What is Leadership?

Leadership

Leadership is not:

  • something you are born with.
  • something you either have or don't have.
  • something you do to other people.

Leadership is:

  • a natural part of being human.
  • about influencing people to contribute to shared goals.
  • a series of relationships (and the greatest factor in relationships is behaviour).
  • a skilled behaviour, and you can become more skilled.

Followership

Much has been written about leadership, much less of followership and yet you can't be a leader on your own.

  • Leadership is a series of relationships and so the behaviour of the leader is only part of the equation.
  • Very few people are only leaders; most are part of a larger organisation and are, in turn, followers. Encouraging good followership-behaviour is equally important in a well-led organisation.
  • A well-led organisation has leadership and followership at every level.

Teamwork

A team is a specific type of group and its culture will affect how members behave and so how they will contribute to its performance. This because people's behaviour is driven by 3 things:

  • Their perception of the situation. This is obvious.
  • Their individual personality. This is also obvious.
  • Their membership of a group. This is less obvious but reflect on this: most people behave differently when they are at home compared to when at work. One way to interpret this is through group-membership. Their membership of a particular group at work means that certain behaviours are expected of them. Their family is a group that expects different behaviours.

Everyone is a member of several groups and humans are very good a switching between them. Have you ever seen someone at work be involved in a difficult work-related problem or conversation and be interrupted by a phone call from one of their children? Think how rapidly their behaviour switched from hard-nosed budget-manager to sympathetic parent.

There are ways to measure and improve team effectiveness and Bosideon can help you set up a new team, improve the performance of an existing team or help you lead a team to new successes.


Strategy

Setting strategy is often visualised as a cool, deliberate, cerebral process that is divorced from actually doing stuff. It produces a clear plan which allows for all possible factors and, if followed rigorously, will inevitably lead to success. This plan usually sits, undisturbed, in a folder on a shelf. In fact, setting a strategy is more like juggling burning torches while balancing on a ball that you are trying to roll from the middle of a circus ring towards an exit that you can't see. However, there are ways to do it.

The following questions are designed to create a framework within which to discuss strategy.

  • Do you have a strategy?
  • Where does it lie on the continuum between deliberate and emergent?
  • What resources (eg your own time) do you allocate to strategic planning?
  • What strategic tools do you use?
  • Why those ones?
  • What is the difference between a strategy and a strategic plan?
  • Does your strategy help people to make day-to-day decisions?
  • Has your strategy changed the environment in which you operate?

Have you stress-tested your strategy?