This article focuses on the critical need for all leaders to understand themselves first and foremost. Great leadership is an inside job. This means that the leader knows, understands, and owns, their strengths and areas of development.
The success of any organisation is based on effective leaders. Leadership is at the centre of every organisation hence the need to constantly improve and empower leaders. They can be said to be the engine that is needed to propel or advance the objectives of any organisation.
Any organisation, without a visionary and inspiring leader is like a ship without radar. Ultimately, the unthinkable will happen to such an organisation. Its either the profits will sink or the whole entity will shipwreck. All great leaders we see around us are ordinary human beings with an extraordinary drive, dream and determination. The success we see around us is not by mistake. It was carefully and creatively crafted in the cognitive spheres of the leader’s being: in the mind.
What exactly do we understand leadership to be? In a nutshell leadership is the influence and motivation or drive to improve one’s surroundings, fulfil obligations, purpose and the passion to help other people live their best lives. It is being active and impactful on the forefront of development.
This development could be individually, intellectually, ideologically, and institutionally, and it transcends the life span of that leader. True leadership offers hope, help, insight, foresight, and intuition through pioneering, modelling, mentoring, influencing, inspiring, and monitoring.
To further expound on my definition of leadership, I have created an acronym out of the word “leadership”
Lead — Initiate/pioneer/invent/explore new territories/ challenge and change old paradigms.
Enhance — Your mindset/ skills-set/your exposure/information base/competence/ communication/people or public skills.
Action — Show the way/produce results/work harder. Plan and apply what you know.
Dream — Create the future in your cognitive sphere/set new trends/innovate/take risks. Have vision/ foresight/insight/ intuition/never sit on your laurels/ be adventurous
Engage —Team work/collaborations/partnerships/consortiums/conglomerates/ synergies / atmosphere /followers’ vibe.
Responsibility — Accountability/answerability/integrity.
Standards — Set high standards and live up to higher values-of your personal belief systems/morals. Stand for something greater.
Heart — As a leader, listen to people’s hearts and desires/have a heart of your own, and respond to their needs. Envisage opportunities for change/danger/threats/ and for increase. Empathise
Increase — Identify potential leaders/train leaders through mentorship/motivation/modelling/coaching/advising. Develop people to take over and run with the baton.
Packaging — Brand yourself uniquely/be distinct/build your name. Position yourself differently in the media (use traditional platforms such as radio, television and explore new communication technologies such as the Internet, blogs/website and social platforms).
●Ten personal convictions about leadership
The following are ten personal views and convictions about this critical subject of leadership.
— Anyone has the ability to lead, hence the need for tools to coach, mentor and help them unleash their inherent potential to achieve great leadership.
— Some people might be endowed with instinctive traits, attributes and the charisma of being a leader more than others, but still they need to be empowered to realise that and release the potential.
— Leadership is the ability to influence others for transformation and positive change.
— Leadership is the ability to see the bigger picture of the future; bigger than personal ambitions for self-enrichment. This picture becomes the motivation and reason to work harder as to put it in the realm of reality.
— The major role of every leader is not centered on power, but in the power to raise more leaders.
— The true measure of every leader is recognised in making themselves unnecessary to the people they lead because they would have spent all their energies on them so much so the people they empowered are able to accomplish what the leader has done or even more.
— True leadership is not based on any position, anyone can lead without a position.
— Every true leader has to be a leader in their God-given purpose or intrinsic gifting. That is why they do not need a position to be leaders, but to use their gift to serve other people.
— Every true leader has to discover and develop themselves first to lead others effectively. This includes allowing themselves to be vulnerable and open to criticism, as they search for answers.
— Great leaders adapt and adjust their leadership repertoire to ensure that they remain effective in serving others.
The power of leadership cannot be underestimated. We need to groom leaders that are ready to bring change in governments, corporates and societal settings. We need a generation of thinkers that will development and positively affect the future.
●Jonah Nyoni is an author, success coach, leadership trainer and public relations consultant. He can be contacted on 0772 581 918 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org