Leadership for Everyone
Published: August 20, 2019
“Not everyone can be the leader!”… tends to be a comment we hear on many of our management development programmes – and we would largely agree. Not everyone can be THE LEADER, but everybody can be A LEADER!
Let’s explore this further…
Firstly, we need to explore the definition of leadership. In the Oxford English dictionary, the formal definition of leadership is: ‘the action of leading a group of people or an organisation’. Is this true? At Enrichyou, we have to work with and define leadership through many different lenses, but one easy way is to look at leadership in three parts… 1. Responsibility for self, 2. Responsibility for others, 3. Responsibility for the whole.
Without all three tenets being present and without an intrinsic link to the word ‘responsibility’, then leadership can lack the required level of integrity to make it truly meaningful… just look at some of our everyday politicians and so-called business leaders and you can quickly see what’s missing! However, whilst the most rounded and capable leaders will have all three aspects in abundance, we believe that every single person has a level of leadership within them… it’s just a matter of finding it – which is what we help organisations do best – to find and enable the natural leadership capacity within everyone!
- Responsibility for self. We are all leader’s (or should be) in the sense that we make decisions for ourselves every day. From deciding what to wear, what to eat and how to spend our time, we all ‘manage’ ourselves in our day to day lives. The first tenet of leadership through this lens is about being responsible for ‘self’. Not ‘self interest’, but for your own thoughts, feelings and actions – whilst not blaming others for your situation or shortcomings. Some are better at this than others, but having a ‘leadership attitude’ is 100% choice, regardless of your position or role within an organisation.
- Responsibility for others. Being responsible for others is, of course, another central part of leadership, but it is important that you don’t walk onto the spider’s web of taking responsibility for the thoughts, feelings and actions of other people… that’s their responsibility, always. As a leader, your ‘responsibility for others’ is about managing the unity of the group and making sure everyone is healthy, motivated, supported, and pulling in the right direction towards organisational goals. At home it’s called ‘family’… at Enrichyou, we call it ‘the working family’. Clear roles, responsibility and authority, coupled with unity of vision and decision-making will quickly bring harmony and success in any workplace. Think about how you might already live by these tenets at work (with colleagues), or at home (with family and friends)… are you a leader yet?
- Responsibility for the whole. In a business sense, ‘whole’ is simply a definition of the entity for which you are responsible or have influence over… your role, your team, the whole business, a function or process, a department such as marketing, finance, HR etc. This is where accountability and true leadership is really tested. Are the decisions being made really in the best interests of everyone… or do you see managers competing and fighting over resources, or making decisions for short-term gain instead of taking time to communicate, collaborate and achieve the best for ‘the whole’ in the medium and longer-term?
Integrity Decision-making: What’s in it for you? What’s in it for me? What’s in it for everyone? These three easy-to-remember questions, combined with the three levels of responsibility listed above, can be a quick and easy way to check in with your own style of leadership decision-making… and that of others!
If you would like to learn more about how Enrichyou can help you develop a culture of management excellence and leadership in your organisation, then enquire about our series of management development workshops – which can be delivered in-house to teams of 6 or more people… or download our Leadership Academy brochure.
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