Leadership is a term which has come to mean different things to different people and in differing situations.
Essentially, there are two narratives
that define leadership.
The first is around the qualities required for someone who is going to lead a group of people, company or team. This individual has to be a master strategist who is outcomes based
– she/he will be focussed on the goal and must be continuously moving those for whom she is responsible towards this eventuality.
A truly good leader displays integrity and engenders trust
whilst transparently modelling the behaviour which will result in success for their team.
This type of leader has to be focussed on the vision of the company and is often someone who is compulsively driven to succeed
, in an ethical way. Not everyone is comfortable with the price this kind of focus demands.
The second narrative that defines leadership revolves around personal leadership
. It’s about an individual subscribing to a set of behaviours which in and of themselves, facilitate ethical and positive growth. They subscribe to intrapersonal leadership and have effectively internalised the tenets of self-actualisation.
It’s essential we understand that leadership is not just for those heading up teams etc. It’s a skill that can and should be found at all levels of an organisation
. When a receptionist answers the phone in a professional and welcoming manner and ensures the client gets to speak to the correct person, he or she is displaying intrinsic leadership – even though we would not recognise it as such.
The rep who goes out of her/his way to make sure the client gets their order before time by personally delivering the product, is displaying true leadership manifesting healthy, positive behaviour, and so on.
It’s therefore important that we recognise which of these types of leaders we want to be and identify our personal areas of excellence
. For those of us who thrive on the enormous responsibility that comes with being at the helm of an organisation, take time out to recognise and reward all the ‘leaders’ who contribute to our success.
It’s essential we understand that leadership is not a ‘one size fits all’ type of behaviour – it’s as unique as are each of us and it comes in both big and small packages! It is not confined to any specific level within a successful company – it’s a skill which permeates everything and everyone, from your entry level employee to your most senior executive. We are all leaders when we chose to display true excellence.
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