Leading with Clarity
Clarity is the single greatest asset a leader can bring to their organisation. Clarity aligns action, it acts as a conduit for analysis, catalysing the latent potential of individuals and teams throughout the organisation. Usefully, it also inspires the trust and confidence of external stakeholders. Humans willingly follow a leader whom they trust. Therefore leaders who are able to proffer simple, straightforward plans, strategies and solutions, are likely to be followed willingly and to be produce outstanding results
As the title of the song by The Stranglers puts it, “Everybody loves You When You’re Dead”. I think there’s something in that. Certainly artists of all types and their work, gather momentum post mortem; we frequently hear anecdotes about playwrights and painters who were penniless during their lifetimes, yet their works sell for millions one they’ve gone. Interestingly, the next line of the song goes..“you’ll finally be appreciated”. Strange, but somehow true.
“Differences challenge assumptions” Mohandas Gandhi
Striving to increase workplace diversity is a very good business decision. In a global analysis of over 2,000 companies, those with at least one female board member outperformed those that did not have any women on the board. In recent years a body of research has revealed another, more nuanced benefit of workplace diversity: non-homogenous teams are simply more effective. Working with people who are different from you will challenge you (your brain) to overcome its stale ways of thinking and sharpen its performance.
“Foresight is not about predicting the future, it’s about minimising surprise”
For years, we’ve talked about great leaders having a clear, positive, compelling vision of their team or organisation’s future. A good analogy for a vision is building a Lego model. Before you even begin to organise and assemble the small plastic pieces that are inside the box, you’ll see, very clearly, the final outcome displayed on the external part of the packaging, indeed the more complex models come with a fully illustrated assembly booklet. That’s your vision; the outcome that you’re striving to create.
When considering great leaders one only has to think of such people as Ghandi, Churchill and Boadicea. It would be nice to think that we all have something of the ‘right stuff’ to make a difference in our worlds. There is a good chance that you already have some of the right stuff or at least understand how its application might just make your job slightly easier. Honing these skills and learning how others did and still do lead will further enhance your ability to get it right and be successful in your chosen field.
a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities or achievements.
due regard for the feelings, wishes or rights of others.
The word ‘respect’ is complex, offering as can be seen above, a variety of meanings depending on the context in which it is used and even the age group applying it – it is simultaneously both verb and noun.
When you’re a leader, regardless of how long you’ve been in the role or how difficult it was to get there, you are merely ‘overhead’ or ‘in charge’ unless you’re bringing out the best in your employees by being an integral part of the team – unfortunately, many leaders lose sight of this.
You may not have heard of Ozzie and Daniel Silna, brothers who made their fortune in the textile industry in New York in the 1960s and 70s, but this story of negotiation is a great one, and there are plenty of lessons to take from it.
By 2014 the Silna brothers had earned over $300,000,000 from the NBA despite never having played a game or indeed never having owned an NBA franchise. How they did it is a tale of planning, foresight and resilience to rival the very best commercial negotiations ever.
good or bad, the example you set will be followed…
even the most sophisticated studies and investigations have yet to make leadership, and its development, more science than art. The four ‘Cs’ – competence, character, creativity, and charisma remain difficult qualities to quantify, let alone cultivate. Growing effective leaders is challenging work.
As a wise friend of mine once said…
“you have two ears and one mouth for a reason!”
Leadership frequently conjures images of someone speaking in front of the podium, or at the very least, in front of their team. It is easy to see why this image abounds however, leadership does not to be about talking others to death.
Resilience: a class of phenomena characterised by patterns of positive adaptation in the context of significant adversity or risk
Snyder & Lopez, 2002
Essentially, resilience is the ability of an individual to bounce back (or roll with the punches) from anything that life throws their way.