The Skills of a Leader
February 23, 2012 @ 6:13 pm by act
In these days where the psyche of the United States seems to have taken a beating I keep asking myself what we need to do to lead ourselves out of the fog of helplessness and paralysis that many seem to feel. Now, more than ever, I think we need true leaders. When I turn on the television I see very little leadership. I see lots of finger pointing, conflict, blame, hypocrisy, etc. but I don’t see anyone leading us out of this (Republican or Democrat). Besides politics, when I look at organizations I see low energy, poor morale, and even bitterness from much of the masses. They are yearning for powerful leadership to restore hope and confidence in the future. So what do true leaders do? Experts around the world agree that leadership has three critical stages: creating vision, building alignment and championing execution.
Leaders must be able to craft a vision for the future that is captivating and powerful. This vision requires boldness, the willingness to explore and remain open to big ideas and new approaches, and the ability to test assumptions and implications of the vision.
While crafting a vision is critical, a leader without followers is, well, not a leader. True leaders need to build alignment by presenting a clear message, explaining their rationale, coaching out perspectives and encouraging others with passion.
Once the group is aligned a leader must bring the vision to life with momentum and structure. They must hold others accountable to action, address problems directly and praise progress. A vision without execution is merely an empty dream.
Are you a leader? If so, which of these three are you best at and which needs some development? We have an assessment that tests you on each of these three areas and the critical behaviors that create success at each stage. For more information, contact Carole Smith at Advantage Coaching & Training and ask her about Inscape Publishing’s Work of Leaders assessment.