Leaders of Tomorrow.. Today

June 24, 2010 at 7:32 am Leave a comment

When you look at your organization and see the leaders around you, as well as look within, what do you see?  Do you believe these leaders to be leaders? Do you have your own beliefs of what makes a good a leader? Do you even meet them?

I am a big fan of the Center for Creative Leadership as I learned much about them having lived in North Carolina and seeing how they impacted leaders who worked with them. I always wanted to go and would love to work for them one day.  They asked a great question of 2,200 leaders from 15 organizations, in three countries between 2006 and 2008 – do the leaders within your organization have the skills they need to be successful in the future?-

This is what they found. The 7 leadership skills that are most critical for success, now and in the future, are:

  1. Leading people: directing and motivating people.
  2. Strategic planning: translating vision into realistic business strategies, including long-term objectives.
  3. Managing change: using effective strategies to facilitate organizational change.
  4. Inspiring commitment: recognizing and rewarding employees’ achievements.
  5. Resourcefulness: working effectively with top management.
  6. Doing whatever it takes: persevering under adverse conditions.
  7. Being a quick learner: quickly learning new technical or business knowledge.

Interestingly, they go on to say that some organizations reported greater strength in these areas but weren’t seen as important as the 7 above:

  • building and mending relationships,
  • compassion and sensitivity,
  • cultural adaptability,
  • respecting individual differences,
  • composure,
  • and self-awareness.

Again, I disagree. I think the bottom 5 are more important than the top 7. Why? Because the top 7 can be coached, learned, developed.

The bottom 5 are harder to coach and develop. I say this because it requires one to look within, to have humility, to be vulnerable, and to admit imperfection.  Most leaders do not take the time to reflect, learn from their relational mistakes and try to use that learning to do better. Actually most don’t want to.  What often happens is ego gets in the way and a leader believes it is the other person’s issue; never their own. But let’s face it, when there are issues in an organization, they are often relational. Conflicts arise and they become personal. Coalitions develop. Stonewalling occurs. Contempt starts to breed. Seems to me you would be left with individuals instead of teams.   Leadership is about having a vision and inspiring people to commit.  Therefore, to me, leadership is about people. If you are not committed to the people in your organization, how are you accomplishing your goals?

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Entry filed under: Books, Miscellania, Relationships, research, thoughts, well-being, Who is?, workplace. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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