Make Yourself

5 Roads To Leadership

5 Roads To Leadership Image
Leadership lost?

The events of the past few years and the way that many organizations have responded to the fallout from the financial crisis has exposed what can only be described as a leadership crisis. The thin veneer of leadership that was building in many organizations throughout the 90s and 2000s has been washed away by the expediency of competing organizational priorities.

Too few have stood up for the values, and value, of effective leadership.

There are, however, an exceptional few who have stayed the course and continued to embody the integrity and congruence that comes from living their beliefs and values. If we ask people in organizations 'Who are the exceptional leaders?', only a small number of people can usually be identified, but they are still there.

We can learn exceptional things from these exceptional people. We find that exceptional leaders share five common characteristics: they know themselves, they know their people; they know their job; they build relationships; and they create the future. We also find that they are all continually learning their craft of leadership and for them, it is a lifelong journey of informal and formal learning.

5 roads to leadership

know yourself

Exceptional leaders know what they stand for, what their values and principles are. They have a heightened sense of awareness of themselves and their impact on others.

know your people

Exceptional leaders know their people, individually and collectively. They know what motivates them and how to inspire them.

know your job

Exceptional leaders know their job. They know how to get things done and make things happen. Exceptional leaders know their stuff.

build relationships

Exceptional leaders build, sustain and influence relationships and networks. They give to their relationships and give to their networks freely and without thought of return.

create the future

Exceptional leaders have a sense of the future. Put a current problem to them and they will ask 'How can we do this a better way?' Exceptional leaders know how to create change in meaningful, productive, positive ways to bring about a better future for themselves, their people and their organizations.

Time to rebuild

It's time to rebuild our leadership capability and to learn from those who have shown resilience in tough times. We need to deliver on the promise of leadership in organizations and show improved organizational performance through better people practice.

Where to start

This series of posts will explore each of the 5 roads to leadership in more detail. We will explore strategies of informal and formal learning that we can adopt for ourselves and promote throughout our organizations to build the next generation of exceptional leaders.

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