop leaders to ensure that your organization can survive and thrive in these times of massive uncertainty.
I also realised this morning that I have been fortunate enough to work with some good leaders over-the-years. I have summarized their key attributes in the Leadership VISION model below:
Leadership VISION Model
V: Good leaders create a vivid VISION of a desired future state that is congruent with their VALUES. This to me seems to be the primary role of a leader. To imagine a future state that does not yet exist. Just like Martin Luther King, good leaders have a dream. Their passion for their vision is contagious, as their vision is aligned with their personal values and their purpose.
I: Good leaders INSPIRE their teams to realise the vision. They do this by understanding the intrinsic motivations of their teams and aligning roles-and- responsibilities with these personal internal motivations. This alignment inspires peak performance and flow in their teams. Their teams are energized, congruent, enthusiastic, and on-purpose. People will always go the extra-mile when they enjoy their work.
S: Good leaders SERVE and SUPPORT their teams. They ask their teams “How can I serve and support you, so that you can perform at your best?” They truly connect and emotionally bond with their teams. Good leaders take responsibility when their teams fail, and graciously fade into the background when the awards are being given out. Good leaders also ensure that the wellbeing of their teams is of primary importance.
I: Good leaders INQUIRE – they are good coaches. Rather than problem solving for their teams, good leaders take a coaching role. They empower their teams to find their own solutions. By doing this, they are creating more leaders. Creating more leaders (not followers!) is central to being a good leader.
O: Good leaders OPERATE in a whole-brain manner. Good leaders routinely operate in a whole-brain manner, using the combined power of their left and right brain. They are logical, objective, creative, calculated-risk-takers, passionate, human, structured and doers. They walk their talk, and lead by example, knowing what skills are appropriate for the task-at-hand.
N: Good leaders are NOW-FOCUSED. Even though they may have a lofty future vision, good leaders know that the only day that they can take action and make things happen is today. They are keenly aware that the only way to realise their vision is by showing-up every day, rolling-up their sleeves, and getting stuff done. Good leaders are productive, rather than busy. They realise that busyness has become a “badge-of-honour” in modern organisational life, and they consciously remove themselves from this hamster wheel. Good leaders make mindful, conscious decisions. They realise that their decisions matter and that their decisions have consequences. They know that accuracy trumps speed when it comes to decision-making. They also take responsibility for their decisions.
What has this article awoken in you? Is the sleeping leadership-giant inside of you and your organisation ready to step-up and serve the world? I hope so. The world needs your leadership. Now!