Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Defining Leadership

There are as many definitions of leadership as there are writers on the topic, which simply serves to confirm that leadership is not something that can be placed into a 'how-to' list or a process matrix.

In my role as management consultant and coach I meet a lot of managers. Some would refer to themselves as leaders; others would simply be kidding themselves and everyone round them if they were to make such a claim. Just making such a statement myself implies I have my own thoughts on what leadership is! And I do.

When I look back over the past 35 years and I attempt to identify those managers I have met or worked with that have displayed leadership, I see the following -

I see the leader who took the time to listen to a young apprentice, to hear his views on some of the issues the apprentices faced in the workplace, then encouraged and assisted this young apprentice to do things differently.

I see a leader, who when the chips were down, instead of condemning his young employee for his actions, instead provided support and advice, while at the same time ensuring his young charge understood he was responsible for his own behaviour.

I see a leader who recognised the desire in one of his employees to develop new skills and proactively created opportunities for that to occur and also for those skills to be used for the benefit of the organisation.

I see several leaders who put aside any preoccupation with formal qualifications and said, instead, let's look at potential.

These are only a handful of people I have worked for or with over the years. Some have been employers, some have been peers and many have been clients. The group that i would refer to as leaders are in the minority. There are many, many, more who simply did not understand the concept of leadership. Do you? Consider these examples I have provided here. Think about the people you have worked with over the years. Think about yourself and how others may percieve your leadership ability.

I can help you develop your leadership capacity, be it through one of our leadership workshops or through one-to-one coaching. It costs nothing to discuss the options. Call me now, I am happy to help you prepare a business case to your manager which will show the benefit to your organisation in developing your potential.

Let The Journey Continue
John Coxon

John Coxon & Associates
Taking You from Frontline Manager to CEO
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