THE TWO FACES OF LEADERSHIP

The first face is heroic. It’s what leaders use to inspire and motivate, role-model behavior and express an enthralling vision. The second is more practical. It’s the face leaders assume behind the scenes as they preside over the processes that keep the organisation running smoothly. For their plans to succeed, leaders must face in both directions at once. The problem is that as leadership development ballooned into a global US$366 billion industry, it has fixated on the public face at the expense of the process-oriented one. Leadership is a hotter topic than ever, but its popular image only brings half the picture into focus. Star leaders should do the following heavy lifting in the background of their organization: scanning and sense-making, building and locking in commitment, handling contradictions, harnessing culture, and developing talent and capabilities. Scanning and sense-making allows leaders to reality-check their strategy. Building and locking in commitment to a strategy requires more than a dynamite PowerPoint presentation. First and foremost, generating consensus, or at least a good-faith acceptance, hinges on the level of openness involved in the process. Handling contradictions consists of trade-offs to help leaders cope with contrasting mandates, e.g. the need for hierarchy vs. the comparative agility of decentralized decision making, the wisdom of thinking long-term vs. the imperative to deliver quarterly shareholder returns. Harnessing culture occurs through indirection. Developing talent and capabilities encompasses more than spotting superstars in the making and giving them opportunities to shine.  Read More >>

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s