The word ‘leader’, tends to conjure up an image of a single Braveheart character leading followers off to conquer. A single inspirational leader can do marvels. But there is more than one way to drive forward your vision or project, especially if it is a big one. To use the old adage ‘How do you eat an elephant?’ . . . Share it out.
Creating a leadership culture inspires action and drives positive change. It shares the workload, pulls people together on a common goal, develops leadership opportunities and capacity for succession planning. But perhaps the biggest benefit is that it can cause massive SHIFT in the vision or project.
Vision or purpose and leaders at all levels aligned to it creates a powerful movement.
So how do you go about developing that?
Clear understanding & expectation of values based leadership
Howard Gardner said, “leadership is the ability to create a story that affects the thoughts feelings and actions of others.” Clarity of expectation of integrity, honesty and people centred leadership, creates a leadership culture that people will want to follow. Being clear and getting everyone clear on what quality leadership is results in alignment.
Creating a ‘high challenge, low threat’ culture
No-one thrives under extreme threat. A cricketer relishes the challenge to catch 10 out of 10 balls. Tell them that a missed catch results in his job being taken away and that creates fear driven, negative thinking. Create a culture for leaders where it’s ok to fail and learn from mistakes and they will show initiative and lead confidently because they know they’re supported.
Appoint good people
I’m not a fisherman, but I know that if you want to catch a good fish, you fish in the right waters and put the right bait on. If we want leaders leading well, we appoint the best people by talking in the advert about the leadership skills we want.
Strength centred leadership
People lead best when they feel confident. Focusing your coaching and feedback on someone’s strengths allows the strength to grow but also develops inner confidence that allows us to speak into their weaker areas we want developed.
People need to see good examples and have it explained to them. Clarity of expectation helps them to repeat it. Coaching people in this works well when we
Added the this, when you give mentees ‘Miranda moment’ explanations, (eg TV star Miranda turning to the camera), then your mentored leader really gets it by learning top tips.
Purposeful Planned Projects
Developing leaders doesn’t happen by accident. By planning their next experience to develop them, they will feel valued and ‘Shift’ happens.
Black Box thinking
When leaders see an open, honest and supportive review, it reassures them that there is a no-blame culture and they are happy to contribute.
So what happens when everyone leads well? In the words of Tom Peters, “True leaders don’t create followers. They create more leaders.” Become a true leader!
Director – Everyday Leader
Courses in Suffolk & Norfolk in November on this topic - http://www.everydayleader.co.uk/educational-training