Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Concept of Leadership

Throughout the years, volumes have been written which list and elaborate upon the characteristics of leaders. You need only check the literature on the subject to discover that there are many characteristics and combinations of characteristics as there are leaders. With all of their differences, however, leaders do have some fundamental similarities.

1. Successful leaders have mastered the art of self leadership and authenticity. Authenticity conveys genuine, reliable, trustworthy leadership.

2. Successful leaders have taken time to crystallize a personal vision of the future which will become the foundation or cornerstone for a shared vision. They are able to attract as well as inspire commitment among the people whose collective effort will make this vision a reality.

3. Successful leaders understand how to align and maximize resources to realize a vision. The leader’s role is to create alignment between vision, strategy, structure, processes, and people with focus on attracting and maintaining a loyal customer base.

As a leader, you must be many things to many people. First, you must have the ability to create a compelling vision. If your vision is to motivate people, it must take them to new levels of achievement. Then, you must be able to develop and implement the strategies that will guide people toward the vision, analyze the alternatives and possibilities, and set goals that will drive the organization to sustained success. To do this will require that you are able to function successfully in several areas. The first is your role as a visionary.

Leaders who are able to involve people in realizing a compelling vision provide a beacon for the future and a standard of excellence. Vision plays an important role in developing a winning organization. A compelling vision can play an important role in developing a winning organization. A compelling vision can motivate and empower everyone in an organization to seek higher levels of performance and achievement. People want to do a good job because realizing the vision is important to them. A compelling vision is inspiring and it is energizing. It provides an image of a better future that causes people to drive themselves to higher levels of achievement.

In the final analysis, you can’t really force people to be motivated. You can only create an environment in which people are motivated. A vision will release creative energies to successfully attain the desired results. It provides a reason for change and exploring possible uncharted waters with enthusiasm. It gives meaning to work and it encourages innovation. Individuals recognize the importance of their personal contribution to the overall whole. Vision helps everyone realize that their best interests are served by the success of the entire organization.

Vision alone is not enough however. Look for a future post on the Leader as a Coach.


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