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Leadership: The Power Of Three


In reference to an old adage all good things come in threes, we believe this to hold true for leadership within most contemporary organisations.


This has been cemented by our experience working with the Haynes Group in which we were introduced to the concept of leadership as three distinct levels.


This is our take:


1. Leaders of Self


Harvard Business School Professor Bill George explains succinctly the challenges and importance of what it means to be a leader of self.


He states, “First you will have to understand yourself, because the hardest person you will ever have to lead is yourself. Second, to be an effective leader, you must take responsibility for your own development.”


Author of Leadership Development, Dr. Manuel London refers to three psychological factors that are crucial to developing leaders of self — self-insight, self-regulation and self-identity.


It stands to reason the term self consistently appears as a key theme in the context of leadership ability and success at any level. Before you can authentically mentor another individual or lead a team of people, the real test starts by looking in the mirror — are you inspired?


2. Leaders of People

The reference here to leaders of people takes a position on those who lead teams and departments within the organisation, designated or otherwise. Often you will find that the best leaders of people can go undiscovered if the time is not taken to look beyond titles.


An assumption can often be that a role title constitutes leadership characteristics that must be inherent in the appointee.


This is often a misguided and dangerous assumption and can prove a hindrance to morale and productivity. Leadership is a conscious choice, it is not a place in the queue.


3. Leaders of the Organisation


In a 2016 study, the question what makes an effective Leader? was posed to leaders of numerous global organisations in which they could make a selection of 15 leadership competencies from an extensive list.


Of the five themes that emerged from the study, the number one suggests that effective leaders possess strong ethics and provide a safe environment.


It’s no coincidence management theorist Simon Sinek dedicates one of his TED talks to this very notion.


The remaining themes point to empowerment, connection, openness, and nurturing. All are a result of and made possible by the safe environment that engenders social engagement and innovation.


How do we understand the term Leadership in a world of competing definitions?


According to Intentional change theory, the core components of sustainable leadership development have been described as the behavior, thoughts, feelings, and perceptions as related to leadership effectiveness..


We believe in the theory that authentic leadership is values-based and the assertion that leadership should be intentional. It requires an accompanying desire to achieve the required emotional, social, and cognitive competencies.

At any level, to reference one of the most watched TED talks, all great leaders inspire action.


Many inspiring leaders are not especially remembered for what they said and what they did, but more importantly how they made people feel.


*How will you choose to inspire your people today, tomorrow and into the future?

Blog Tags: Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, Safe Environments

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