Friday, August 15, 2008

What is Leadership?

When a skilful and operationally driven manager gains influence in his/her workplace, he/she is beginning to develop his/her strategic thinking, and this manager has a growing number of followers and enjoys of the progressive recognition from Senior Management, the transformation from a plain manager into a nascent leader, simply has begun, and thereby his/her growing influence, power and authority that become in differentiating factors to encourage business transformation, corporate innovation and a strategic mindset.

This desirable metamorphosis typically happens when this manager, aside of having the right personality traits that are characteristics in a leader: passion to excel, innovative mindset, communicational skill-sets and strategic thinking, he/she has had a progressive career development path in different job positions and industries where he/she has learned the art of managing in highly complex business scenarios, has had the proper modelling of influential and recognized leaders and has been coached and mentored at the right time by influential professionals in the science of modelling business scenarios beyond from operational constrains, financial limitations and talent shortage.

In most of these transformations the blend of a corporate culture, an inspiring leadership, a motivating vision and a corporate attitude that is appreciative and supportive to encourage the assortment of skills, competences, expectations and initiatives of a valuable and proactive professional makes true the promise of becoming an excellent manager into an influential and empowered leader.

Leadership may be identified in function of the following attributes:

1. Empowerment in sharing an inspiring vision and creating empathy in managers and co-workers: A true leader, should be passionate professional and a charismatic individual with the willpower to create and develop an inspiring vision and generate empathy, full commitment and due admiration in others.

He/she should have strong skills, knowledge and intuition to understand those cultural issues that could be favorable for proper strategy execution and influential in managing all the enterprise changes that should be deployed by effective Senior Management commitment.

This leader should possess an outstanding capability to communicate pragmatically the scope, results and goals of the business strategy, in a way that generates due respect and trust.

2. Being credible and communicating effectively even in the most adverse circumstances: Other key factor of success is the role assumed for the leader of communicating effectively to managers and subordinates the advances and results obtained during strategy/project execution, by promoting feedback when necessary, sharing relevant information with stakeholders, generating employee’s engagement and making corrective actions when convenient.

This attitude helps to create confidence and trust from the whole organization toward their leaders, while being crucial to reduce those feelings of uncertainty, doubt and fear that in processes of profound transformation could create disengagement and demoralization in the workforce.

3. Integrity and Accountability: A leader should have solid values and reliable ethical principles that applies consistently as a value inherent to his/her professional engagement in the enterprise, being able to inspire virtue, correctness and righteousness in his/her followers and having the willingness of assuming the repercussions, consequences and effects of a mistaken decision, by identifying new opportunities and courses of action from learned lessons arisen of a failed experience.

For that matter other than Empowerment, Inspiring, Credible, Communicating, Integrity and Accountability - leading by example on what is needed makes a whole lot of difference.

Sathyameve Jayathe! सथ्यमेवे जयते!

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