The spread of expertise in any scrutiny of organisational leadership practices ranges from “exceptional” to ” in name only”. Gazillions of studies and an entire publishing industry explain why this is so, each researcher and author with differing perspectives. That’s as it should be; no-one has a monopoly on what leadership means. All leaders should carefully consider differing perspectives and come to their own understanding. Unfortunately, few of them do.
I’ve asked scores of leaders, How do you define leadership? Against what criteria do you judge your leadership performance? When and how do you solicit feedback from the customers of it – those you lead? Few have been able to articulate their definition or competence criteria and even fewer systematically survey others’ perception of their effectiveness – even while proclaiming the value of customer feedback.
Most use business success or survival as evidence of their leadership competency, even if gained by keeping a desk warm, by chance or the absence or dismal quality of competition. The rest they tend to improvise as they go along, taking the absence of criticism as certainty that they’re on the right track. Hah! Think emperor’s new clothes, or elephant in the room.
Leadership may be defined as the art of inspiring and facilitating others’ commitment to and striving for shared aspirations. Leadership success is measured by the effects on those led, especially the alignment and quality of their attitudes and actions.
But of course, the merits of this or any other definition depend on the extent to which it actually guides, informs and helps identify the specific practices of effective leadership. My coaching will help you clarify your leadership ideals of definition and practices, receive your followers’ honest feedback, find the ideal-reality gaps and activate clear development plans. I supply frameworks and guidelines for consideration, and active encouragement.
I work to help you master incremental progress towards your targets to your practices – not great leaps. Although most leaders tend to be less vigilant in their decision-making and personal behaviours over Small Matters than they are with the Big Issues, it is actually on the execution of those thousands of Small Matters over a period of time, that exceptional leadership depends. I get excited when through their ordinary, everyday choices, my clients’ followers begin to experience a lift in the nature, quality and perception of leadership services provided.
The effectiveness of my support depends on –
- An ability to develop trusting relationships in which it becomes safe for leaders to self-disclose and address issues of vulnerability
- The practicality of the concepts and context-independent tools I have developed from my own experience as a leader, my studies of leadership-in-action and my training in leadership coaching
- My help to make disciplined self-reflection a rich source of constant learning.