Just what is Leadership?

So much of what I have read lately has been about Leadership of organisations, institutions, business, political parties.

In fact I now understand that I was beginning to perceive that there was only one leader in any organisation.

It was no one else’s responsibility to act out the leadership role. One person is the leader, everyone else is a follower.

As I thought about this perception of leadership and how I had experienced it in organisations I had worked in or managed, I began to understand that my beliefs and values about Leadership actually were different to those I was reading and hearing about.

The organisations that ran the best may have had a CEO, a General Manager, an owner, a boss, however, these people were not the only ones who fulfilled Leadership.

Leadership was or ought to be a part of everyone’s personal mission statement.

To everyone in the business, leadership meant:

  • acting as if you owned the business
  • working in the business with a focused sense of purpose.
  • being totally responsible for the roles you played within the organisation. “owning your actions”.
  • Accepting that as far as you were concerned you were where the buck stopped when a decision was made in your department.
  • No one else was ever blamed for decisions that you made.
  • Everyone cared for and supported one another. “mutual respect”.
  • exhibiting an intuitive or lateral awareness of what is needed.
  • the ability to think on your feet.

Interestingly enough these traits are all able to be grown in all of us.  Inheriting them is not the only method of acquisition.

I feel that we place far to much emphasis on it being in our genes. Family inheritance of beliefs, culture, behaviour, what we are capable of achieving and our station in life are not givens, they are all capable of change and growth.

As with everything, awareness is the first part of any change. We have to see what we are doing, see the repercussions of those actions and then ask is there another way that this can be done, a better way that satisfies different criteria, different ways we want the results to turn out.

It initially means standing back and observing ourselves in action.

Then questioning whether what I observed was the best way to do things.

We may need to have done some work identifying our actual values. If we believe that others are there for us to ripoff, then we have an issue. At least in my eyes. That work may need to identify the beliefs beneath the values. Where did the values come from?

Then we may choose which way we desire to go.

By beginning to take ownership for everything that happens in my life, I free myself up to do something about changing it. I have started the process that will create the changes necessary. This is the beginning of understanding  leadership.

Where are you on the journey to own the leadership in your life, relationships, job?

Are you into choosing how the role will be or are you still manipulated by your circumstances, your beliefs?

Leadership is every persons right. It is something that we are all capable of. However, if you are not comfortable in the role of leader, then you need to look and ask why not.

Let me know if your leadership is not what it ought to be, maybe I can assist you?.

Email me at  austin@austinparry.com


Posted on April 20, 2011, in Business, Culture, growing, honesty, leadership, Management, openness, Resilience, searching. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I enjoyed your blog, as a future Leader in the militray I can relate to your thoughts and ideas.

    Keep up the godo work


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