WHAT IT TAKES TO BE AN EXTRAORDINARY LEADER IN THE 21ST CENTURY
“Extraordinary Times Demand Extraordinary Leadership”
We are living in a world, where we’re experiencing constant rapid change, at a pace we have not witnessed before. A world where uncertainty and confusion, is a reality, yet the markets still remain highly competitive, creating the demand for a necessary shift in the world of Business and its People. A shift that moves us from the old mercenary style business model, driven by bottom line only, to the new social-entrepreneurial model, where the focus is no longer solely around technical ability/IQ, but on “soft skills” and Leadership behaviour. One that brings with it, its own set of challenges.
It is no longer about “if we WANT to change the game -WE MUST!!” –
The question is how?
The answer – through the conduit of “Leadership”
Not just “Leadership” but “Extraordinary Leadership”, required to meet the ever-increasing demands of an Extraordinary World
“Extraordinary Leadership is not a license to do less, it is a responsibility to do more” (S. SINEK)
Why am I so passionate about this subject and why do I believe it is so relevant in the world of business today. I have a strong belief that each and every one of us has something unique to offer the world, we only need to find what it is. I love the quote by Zig Ziglar
“You Don’t Build a Business, You Build People and then People build the Business”.
WHAT IS EXTRAORDINARY LEADERSHIP?
We all have the ability to lead, not all of us have the desire to lead beyond that, and that is okay….
Extraordinary Leadership is an intricate blend of capabilities and qualities, a way of being, doing and relating, we spend so much time doing we forget to be, yet we are called Human beings not Human Doings. Your followers want real, they want authentic, they want inclusive, they want support, but they do not want to be micro-managed. They want to be supported in growing in a manner that is in alignment with their beliefs, values, thoughts and behaviours and how they can align these with the Vision and Values of the organisation.
Below are some of the competencies of Extraordinary Leaders – not restricted to inspiring, motivating and empowering others, these are the givens in leadership. Just as policies, procedures, margins and all those good things are a given in business.
- Grounded in Acute Self-awareness –
“We can only lead others if we can lead ourselves”
- Listening/Communication –
The greatest gift you can give to anyone and is key to effective communication
- A high Level of Emotional Intelligence
Being open to asking for help and not seeing it as a weakness. Not always trying to prove how smart you are! But rather trying to “make a difference”
Skill Level and ability to do the right thing
A combination of personal and moral value that has a profound effect on the organisation as a whole
The combination of both Competence and Character
- Champions Change
The courage to embrace and encourage change that will possibly serve for the better
Thinking of new ways to improve and include the team in this thinking, exposing potential hidden creativity
- Extreme Discipline
The ability to remain focused on the process, even when faced with the many external distractions of today
- Commitment and courage
Dedicate yourself to your team and organisation and be bold enough to stand for what you and your team value and believe (that’s the reason SHARED VISION/VALUE is of such vital importance)
- Recognise Diversity and Create Unity
Respect the differences and uniqueness of others and inspire them to collectively perform to achieve desired outcomes
Engage and Involve your staff to become a part of the organisation where their input is recognised and then Developed
- FOLLOW UP
It serves no purpose engaging and involving others, if there is no follow up to measure and ensure that which you have decided to implement, is making progress towards your desired outcomes
Extraordinary Leaders show a willingness to challenge the status quo, voice their view, without fear of reprisal and are totally open to vulnerability, – It is not about proving to be the smartest in the organisation, but rather providing opportunities for growth, recognising individual strengths and focusing on developing “What’s Strong” not “What’s Wrong” – surrounding themselves with people who are smarter than they are – Imagine that…….!!
A deep understanding of what it takes to be an Extraordinary Leader, is one thing, the practicing of the understanding is another. This is where it counts, the so called “walking the talk” and having the courage & ability to gracefully lead change, and continually looking for new ways to improve and engage others to take Ownership, Responsibility and Accountability. This is achieved through a “SHARED VISION” and a process of “FEEDFORWARD” , which allows the team to look for ways to improve on what they have learnt from the past (not dwell in the past), in order to make a positive change in the future.
As Mr Ernest Hemingway said “Courage is Grace Under Pressure”
Extraordinary Leaders face a balancing act, where, the goal is of vital importance, but the process of developing Extraordinary teams and “making a difference” becomes their focus. Their ability to integrate Leadership and Organisational best practices, earns them the trust of their colleagues and teams, creating a culture of “Interdependency” that will help everyone go from survive to thrive, by performing at their optimum!
At a time where our potential-future leaders are coming to the fore, every leader and entrepreneur should encourage the development and growth of special talent, of those who are committed to lead. Understanding that these potential future-leaders can be become highly valuable members of the team and organisation, who have the potential to become extraordinary leaders, if that potential, which lies within each and every one of them, is unleashed!!