What is leadership?
In 1967, the Austrian-born management consultant and philosopher Peter Ferdinand Drucker defined: "Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.” Nearly 20 years later, Warren G. Bennis y Burt Nanus took this phrase and re-modeled it to: “Managers do things right; leaders do the right thing.” But what we really need and want is “efficient effectiveness” or a leading manager, who does the right things right.
There are several "leadership" models. The one I embrace and that seems to clearly produce the best sustained results over time (see such seminal books as Built to Last and Good to Great) is servant leadership... humble but firm team-first leadership for a greater/aspirational purpose. The best leaders demonstrate their prowess and trustworthiness (i.e., worthy of being followed by the best volunteer team members) via the three C's: Character, Competency, and Caring. A well-known Christian CEO, Max DePree (Herman Miller Company) once said: "The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant."
In my experience, a person who poses supreme leadership poses the skill of Clarity + Reality distortion.
1.Clarity means that one is clear in his or her thoughts so that he could be consistent and knows what he/she wants so that others could follows. Without a clear perspective, followers can;t follows and perform. Hence, a clear though means that one plot out the vision as vivid as possible.
2.Reality distortion means that one is able to ask to get what he/she wants. The ability to persuade, IQ, EQ, soft skills are part of reality distortion. Without the ability of reality distortion, a vision will remain as a vision, while good reality distortion skill without clarity, one could not get what he wants because he do not know what he wants. What do you think?
L versus M
Without question, while it is possible to cram for at test and graduate at the top of one’s class, that does not assure leadership ability. We all know at least one person who scores at the highest levels on cognitive measures but would be incapable of pouring liquid out of a boot if the instructions were written on the heel.
So, here is my philosophy:
- Leadership: By example and thru transparency with collaboration [Do the right thing]
- Management: By walking-around thru tangible / intangible metrics [Doing things right].
Leaders make a positive difference in a organization by motivating people with soft power (influence) versus force. I don't lend to textbook models much being the type of group or commodity will have require different leaders. Not to say firmness at times is not needed but this should not be the main approach.
The most effective leaders are those who are charismatic and transitional, example Martin Luther King, Jr III. A leader who can effect change must be humble, willing to serve and not be served, such as Mahatma Gandhi. That person must have conviction to the beliefs he/she espouses. and be above being bribed. The ability to delegate and hold individuals accountable to their responsibilities is important, as one person cannot have all the skill sets to succeed at everything, nor would that person have the time or energy to excel as necessary.
Which are your examples of leadership and why? Apollone Reid already called out some