What are your biggest goals in life? To keep fit? To make more money? To run a marathon? To increase your mind power? To run your own business? To be on your dream vocation? To find true love? To have a loving family? To age gracefully and live in peace? For any of these goals, have you ever experienced the resolve to achieve it, commit resources towards it, work at it for an long time period, only to have it flop eventually? This guide presents the steps you must take to achieve your goals. Remember that without setting your goals, you can not achieve them. Continue reading
The global recession, directly or indirectly, will impact leadership – yours, your market, your competition, your region and, yes, your nation. Why?
Because leadership is ubiquitous. It is all around us. It is of primary importance. Yet, it is seemingly underserved, undervalued and under resourced. Need some proof?
According to the Development Dimensions International ‘s Global Leadership Forecast 2008/09 (1) from research of 1493 HR professionals and 12,208 business leaders across 76 countries:
- 75% of business leaders identified that improving or leveraging of leadership talent was their #1 priority.
- Only 41% of business leaders are satisfied with the help they get to develop leadership capabilities.
- One of the core needs within organizations is to create a sustainable supply of quality leaders.
- The primary skill shortfall amongst organizations is in leadership skills and interpersonal skills.
Leadership is a leaking bucket. All organizations, large and small, from the family to local sport team to government to the boardroom of a leading global company, will at some time need to replace leaders. This arises from necessity and/or from natural attrition. From the information above, there is clearly a pervasive problem or, in a more positive tone, there is an opportunity – an opportunity to address this chronic shortcoming. How?
Start with yourself. Leadership starts from within.
To begin to explore this important distinction let’s start by looking at the definition of leadership. According to the Oxford Dictionary leadership is the action of leading a group of people or an organization, or the ability to do this.
To lead is to cause (a person or animal) to go with one by holding them by the hand, a halter, a rope, etc. while moving forward.
Leadership therefore requires influence, direction and action. However, for leadership to manifest so that others follow, it stands to reason that the leader, whoever or whatever that may be, must first influence themselves, give self-direction and act on that direction.
There exists a perennial question about leadership – “Are leaders born or made?” or to rephrase it “Nature versus nurture”.
Why does it need to be one or the other? Do you see many babies leading Fortune 500s or governments or the local sports team? Regardless of your opinion or perceptions one thing is for sure. Leadership is something into which you grow. Importantly, we are all born to lead ourselves at least!
In nature there must be reasonably synchronous growth regardless of the “ecosystem”. Teenagers may experience growing pains when their bones are growing at a faster rate than their muscles. Our DNA is programmed so that eventually growth levels out and all systems are aligned and developed to their full design specification.
An individual promoted to a new role in an organization can experience a skill, attitude and/or ability gap compared to the new demands. To address the gap or deficit, the same individual must seek within first and begin the process of change there.
Admittedly, in organizations it is possible to experience growing pains too – sales and demand exceed the ability to supply and/or service the customer. Leadership must, therefore, develop within the organization to address the imbalance and ensure that harmony is restored.
What Does Google Have To Say?
As Google is the #1 search engine, it gives an impartial and objective perspective on leadership.
Just by typing in “leadership” yields 118 million results – sites, references etc. According to Google AdWords searches on the word “leadership” receives >4 million hits globally per month. Both of these facts suggest that leadership is a topic of significant interest and that there is a huge diversity of data, opinions, perceptions, models, styles, concepts and experts. The monthly searches also suggest there is a perpetual quest for answers, solutions and information on leadership.
Interestingly, when the global search is narrowed there are only:
- 4400 hits per month for “successful leadership”
- 33,100 hits per months for “effective leadership” and
- 18,100 hits per month for “self-leadership”.
It is interesting that, in the face of all the need out there for leadership, the refined search on successful and effective leadership globally produces comparatively so few hits. Why is that? Is there a global delusion that we just need to know more about leadership or just understand it better rather than define what it takes to make a good leader or even a great one or to establish a legacy of outstanding leadership?