Leading Through Change

Is leadership changing? The answer is yes, but in application, not in essence.

The essence of leadership can be summed up in three components:

  1. VISION (the leader sees what others haven’t yet seen)
  2. DECISION MAKING (particularly in selecting people)
  3. INSPIRING (helps others to realize their full potential)

These core aptitudes to successfully exercise the leadership role have not changed.  But the manner or techniques of exercising leadership have indeed changed.

In the past, the method of leading could be seen in the image of the Maestro, conducting the output of orchestra members within the confines of a traditionally rigid musical score. A task of Management.

Today’s image of leadership in action is closer to that of a Rock Band Leader, whose role is to allow individual instrumentalists freedom to excel within a loose but harmonious framework. A task of Coordination.

Another difference can be seen in the leader’s motivation.  The pursuit of material rewards such as stock options and status symbols is less prevalent today. Nowadays, the leader is more likely to be seeking meaning and purpose in work which aligns with a sense of personal fulfillment and mission.

The characteristics or qualities that a true leader should have in order to stand out from the crowd have not changed. Valid as much today as in the past, these are:

  • Willingness to lead (it is much easier to be led than to lead)
  • Desire to excel (the leader is never satisfied with what has already been achieved)
  • Charisma (the magnetism that true leaders possess which attracts people to them).

Here’s another way of putting this.  A genuine leader is:

  • One who does not know … and asks.
  • One who knows … and teaches.
  • One who teaches … and practices (Walks the Talk!)

Here are some basic differences that separate an administrator from a true leader :

In truth, Leadership is not a question or function of status, title, inheritance, or of bravado … but rather of credibility, influence, mastery, wisdom, and, especially, attitude.

So exercise your Leadership with Wisdom (the supreme Wealth we have) and with Responsibility (not only duty or obligation, but to respond to your Abilities, that is, to realize your Potential!).



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