“Leadership is the courage to admit mistakes, the vision to welcome change, the enthusiasm to motivate others, and the confidence to stay out of step when everyone is marching to the wrong tune.”
Many experts have given a variety of perspectives to Leadership, defining them to be a one-way win but Leadership requires new ways of leading effectively and collectively in a constantly morphing and disrupted business context. It is supposed to be a sort of a spiritual boot camp, quotes Bob Anderson, where leaders can get their basic training, be equipped, and maintain a state of combat readiness for the spiritual battles of life. The main idea is that Leadership should have a four-way win where leaders are able to bring their leadership abilities in four domains- Work, Home, Community, and Self (body, mind, and spirit).
The Total Leadership concept was introduced by Stew Friedman, the founding director of the Wharton School’s Leadership Programs and its Work/Life Integration Project, and former head of Ford Motors Leadership Development Center. According to his concept, Total Leadership is a way of achieving the four-way Win- Win at Work, Win at home, in your community, and your private self. Scoring this four-way win starts by clearly defining the goals and reflecting on how they would contribute to each of these domains by following certain ground principles.
Be Real, that is to act with authenticity by clarifying what’s important
Be Whole, by acting with integrity by respecting the whole person
Be Innovative, that is to act with creativity by continually experimenting
The purpose of this concept is to enable people to become better and more efficient leaders who have better lives and stronger business results with better purpose and a clearer vision.
Leadership is a practice, and like every other practice, it requires the continuous command to gain mastery over the subject. These leadership practices are the spiritual pathway or the spiritual Boot Camp for Leaders. They are called spiritual because they call forth the highest and best in a person. They are a boot camp because they train, change and restructure us. So, here are the six leadership practices:
The ongoing discovery and exploration of one’s sense of purpose is the central discipline of the creative, self-authoring mind and the foundation for true leadership. The main purpose of Leadership is to create a balance between all four life domains and finding the purpose for each domain. Once the purpose is established proper goals and expectations should be set for the future that should be supported by strategies. A proper monitoring tool should be developed to look upon the performance of each of these goals.
Being a person of vision and leading the organization into its coveted future is the Promise of Leadership. Transformed leaders transform the organizations that they lead with their shared vision. A distilled and compelling vision that brings people together and inspires them to achieve extraordinary results is required for organizational success. The vision must be exciting, clear, and simple, and stakeholders must be involved in its development. A good leader should be able to mobilize people towards a greater vision when a clear direction or a change is required.
Communication is the key to success, and every exchange of potential movement of truth, even when they involve the doubts and the fears that may cause an obstruction provides a powerful linkage to success. Leaders should ask three questions: What is causing an obstruction? Why is it causing an obstruction? And how can we overcome this? The answer to all these questions will establish clear grounds of doubts and fears that are keeping the process astray.
In many situations, the process is highly hampered as leaders are not able to engage in authentic and courageous dialogue conversations. Leaders who maximize their contribution to daily conversations that are courageous yet authentic, engage and align people around a common cause- shared vision, reduces uncertainty, keeps the focus of the people, they prepare people for moments of truth that create an on-the-table culture that prevents scope for excuses, learn from experience, treat mistakes as intellectual capital for development, and leverage the power of leadership decision making to shape beliefs and behaviors.
One of the greatest advantages of leadership is the inspiration present in the ever-growing business complexity. The pressure exerted by the scale, complexity, success—and, at times, failure—that we experience as leaders is a remarkably powerful force for our own transformation and evolution. Opening up to inspirations, that can be either from oneself or others gives a chance of learning and growing.
A systemic perspective examines an entire organism of an operation, entity, or business in relation to its surroundings. This means that each element is interdependent on a social system. The common tendency among leaders is that whenever they face a problem they look for close-by solutions that are less effective. Instead, they should consider the systemic standpoint so that this perspective allows leaders to see how each part influences and interacts with the whole system. The common example can be that leaders reduce their accountability, this may have an immediate cooling effect but in the long race, the effect will be crippling.
The Leadership System is the DNA, or genetic code, of an organization. It is the spiritual Bootcamp that establishes the context for all outcomes, gives everything meaning, and indicates what we are predisposed to do and be. The effectiveness of the Leadership Practices determines the business’s performance. Leaders must define, refine, and execute key processes in order to achieve high performance or long-term results. To achieve accountability, predictability, learning, renewal, and sustainability, leaders must incorporate discipline into their leadership practices.
Thus, it is like an Alchemy, a crucible of pressures. So, if you do the work, if you give yourself over to it, the pressure will transform you. So it is a spiritual pressure that has tremendous revolutionary and adaptive opportunities to find new ways of leading effectively and collectively in a constantly morphing and disrupted organizational context.
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22nd Sept, 2021
7:30 PM (IST)
PCC, Executive Integral Coach