The 10 Foundations of Leadership
“Leadership” is a variable. It may define what we do or it may define who we are.
It is these very questions that so many of you struggle with. How to transition from “doing” to “leading”, let's be honest, it is the “doing” that got you where you are now. You have been the one who made things happen, who dotted the I’s and crossed the T’s. it is the fire within you that others saw and appreciated. Now you are in a leadership role and when anxiety and stress are high it is easy to revert back to what you know, “doing”. You inherently want to take over, fix it, and move on… but that is not leading.
Up to the mid-1900s leadership was seen as an opportunity to “coerce obedience” and “impress the will of the leader on those led”. From mid-century until now, the focus has shifted to servant and transformational leadership. Intrinsic motivation is what people now seek and what sustains teams. Colleagues are looking to be inspired, acknowledged, and valued, and it is from this environment that they will inherently work harder and perform with enthusiasm and teamwork. It is from this platform that leadership begins
I am not suggesting it is all or nothing but the pendulum has swung and every action needs to be balanced with the desire to support others, create a vision, inspire, and strategize at a high level.
A recent article from the Center of Creative Leadership highlighted The 10 characteristics and Qualities of a Good Leader.
Notice there is no mention of business acumen, technical prowess, or sales indices.
Great leadership starts with self-leadership, self-awareness as to how you think, taking personal accountability for how you impact others, how you cultivate greatness in others, and how you conduct yourself that inspires people around you.
Great leadership is not about perfecting the tactical process, it is about stepping back and seeing what others can’t. It is guiding and promoting curiosity to discover new opportunities. It is about using your years of wisdom to develop and enhance possibility.
For the next several weeks I will be highlighting this list of 10 qualities, diving deeper into their meaning, and giving you resources and examples as to how to implement them more fully.