Leadership is like a cancer cell. It exists in all of our bodies. Thanks to the presence of Natural Killer (NK) cells that diligently patrol our system, these cells are prevented from mutating into dangerous cancerous growth. But once the trigger or the dangerous cancer is activated through a catalyst, it just mutates as dangerous growth. It is the same with leadership. Something will ignite or trigger our senses and our leadership cells gets ignited. Leadership is within all of us. We call it Take Charge Leadership – Mark of the Lion.
Leadership is said to be everything and nothing. It is everything because it can be found everywhere in organizations, not just at the top. Leadership is everything because it is infused in all that we do; it is not sacred. You may not have a title or a team to be a leader. Each individual behaviour has leadership implications. Because leadership is based on action, it emerges as a function of participation and interaction.
Given this description, how can leadership be nothing? Leadership is nothing in the sense that it seems impossible to define completely. Decades of scientific study have yet to yield a single definition that fully captures the nature of leadership, much less articulate a definitive approach to developing it. Perhaps it is impossible to define leadership in words, but we agree that we know it when we see it.
Colin Powell, retired Secretary of State and Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, once said:
“Leadership is the art of accomplishing more than the science of management says is possible.”
As leaders, we need to improve our effectiveness. Effective leaders need to articulate vivid, over-arching goals and values, which we use to drive daily behaviours and choices among competing alternatives. Our visions and priorities need to be lean and compelling, not cluttered and buzzword-laden. Our decisions need to be crisp and clear, not tentative and ambiguous. They need to convey an unwavering firmness and consistency in our actions, aligned with the future picture they paint. The result: clarity of purpose, credibility of leadership, and integrity in organization.
Are you that kind of leader? For more information click here.