Before moving on to the next topic, a quick reminder of the content covered in the first section …
Leadership does not depend on formal authority. Whether you are a solopreneur or corporate employee, there will be opportunities to lead. You have to recognize them. As Laszlo Bock of Google said:
“GPAs are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless … We found that they don’t predict anything … When faced with a problem and you’re a member of a team, do you, at the appropriate time, step in and lead?”
Leadership is challenging.
Every person is unique
Every situation is different
This means that there are no universal, cookie-cutter, answers. From time to time there may be ‘breakthrough’ books which suggest that they have discovered ‘the secret’ of leadership. But as Phil Rosenweig says:
“In spite of our desire for simple steps, the reality of management is much more uncertain than we would often like to admit.
There’s simply no formula that can guarantee success.”
We exploded, I hope, the myth of charisma. A leader should see themselves as a servant, an enabler not some hypnotic charmer. The key characteristics of an effective leader are being:
- trustworthy – can you remember the 5Cs?
- authentic – as Seth Godin says:
“Today authenticity is seen as the gold standard for leadership. No longer is leadership about developing charisma, emulating other leaders, looking good externally and acting in one’s self interest, as was so often the case in the late twentieth century.”
The foundation leadership behaviours, developed by Kouzes and Posner, are:
- Model the Way
- Inspire a Shared Vision
- Challenge the Process
- Enable Others to Act
- Encourage the Heart
And the logical conclusion of these principles is that leadership is a partnership. This means regular open conversations about organisational and personal goals, responsibility and performance and development. The partnership agreement is mutually agreed, not imposed.
The leadership foundation is the basis for what happens day-to-day.