The leader of an organisation must enable individuals to agree and decide on a Common Goal or Purpose with Shared Behaviours or Values to achieve that goal.
- “Leaders must encourage their organizations to dance to forms of music yet to heard”. Warren Bennis
- “When all is ready, the leaders walk out to the dance floor”. James Mooney
- “Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion”. Martha Graham
- “Only by helping you to perform brilliantly can I hope to be part of a winning performance”. Jonathan Gifford
- “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us”. Winston Churchill
It’s not a question of whether or not the leader shapes culture, but whether they shape it consciously or unconsciously. The way they speak, the language they use, and the behaviours they exhibit influence the culture whether they are aware of it or not.
There are so many characteristics of great leaders. Different circumstances demand different leadership styles. But if a leader has to choose one characteristic that is most important, it is the ability to clearly communicate his purpose. If those who are led don’t understand what the leader believes in, what his goals are, and what the leader is personally willing to do to help those he leads to get there, the leader will never be able to maximise their collective potential.
The job of the leader is to continually articulate the purpose as employees join the fold. Communication of who they are at their core is never over. Leaders are in a better position than anyone to identify and articulate the higher purpose of what people do within an organization. Leaders that make that purpose real, support its achievement through consistent everyday actions create the meaning that motivates people toward greatness.
- Personal Power is more important than positional power
- Giving to others will always make you happier than receiving
- The spiritual is always more important than the temporal
- The heart is greater than things
- Connecting with other people is more valuable than living in isolation
- You are always more valuable than me
- There are far more opportunities in the world than there are limitations
- What goes into your mind is more important than what goes into your body
- How you live is more important than where you live
DEVELOPING A SERVANT LEADERSHIP TEAM:
- Give assignments and share responsibility
- Reward and recognize
- Reward those who are at odds with your stated values
- Cultivate gifts
KEY CHARACTERISTICS OF LEADERSHIP:
Leadership is setting the tone of an organization. The broad objectives and the long term goals will come from the leader. The managers need to execute on a plan to attain them. Leadership is not necessarily getting caught up in all the details but rather setting the plan and inspiring the people to follow them.
Key characteristics of leadership are:
- Strategic focus on the organizations needs
- Establishing goals and the strategic direction
- Establishing principles
- Empowering and mentoring the team to lead them to their goals
- Risk engagement and overall identification
- Long term, high level focus
Without leadership a business enterprise will eventually fail.
“The bottom line for leaders if they do not become conscious of the cultures in which they are embedded, those cultures will manage them. Cultural understanding is desirable for all of us, but it is essential to leaders if they are to lead”. Edgar Schein
Simon Sinek in his TED talk on The Golden Circle describes how it is that great leaders inspire action, why some people are able to achieve things, when others are not. He claims, “There are leaders, and there are those who lead. Leaders are those who hold a position of power or authority. But those who lead are those who inspire us. Whether within organizations, we follow those who lead, not because we have to, but because we want to. Not for them, but for ourselves. It’s the leaders who start with why, who have the ability to inspire those around them or find others to inspire them”. Simon Sinek
Behind every successful leader is a vibrant culture that engages and energises employees. In almost every case, that culture has been defined, shaped and personified by the leader, together with others to build a distinctive, dynamic culture.
Shaping a culture is a formidable task, since many of the valuable qualities a leader might have are never taught in the class room. They can be learned, but only from life experiences. Emotional maturity, authenticity, and a strong character are all essential if leadership in a culture-driven company is to be effective.