Thursday, January 12, 2012

Circa 2012: Leadership Now

‘I love the smell of napalm in the morning!’ ~ Captain Willard, Apocalypse Now

To lead is to influence. When we influence others, we are taking the lead. So, be influential.

With the epic failure of corporate leadership in developed countries, we are responsible for reviewing, rethinking and reconfiguring leadership.

Leadership has succeeded. Leadership has failed. The balance sheet does not look encouraging. Where leadership is expected to be clear, committed and competent, instead we perceive confusion, indifference and incompetency.

Do you question the ludicrousness of corporate leadership where an enticing package awaits those who resign or who are asked to resign? Shame on the promoters and perpetrators of ‘false’ leadership! Resignation is such a cop-out. Real leadership expresses itself with diligence, discernment and decisiveness. Stick to your guns, and not gun the stick!

The values of leaders need to be audited: Not only by others, but also by themselves. Is conscience a static thing? Do moral codes stay the same way? Is character a measure of a leader? Who measures the fibre, values, beliefs, behaviors, pre-judgements, instincts and perceptions of leaders? Certainly not only by the experts or the impertinent.

Questioning leadership is not about being perched on a moral high horse. It is the right and obligation of followers to challenge authority at times. Blind obedience and allegiance may be counterintuitive to support for a leader. Leaders build capability in their people. They support, encourage and engage followers. They do not exploit them for selfish ends.

Leadership Lessons: Be your own leader. Lead with your values. Lead with your head, heart and hands.

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