We have all had the experience of knowing a great leader – someone who can inspire great effort, communicate an important goal and why it’s important, build teams and foster independent development. Gifted leaders can create transformation – of people and systems.
And great leadership can be developed.
The LEADS Collaborative*, using extensive evidence-based research, has defined a framework for leadership consisting of five domains:
Develop Coalitions, and
With each of these five domains, capabilities are highlighted that emphasize what cultivates great leadership, for individuals and organizations. The Canadian College of Health Leaders encourages this approach for health care leaders, and the framework is important for leaders in other sectors as well.
Entrepreneurs, for example, often work hard to develop employee commitment and capacities. Understanding how leadership works will strengthen this capacity and help them work smarter, not harder.
Let’s look at the first domain - lead self - because within any system each cog matters.
Great leaders are self-motivated, and understand the importance of these capabilities. They:
· Are self-aware – they are aware of their own assumptions, values, principles, strengths and limitations and how they demonstrate this to others.
· Manage themselves – they take responsibility for their performance and well-being and know that modeling health and productivity encourages it in others
· Develop themselves – they actively seek opportunities and challenges for personal growth and learning, and character-building, and they are transparent in their need for and pursuit of personal change
· Demonstrate character – they model qualities such as honesty, integrity, resilience and confidence, and expect it in their relationships.
Each of these capacities can be cultivated and strengthened. Leaders who are aware of their importance will carefully (darefully?) demonstrate them through leadership behaviour that is concrete and consistent. They will learn to lead themselves because that is important.
In what ways do you consistently demonstrate your goal to be a leader with integrity?
Which of these capacities are you working on, and what steps are you taking to develop yourself as a leader who is self-aware?
How does your organization foster a leadership culture?
Could they benefit from training in this growing field?
Meredith at Wild Goat Executive Coaching recently completed certification in Coaching with LEADS through Royal Roads University, and looks forward to helping you and your organization develop practical leadership capabilities.
*http://www.leadersforlife.ca/ – Some of this content is from their brochure LEADS in a Caring Environment